Obituaries » Helyn Marie Duff (Bartelt)
November 8, 1922 - July 21, 2019
Duff, Helyn Marie (Bartelt)
of Rosemount passed away peacefully July 21, 2019 at the age of 96 years. She was born November 8, 1922 in Rosemount. She met husband Eugene ‘Gene’ Duff at the Gopher Ordinance Works and they were married for over 73 years. While raising their daughters and caring for her mother, Helyn managed a career as an accomplished secretary for Singer Sewing Company, a reporter for Dakota County Tribune, a radio reporter for KDWA, and a communications manager for Dakota County Technical College. Helyn was an involved committee chairperson with the Minnesota Chapter of the American Cancer Society. When Dakota County Tribune was named the state’s Outstanding Metropolitan Area Weekly Newspaper for 1975, Helyn was honored at a banquet celebrating the award. She was praised for “her objective reporting of key educational issues”. She and Gene were extremely dedicated and involved in countless family and Rosemount community activities, church commitments and civic duties. Helyn’s life was marked with service and purpose.
Helyn had a generous spirit and a desire to be of service. Story after story is told about the schoolteacher on bedrest in the Duff house for weeks, friends or family members who needed a temporary landing spot, helping daughters relocate, or the 6 months of weekly TLC visits for a pregnant triplet-mom. She was ready to lend a hand in any circumstance.
Helyn will be remembered as a spicy redhead, a lover of music and dancing and square-dancing, a hostess extraordinaire. Helyn is credited for getting Gene to dance for the first time, and after one whirl around the dancefloor with her, there was no going back. She was the consummate hostess at the many Duff parties and get-togethers held for family and friends. They maintained a very full social calendar. Helyn and Gene enjoyed traveling and were ‘snowbirds’ for 20 winters in Mesa, AZ where they enjoyed their retirement. Helyn was an honorary Irishwoman because of her dedication to Rosemount and its Irish heritage. She treasured the annual Leprechaun Days, particularly the parade.
Helyn will be missed by her husband Gene; her 3 daughters Susan (Don) Hansen, Paula (Dean) Crissinger, Cynthia Liggett; 6 grandchildren Michael (Karen) Mullery, Shannon Mullery, Christopher Mullery, Amy (Matt) Murry, Becky Crissinger, Megen Liggett and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by daughter Nancy Duff, parents Ernest John and Louise Bartelt, and 3 sisters Hilda Larsen, Martha Helvig and Evelyn Lawerence.
Funeral at 11am on Sat., July 27, 2019 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Apple Valley, with visitation one hour prior. Interment Rosemount Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial preferred to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.