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Helen (Edward Marie) Walling, IHM

Sister Hellen Walling, IHM, died July 31, 2021 at her home, the IHM Senior Living Community.

Helen Mary Walling was born on Aug. 19, 1924 to Edward and Hilda (Rottach) Walling, in Detroit, Mich. The family, five daughters and two sons, grew up in St. Theresa parish. Helen attended both the grade and high schools there. Upon graduation in 1941, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe and received the religious name Sister Edward Marie.

The ministry of education began as a grade-school teacher at Sacred Heart, Dearborn, and throughout Detroit at Epiphany, St. Cecelia, St. Gregory, Gesu, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Mary of Redford. She loved being a teacher to the “little ones!” Before transitioning to parish and pastoral ministry, her last assignment was as teacher and principal of St. Mary, Marshall. During these years, Sr. Helen earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College and master’s in elementary education at Wayne State University. Throughout her teaching career, Sr. Helen trained student teachers from Marygrove, recalling this as a joyful endeavor.

With the changes brought by Vatican II, Sister Helen took her ministry to the people as parish and pastoral minister, in care of the elderly, as worship coordinator, outreach minister, and in parish religious education. These works took her to the Lansing Diocese, Our Lady of Fatima (Union City), St. John (Jackson), St. Joseph (Lake Orion), and for many years at both Immaculate Heart of Mary (Lansing) and St. Mary on the Lake (Manitou Beach).

In 2000, she resided in Clinton and served the people of St. Dominic Parish for several years and transitioned into volunteer ministry at St. Joseph and in the Clinton area.  Sr. Helen moved to Monroe and continued her volunteer service to the elderly and to her sisters in community.

Sister Helen is survived by brother Jack Walling, sisters Janet Cosgrove and Florence Kolodziej, nieces and nephews, and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by brother Rev. Edward, and sisters Joan, and Dorothy Allen.

Read Sister Helen’s Remembering here.