- April 29, 1924 - January 18, 2006
- Houghton, Michigan
of Helen's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“I felt a heartfelt sigh when searching for Sue Barkkari Kilchenman on the internet to find that her mother, Helen, had passed away. I always enjoyed...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Paul Schumacher
“Dear Sue; My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have a lot of good memories of your Mom. We had some good times together, I think...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: June Van Buren
“I would like to send my condolences to Sue and her family. Without Helen I would have not gotten my first job! I have a lot of fond memories of...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Angie Arrington
“Helen, I/we knew you for so many years.
We (Diane & I) were just High School Kids however, you were always so nice to us and we will always remember...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Paul & Diane Makela
“Our sincere sympathy to Sue and Mark (and all of their family) on your loss. We still check in on our old haunts even though we have been in...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: David & Cathy Carlyon
“I was lucky enough to work (waitressing) for Helen and Sue at the Chippewa in the '80's. Helen was an amazing busineswoman and a real role model for...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Yvonne Whitman Andersen
“I have many memories of Helen and all of the Komula family.
My sympathy is extended to Sue and family.
7 of 10 | Posted by: Marie Fowler
“My thoughts and prayers are with Sue, Mark and family. Helen was a great boss to work for at the Chippewa and will always remember her fondly.
8 of 10 | Posted by: Joy Holombo
“I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to Sue and her family. My thoughts are with you at this time. I never thought you would be back in town a week...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Helen (Gitzen) Wuthrich
“My deepest condolences to Helen's family. I enjoyed working for her at the Chippewa. She will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Janet Mattson
Helen Hilma (Komula) Barkkari passed away peacefully on January 18, 2006, at the Bluffs Senior Community in Houghton, where she had been a resident for five years. Born April 29, 1924, in Arnheim, Michigan, to Oscar and Anna (Wayrynen) Komula, she was the youngest of twelve children.
At the age of fifteen, she moved to Chassell with her family, graduating from Chassell High School in 1941. After graduating from Burroughs Business School in 1943, she did office work and accounting for several years in the Detroit area.
Following her marriage to Elwood F. (Woody) Barkkari on June 14, 1947, they lived in Kansas City, Missouri; and Midland, Texas; returning to Chassell in April 1950 to establish the Chippewa Motel. In January 1976, she purchased to Pow Wow Restaurant from her sister and brother-in-law Lydia and Fred Korpi, renaming it the Chippewa Restaurant. The restaurant and motel became a popular destination for tourists as well as local residents, and many visitors returned annually as the hospitality and assistance Helen provided turned guests into friends.
Helen was a dedicated promoter to tourism, hosting travel writers from around the country and contributing to travel publications. She was a past president of the Copper Country Vacationist League, a member of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Lodging Association, and the Chassell Recreation Club. She was the recipient of the Keweenaw Tourism Council's Spark Plug Award upon her retirement in 1996.
She lived in Bloomington, Minnesota, with her daughter and family for four years, and became one of the first residents of the Bluffs in Houghton when it opened.
A lifelong member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Chassell, she also enjoyed the Ministery of Rev. David Weber at the Bluffs. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, a true supporter of her family's faith, education, sports and music. She treasured her friends, loved to travel, bowl, and dance, and did crossword puzzles in ink.
She was preceded in death by her former husband, her parents, 6 Brothers: William, Eino, Jack, Waino, Earl, and John Komula, and 5 Sisters: Mrs. Ida Hilbert, Mrs., Ilene Juntttila, Mrs. Ann Lescelius, Mrs. Sylvia Aho, and Mrs. Lydia Korpi.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sue Ellen and Mark Kilchenman, granddaughter Gina, and grandsons Steven and John, all of Bloomington, Minnesota, sisters-in-law Martha Jacobs of Houghton, Betty Komula of Chassell, and Katy Komula of Chassell and many nieces and nephews. Her family gratefully acknowledges the loving care provided by the Staff at the Bluffs, Keweenaw Home Nursing & Hospice, and the Portage Health System.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Chassell, with visitation from 4-8 P.M. on Friday January 20, 2006. A service celebrating Helen's life will be held at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chassell on Saturday January 21, 2006, at 1 P.M. with Rev. Ted Koehl to officiate. Spring burial will be in the Lakeside Cemetery of Hancock.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family suggests contributions to the Chassell Township Schools, in memory of Helen.
To view Helen's obituary or to send a condolence to the family please go to www.memorialchapel.net