Helen K. (Sullivan) Coonce
April 6, 1936 – April 12, 2020
Preceded in death by husband, Henry “Hank”; and daughter, Mary Beth Taylor. Survived by daughter, Denise (James) Blazek of Omaha, NE; daughter, Peggy (Steve) McGough of Houston, TX; son, Daniel (Teri) Coonce of Boise, ID; son-in-law, Terry Taylor of Rockwall, TX; and 16 grandchildren.
Helen was born in Omaha, Nebraska to John “Jack” and Helen Sullivan and graduated from St. John’s High School, now Mercy High School, and was a member of Holy Cross Parish. After graduating she worked at Mutual of Omaha until she stayed at home to raise her four children. After Dan was born, she resumed her career at Hinky Dinky.
Always inviting with her wide smile and infectious laugh, Helen was the heart and soul of all family-get-togethers. It all happened in her kitchen on 42nd and Bancroft, which sometimes overflowed with siblings, in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, and friends – and even their pets! Often every available chair in the house, matching or not, was crowded around that kitchen table. Yet, there was always room for one more. Everyone and anyone were always welcome, and you felt welcome. Helen was genuinely glad to see all visitors – whether person or animal. Everyone wanted some of her energy to rub off on them, and it did.
Helen was very artistic by nature and enjoyed embracing new art and craft projects, including sculpting ceramics, jewelry-making, and creating stained-glass pieces. We can now treasure her beautiful work as heirlooms. She passed her artistic quality on to her grandchildren, and although young at the time and not nearly as skilled in their creations, she wore many a macaroni necklace with immeasurable pride.
Her energy and zest for life led to activities such as square dancing, water aerobics, golfing, ice skating, bowling team, cycling, and traveling – for which, her family was always included. Helen’s travels took her to Ireland, and she was quite proud to have kissed the Blarney Stone, paying tribute to her Irish heritage.
Helen eagerly devoured every morsel that this life had to offer. No doubt, she is organizing many activities in Heaven. Mom, Grandma, Aunt, and friend, we appreciate the ways you selflessly invested in each of us. Know that your legacy is greatly cherished, and you will be deeply missed.
VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Thursday, April 16th from 4pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel followed by family VIGIL SERVICE. Family FUNERAL SERVICE: Friday, April 17th, 11am, West Center Chapel. Memorials are suggested to Holy Cross Catholic Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church – Elkhorn or the Alzheimer’s Association.
To view a live broadcast of the Vigil Service and Funeral Service, go to our website and click the View Live Cast button on our homepage.
MEMORIAL MASS to be announced.