Helen M. "Helly" Gritzner

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Helen Mae “Helly” Gritzner, 78, of Elkader, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, at her home in Elkader surrounded by her family. She was born on May 19, 1945, in Red Wing, Minn., the daughter of John and Marie (Heimberg) Buhler. She was raised and educated in Pine Island, Minn., and was a 1963 graduate of Pine Island High School.


On Oct. 16, 1965, Helen was united in marriage to Charles “Chuck” Gritzner at Pine Island, Minn. Three children were born to this union. Together they lived in Winona until 1969, when they moved to Manchester to join Chuck’s father and uncle at their business, Baumgartner Gate Factory. Helen worked in the office at the factory.


Helen enjoyed cooking and gardening. She loved being outdoors and enjoyed spending time at their cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin. Family was most important in her life. Helen especially enjoyed spending time with her siblings, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 


Survivors include her three children, Dan (Joan) Gritzner of Manchester, Amy Alfrey of Montezuma and Ann Gritzner of Elkader; five grandchildren, Courtney, Morgan and Jake Gritzner and Jenny (Kyle) DenHartog and Kayla (Scott) Cook; three great-grandchildren, Charlie, Addison and Wells; six siblings, Ernie (Nancy) Buhler of Woodbury, Minn., Floyd Buhler of Colorado Springs, Colo., Irene Blohm of Rochester, Minn., Evie (Dick) Berge of Iron River, Wis., Louise Wobig of Bella Vista, Ark., and Barb Crabb-Jennings of Edmond, Okla.; sisters-in-law, Jean Buhler of Manhattan, Kansas, and Dar Buhler of Waseca, Minn.; brother-in-law, James (Zoe) Gritzner of Clive; and many nieces and nephews.


Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Chuck Gritzner; two brothers, Will Buhler and Al Buhler; and in-laws, Grace Buhler, Neil Blohm and Orv Wobig.


Online condolences may be sent to www.leonard-mullerfh.com.


The family will have an open house in her memory from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 1006 First St. NW, Elkader.


Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester is assisting the family.

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