Helena Gerhardson

Helena Marie (Annette) Gerhardson, 64, of Bemidji, MN died Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.A private service will be held. The Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji assisted the family. Helena was born March 27, 1957 in Cass Lake, MN, the daughter of William and Eleanor (Bigbear) Annette. She was raised and educated in Red Lake and attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth and Bemidji State University earning degrees in both Sociology and Education. She wrote of her life: “I love my family and friends dearly. I lived a blessed life, and thought the world of my daughter, Lara. The love of my life was Ray Blowers who I met in April of 2006. I enjoyed working for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe as Education Director providing educational services for the students. I loved the Lord and tried to live a life pleasing to God. I was happy with all the joy people brought to my life.” Her daughter adds, “She is the most incredible blessing in my life. God gifted her to me. She made my life magical, full of adventures, learning, joy, and love. We travelled the world together, relished road trips, played Scrabble (she had beat me 7 times in a row the days prior to her passing), worked on crafts, and a day never passed without laughter and ‘I love yous.’ She was a gifted photographer, a published poet, a proud former hospital board member, an educator, and a lifelong learner. A play based on one of her poems was commissioned several times and was last performed at the DECC to a room of over 1800 attendees. She kept the audience rapt at the Q&A with her thoughtful answers and humor. When people talk about her the same words repeat: kind, funny, smart, generous, humble, adventurous, amazing, faithful, a storyteller, a heart of gold, and to know her was to love her. I will miss her every day, forever, until we meet again.” She is survived by her daughter Lara Gerhardson of Bemidji, MN,  sisters Dr. Kathleen Annette of Cohasset, MN, Billie Annette (James Kloesel) of Bemidji, MN,  and beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Andrew John Annette, soulmate Ray Blowers, and her friend Dan Peil. In lieu of flowers, donations to one of her favorite charitable organizations are requested: Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Ships, St. Mary’s Mission – Red Lake, The Carter Center, Environmental Defense Fund, Disabled American Veterans, Greenpeace, ASPCA, or St. Jude Children’s Hospital  Condolences may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.

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