Cover photo for Helen L. Peter's Obituary
Helen L. Peter Profile Photo
1935 Helen 2024

Helen L. Peter

February 5, 1935 — May 18, 2024

Helen Louise (Bierwagen) Peter, much loved wife, mother, grandmother and child of God, was born February 5, 1935 in the family farmhouse in Delmont, South Dakota. She was baptized on February 17, 1935 at Zion Lutheran Church in Delmont.  

In 1945 the family moved from Delmont to a ranch in Milesville, SD, which Helen’s father worked along with her older brothers, Hubert and Norman. She was a salutatorian when she graduated eighth grade in 1948, one of 31 graduates of the county-wide ceremony. Later that summer she was confirmed in her Lutheran faith at First Lutheran Church in Milesville.  

Her family’s commitment to education – combined with her father’s wish to have a church worker in the family – took her to Concordia High School in Seward, NE as a thirteen year old. She would spend her next eight years at Concordia, Seward, completing high school in 1952 and her Bachelor of Science degree in church music in 1956. During her time at Seward, she went on seven choir tours, served as a house mother one year, and made life-long memories and friends. Helen was one of the few women to be an 8-year student, as students did not need a full bachelor’s degree to teach in a Lutheran school. 

As a 21-year-old, Helen was placed by the LCMS to teach at Concordia High School/College in St Paul, MN. She had a busy schedule, teaching music appreciation to high school students, directing the college women’s choir, giving organ and piano lessons, and serving as the residence hall counselor. She also met fellow instructor, Carroll “Pete” Peter.

Their first date in August 1956 was at the Minnesota State Fair. Carroll was a “persistent proposer” and Helen finally said “yes” in February 1957. In August 1957 they were married at University Lutheran Chapel and moved into an apartment on the college campus. Over the next year, both of the newlyweds continued their teaching duties at Concordia.   

After their first child, Kathy, was born in November 1958, Helen continued to teach until the end of the academic year. A move to Roseville and the arrivals of children David (1960), John (1963), Beth (1966) and Sarah (1967) took up much of her time as she turned her focus to being a stay-at-home mom. 

While she retired from the classrooms of Concordia, Helen never retired from being an educator. She taught piano lessons out of the home from 1968 – 1998. She led Junior Great Books discussions at King of Kings elementary school. She also served on the church’s Board of Christian Education and helped develop a church library. Later she served as leader of the Concordia Retirees’ Book Club.

With a great sense of curiosity and adventure, Helen and Pete were lifelong travelers, often with their children. For many years the family crossed the nation pulling their trusty Steury pop-up trailer so they could camp. After retirement, Helen and Pete expanded their travels to see the world, visiting over 20 countries across four continents. They continued to travel as much as they could to see family and friends until Pete’s death in 2021.

When, in the last years of her life, she was burdened by dementia and confined to a wheelchair, Helen remained firm in her faith until she was called to her heavenly home on May 18, 2024. Her confirmation verse from Matthew 11, “Come to me all you are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest” remained at the center of her life. 

Helen is preceded in death by parents, Walter and Louise Bierwagen; spouse, Carroll Peter; daughter, Sarah Peter; brothers, Hubert, Norman and Gilbert Bierwagen and their spouses. She is survived by children, Kathryn (David Jones), David (Ann), John and Beth; grandchildren, Jessica (Aaron), Jacob (Becca), Becky (Jake), Emily (Phillip), Gretchen, Amanda, Nicholas (Janelle), Raelynn (Trevor), Thomas; three great-children, Wesley, Emmett and Elouise; and many nieces and nephews.  

Memorial Service 10:00 am Saturday, May 25 at King of Kings Lutheran Church, 2330 N. Dale St., Roseville. Visitation at the church from 9:00 - 10:00 am Saturday. 

Livestream of service: King of Kings

Interment Elmhurst Cemetery.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, May 25, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

King of Kings Lutheran Church

2330 N. Dale St., Roseville, MN 55113

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Memorial Service

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

King of Kings Lutheran Church

2330 N. Dale St., Roseville, MN 55113

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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