Helen Fuchsen

WILMINGTON – Helen Fuchsen, 103, passed away Sunday, June 18, 2017 at Heritage Health in Dwight. Helen was born April 22, 1914 in Michigan City, Indiana, daughter of Dan and Mary Brady Tyrrell. In 1917 she moved, with her parents, from her birthplace in Michigan City to her grandparents, Mike and Ann Fogarty Tyrrell’s Wilmington homestead. She went to the 1-room schoolhouse taught by her Aunt Lillian Tyrrell Sabatino; to the old Wilmington High School; and to Normal Teachers College in Normal. Upon graduation, she returned to Wilmington to teach first, second and third grades at the Wilmington Grade School, where she was the first Catholic teacher, and, after her children were born, taught at St. Rose Catholic School, where she was the first lay teacher. She was featured as one of Wilmington’s most beautiful brides in 1943 when she married Sergeant Joe Fuchsen. She followed her husband to the Needles, California army base, where she worked in troop support, then returned to Wilmington while he served in the Pacific. They later lived in Wilmington’s WWII-construction Brookside housing before moving to their longtime residence on Water Street. She was a member and past president of the St. Rose Altar and Rosary Society, and baked renowned pies for weekly bake sales, and later for funeral dinners. She was honored by the Council of Catholic Women as Woman of the Year, and was also a member of the Wilmington Women’s Club. With her crisp memory, longtime residence, and years-long teaching, she was a resource for the history of Wilmington. She was amazingly able to connect family personality and physical traits through the generations. As her peers died, Wilmington’s students and children of deceased friends were a joy to her, as she was always keenly interested in the lives of others. She will be fondly remembered by her children: JoAnn (Lou) Wozniak of Mahomet; John Fuchsen of Wilmington; Judi (Rick) Siegler of Wayne; and Janice of Waukesha, Wisconsin; her grandchildren: Louis (Karen) Wozniak of Carmel, Indiana; Emily (Ben) Siegler Taylor of Chicago; Matt (Rita) Siegler of Dallas, Texas; and Erin Fuchsen of Wilmington; her great-grandchildren: Luke Wozniak of Johnston City; Lexi Wozniak of Carmel, Indiana; Scotia Taylor of Chicago; and Jack and June Siegler of Dallas, Texas. Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Joe; and her sister, Jean (Victor) Tyrrell Alfirevic. Visitation was Thursday, June 22, at Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilming-ton from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., followed by a procession to St. Rose Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Burial: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, Wilmington. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook, upload photographs, or share Helen’s memorial page by logging on to: www.BaskervilleFuneral.com