Helen E. Ormesher, 99
Helen Eyla Ormesher was born Helen Eyla Lydiatt to parents Ernest and Gladys Shaul Lydiatt of Wood Lake, on October 26, 1919. She passed from this life April 16, 2019 in Lincoln. Her remarkable life of 99 years 3.5 months included the Roaring 20s and The Great Depression. During World War II she was a young ranch wife raising two small children, no doubt worried about whether Germany would defeat America or whether her beloved brother, Russell, would survive the fierce combat on the German front in Italy. As one relative says “Helen was a card carrying member of the Greatest Generation”.
Helen grew to womanhood on the family ranch near Wood Lake. She attended country grade school in a one room school house. She attended and graduated from Wood Lake High school where she was a cheerleader and sang in competitions.
In 1939 she married a young cattle rancher named James Edward Ormesher (Jim). She described Jim as her best friend and someone she loved dearly. Jim described her as “one in a million”. Their marriage lasted 58 years until Jim’s death in 1997. In her words “the marriage was blessed with two children”, Janice Corrine and James Russell (Rusty). Helen was a very loving, kind and encouraging mother, who always took a keen interest in the education and activities of her children.
Helen and Jim spent most of their adult lives living and working on their cattle ranch and irrigated farm south of Valentine, building fine herds of cattle and horses. They both supported 4-H activities of their children, showing cattle at the Cherry County Fair and at Denver. Helen was an unusually hard-working and competent homemaker and ranch wife. Family members fondly remember her good-natured smile and humor. She worked tirelessly and selflessly for others.
Helen was a member of Wood Lake Chapter of Eastern Star, holding several offices including the honor of being Worthy Matron three times. She was a member of Cherry Rebekah Lodge where she held several offices including Noble Grand. She was a member of Wood Lake Town and Country Club. Her love for the elderly encouraged her to attend an Auxiliary Meeting at Pine View Manor where she was elected President and was always very active in arranging entertainment.
Helen was a life-long devoted Christian, having been raised by parents who were very religious. The depth of her faith is evident in her life and teachings and in the writings she has left for her family. She attended the Methodist Church in Valentine and the Wood Lake Union Church.
Helen was exceptionally fond of children, taking a genuine interest in many, providing wise advice and strong encouragement. She loved them and they loved her back. Helen was musically talented, having played the piano by ear since age four. She liked nothing better than to play the piano and sing with youngsters. She greatly enjoyed poetry and wrote several poems, some of which were published in books of poetry.
Helen and Jim retired from active ranching and farming and moved to Wood Lake in 1988. Helen remained there for several years after Jim’s death and then she lived at Cherry Hills Estates in Valentine. She was living at Sumner Place in Lincoln at the time of her death. Her Pastor there describes her as a dear, sweet person.
Helen wrote she was always happiest to be with her grandchildren. They and their spouses are: Mark and Sue Watts of Lincoln, Beth (Watts) and Adam Piotrowski of Tallahassee, FL, Mary Jo Watts and Sara Warner of Ithaca, NY, Dee (Ormesher) and Marv Fritz of O’Neill, Brad and Jennifer Ormesher of Elgin, TX, Ryan Ormesher and Melissa McDaniel of Austin, TX.
In addition to her husband, Jim, Helen was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Janice (Ormesher) Watts and son-in law Minor Watts as well as by her daughterin-law Kathie (Farner) Ormesher. She is predeceased by her parents, three brothers and four sisters, numerous cousins and nieces and nephews.
She is survived by her son, J. Russell Ormesher (Rusty) and his wife Ruby of Youngsville, LA, the above mentioned six grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. Additionally, she is survived by one cousin and eighteen nieces and nephews.
Memorial Service for Helen Ormesher will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Valentine. Inurnment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Valentine. s Chapel of the Pines is in charge of service arrangements.