Denver Vance Helland went to his heavenly home on January 28, 2014, at the Sheyenne Care Center, Valley City, ND. Denver was born, August 26, 1913, to Henry and Mabel (Vance) Helland in Hill County, Havre, MT. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church in Hill County on November 11, 1913. In 1919, the family left their homestead and moved to Ft. Ransom, ND. As a young man he traveled to Washington to work in the wheat fields of the Palouse area. He returned to ND and started a trucking business.
Denver loved to dance. It was at a dance that he met his future wife, Mabel Olson. They were married October 12, 1940. He trained to be a machinist at Ellendale Technical School and following completion of the course, the young couple moved to Bremerton, WA where Denver worked in the Puget Sound Navy Yard. He worked on all of the damaged Navy warships during WWII helping to return them to sea duty.
In 1944, Denver and Mabel returned to ND. Denver resumed his trucking business and purchased the John and Victoria Olson farm near Kathryn, where they farmed and raised their family. Denver started farming with horses, moved on to tractors and mechanized machinery, and lived to see the onset of technological agriculture. He was a pioneer-never afraid to try something new.
He was an active member of the community. Denver served on the Nordheim Lutheran Church board and the Oakhill Township Board, was president of the Barnes County Farmers Union and the Kathryn Community Local, served on the State (ND) Farmers Union Board and the GTA Marketing Group. He participated in many fly-ins to Washington DC meeting with members of Congress, was a 4-H leader, served on the Hastings School Board, was a 1959 Barnes County Soil Conservation winner, and served on the finance committee for building the Sheyenne Care Center.
During the spring of 1995, Denver and Mabel moved to Valley City, ND. She died on May 31, 2000.
On April 6, 2002, Denver married Alice Heifert.
Since August of 2008, Denver has made his home at the Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City.
Denver was the last member of his birth family. His legacy lives on in his children: Marlene (Thomas) Sagaser, Deloris (Larry) Welken, Dennis (Paula) Helland, and Donna (Roger) Hentges. He also leaves 10 grandchildren, Teresa Sagaser, Shannon (Edward) Maschmeier, Marilyn (Allen) Tigges, Linda (Edward) Levin, Lisa (Bruce) Amundson, Brian (Georgia) Welken, Erin (Steven) Welken, Karl (Ginger) Helland, Kevin Helland, and Lee Hentges; 23 great grandchildren; and one great great grandchild. He is also survived by his wife, Alice and her family.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mabel; parents; brother, Marvin; sister, Harriet; granddaughter, Jill Hentges Hogue; and his grandson, Steven Denver Welken.
The funeral for Denver will be held at 11 AM, Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Oliver-Nathan Funeral Chapel, Valley City. Rev. Brad Edin will officiate and burial will be in Memory Gardens near Valley City in the spring.
Visitation will be on Thursday from 4-7 PM at the Oliver-Nathan Funeral Chapel. An online guestbook is available at www.oliver-nathanchapel.com