LaVina Minnie Rae Finnegan Helm, 70, of Granby, Colo., passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at the home of her daughter near Lisco, Neb.
She was born to Thomas and LaVina Finneganon on June 17, 1941, in Lincoln, Neb. She grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated from Central High in 1959. On June 8, 1963, Rae married Merlin Helm from Rose, Nebraska. They resided on the ranch near Rose where the couple raised two daughters. In 1985, Merlin and Rae sold the ranch and moved to Bassett. In 2005, the couple moved to Ogallala, Neb., where Rae became involved in many volunteer activities and provided childcare for the Knoke family. In October 2010, Rae retired to Granby in Grand County, Colo., a location she and Merlin loved and vacationed many times.
Rae was always very active in her communities. She especially enjoyed working with children - from volunteering with the Girl Scouts to listening to grade school kids read. Her favorite hobby was donning her Rasin the Clown outfit to tie balloons for children's events. In Ogallala, she was an active member of RSVP, Relay for Life, Kiwanas, the Methodist church and Amica Club. After moving to Granby, Rae participated in Relay for Life and fundraising for the Grand County Animal Shelter, Pet Pals and the local food pantry.
Family, friends and children were the love of Rae's life. She enjoyed travel, nature, animals, arts, crafts, reading, photography and walking.
Rae is survived by her daughters and son-in-law, Teresa and Lyle Sherfey of Lisco and Maureen Helm of Granby, Colo.; brothers and sisters-in-law Tom and Mary Ann Finnegan of Sun City, Ariz., Jim Finnegan of Sioux City, S.D., Don and Jeannie Finnegan of Glendale, Ariz., and sister and brother-in-law Mike and LaDonna "Kay" Olsen of Sioux City; brother- and sister-in-law Eugene and Judy Helm of Anderson, Ind.; Aunt, Earlene "Judy" Morris of Baker City, Ore.; grandchildren Andrew, and wife Candice Sherfey of Oshkosh, Neb., and Stephanie and husband Matt Gilbert of Pasadena, Md.; great-grandchildren, Atley and Landra Sherfey; exchange-student daughter Marisela Munguia and husband Gus Arichega of Hermosillo, Mexico and their children Astrid, Gustavo and Arlyn; special friends, Grace and Lily Knoke of Ogallala; and twelve nieces and nephews.
Rae was preceded in death by her her husband and parents.
A life celebration for Rae will be held in the Spring at Bassett, Neb. Details for the service will be announced at a later time.
Nana Rae wished for memorial donations to be put towards an education fund for her great-grandchildren, Atley and Lani, and then for her family to match funds for Grace and Lily Knoke. Checks can be mailed to Teresa Sherfey at 15398 Hwy 26, Lisco, NE 69148.
Family and friends may sign the guest book and leave condolences online at www.holechekfuneralhomes.com.
Holechek Funeral Home in Oshkosh is in charge of the arrangements.
Rae wished to tell everyone thank you for all of the visits, prayers, cards, calls and support received during her illness.