The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Maria Hellen


October 17, 2017

IRONWOOD, Mich. - The Lord decided it was time for Maria Hellen, 90, of Erwin Township, to leave this earthly realm and called her peacefully Sunday morning, Oct. 15, 2017, at Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, with her family by her side.

She was born Maria Feraru on April 25, 1927, in Pancho, Romania, daughter of the late Vasile and Marita (Merisan) Feraru. Both her parents died when she was young and she was raised by an aunt and uncle.

When World War II broke out, Maria was taken to Munich, Germany where she worked at a hospital. After the war she remained there and met her future husband who was serving in the U.S. Army at the time; he was then deployed to Korea and she remained in Germany. She eventually was able to get to the U.S. and was united in marriage to Dewey W. Hellen on July 10, 1951. Maria and Dewey lived in Erwin Township and eventually bought a farm there and raised four boys.

In her earlier years, Maria worked at a Milwaukee hospital and Resort of the Woods in Boulder Junction, Wis., then was a stay at home mom. After her children were grown she worked as a housekeeper for private individuals and at Big Powderhorn Ski Resort.

Maria was a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ironwood, where she served on the Altar Guild and was a member of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. She had a strong faith in the Lord. She also belonged to the Erwin Community Club, enjoyed gardening, especially her flower garden; she loved flowers and her house was filled with different plants. She also loved to knit and crochet, fishing, bowling, and even pitched horse shoes. But most of all, she loved to cook and bake in her wood-fired oven which always turned out delicious (everything was made from scratch) cakes, doughnuts, pies and her famous Million Dollar Cake which was the highlight of every birthday party. She will be sadly missed as she was so unique in a special way.

Maria is survived by her four children, Bill (Mary), Ivan (Bettyann), John, and David (Jo); 20 grandchildren, Stacy (Quinn) Kokely, Billie Jo Hellen, Sherry Hellen, Brad Hellen, Danny and Kathy Hellen, David L. Hellen, Chris (Darlene), Allen (Celaney), Shawn (Ailene) and Barney Hinch (Robin Nasi), Karrie Ann (Matt) Sterling, Jason Hellen (Lisa Atkinson), Jamie Hellen (Rich Kasper), Bethany (Nick) Basso, Christina Hellen (Richard Manninen), Logan Hellen, Kristin (Kyle) Anderson, Nick Hellen and Sam Romero; 25 great-grandchildren, Mike Kitto, Dustin and Jordan Kokely, Amaleigh Hellen, Shealyn, Kailer and Jaxon Pease, Ethan and Kenzie Sterling, Reese and Caden Atkinson, Grady Hellen, Gabe Swartz, Max and Ruby Kasper, Owen Basso, Aiden, Connor and Everly Anderson, William Richard Hellen, and Harmony, Zade, Zerro, Shania and Shailene Hinch; one great-great-grandson, Kaysen Kitto; and former daughters-in-law, Donna LaChapelle, Mary Beth Hellen and Sally Abramson.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband on Dec. 4, 1997; and two grandchildren, Brian and Dustin Hellen.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5120 E. Margaret St., in Ironwood, with Pastor Kurt Brandon officiating.

Luncheon will be served in the church fellowship hall upon conclusion of the service.

Committal and interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Ironwood.

Pallbearers will be grandsons, Brad, Jason and Logan Hellen, and great-grandsons, Mike Kitto and Dustin and Jordan Kokely.

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church.

McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home Inc., Ironwood, is assisting the family. Condolences may be  expressed online at

Special thanks to the staff at Villa Maria Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hurley, the nurses and Dr. Phillipson at Aspirus Ironwood Hospital and Pastor Kurt Brandon, for the compassionate care and spiritual guidance given to Maria.


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