Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Clarence 'Kelly' Helgren

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Clarence "Kelly" Helgren, 92, formerly of Ironwood, Michigan, died peacefully on March 24, 2023, in Nashville.

Kelly was born in 1930 in the Helgren family home in Erwin Township, Michigan, that was built by his grandparents, John and Anna Helgren, in 1906. Despite only having an eighth-grade education, Kelly earned an associate degree from Gogebic Community College, and later a bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University, and a master's degree from the University of Michigan. He was a school teacher in White Pine, Michigan, and Garden City, Michigan, before retiring in 1987.

Kelly is survived by a sister, Karen (Lloyd) Anderson of Venice, Florida; son, Paul (Tammy) Helgren of Ottawa Hills, Ohio; daughter, Julie (Jim) Podewitz, of Franklin, Tennessee; as well as six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Hilda Helgren; siblings, Marge Reichardt, Evelyn Workman and Charlie Helgren; eldest son, Ted Helgren; and great-granddaughter, Maddie McHenry.

A celebration of Kelly's life will take place at the old Helgren farmhouse on Helgren Road in Erwin Township on Sunday, July 2.

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