Helen Gallagher Moen died peacefully at her home Jan. 10, 2016, surrounded by her family, just five days after celebrating her 90th birthday with all her children present.
Helen was born Jan. 5, 1926, in Mandan, N.D., to Judge and Mrs. Richard and Lillian Gallagher. She had five siblings (Kitty, Kathryn, Tudy, Richard, Ruth) who all preceded her in death. She graduated from Mandan High School, the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN, and the Vogue school in Chicago.
Although life took her away from her beloved Mandan, Helen always looked forward to returning for annual visits to celebrate her mother’s birthday and visit with siblings.
Helen married her husband of 39 years, Frederick W. Moen, on Sept. 15, 1951, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bismarck, ND. Fred died Jan. 1, 1991. The two met through their work: Fred was working at The Associated Press, covering the Legislature, and Helen was a page with the North Dakota Senate. They spent their honeymoon in Bozeman, MT. On their travel to Bozeman, Helen wore “an apple green knit suit with purple accessories,” according to the local paper’s society page, while Fred packed his fishing pole. That sums up their life!
Helen raised five children and lived the life of an AP spouse. Helen followed Fred’s long career, dutifully moving the family across the country to Kansas, Missouri, Arizona and Tennessee as he ascended the ranks of the AP. Helen proudly hosted and participated in many AP functions and events, always at Fred’s side.
Helen is survived by their five children — David, Lenexa, KS; Gary, Prairie Village, KS; Mary Ring (Kevin), Mission Hills, KS; Robert (Dorothy), Cheyenne, WY; and Martha Rybak (David), Basalt, CO. She’s also survived by 10 grandchildren – Matthew Moen, Fargo, ND; Gallagher Ring (Emily), Denver, CO; Joseph Moen (Kelsey), Sioux Falls, SD; Erin Moen, Portland, OR; Libby Ring, Denver, CO; Benjamin Moen, Aberdeen, SD; William Rybak, Basalt, CO; Thomas Rybak, Basalt, CO; Luis Moen, Kansas City; Delaney Moen, Kansas City, and one great grandchild Olivia Moen, Sioux Falls.
Despite being afflicted by dementia in her last years, Helen’s true personality still showed through her engaging smile, infectious laughter, sense of humor and always charming social graces. Her ability to always be present and in the moment is a lasting gift to her children and grandchildren.
The family is greatly indebted and appreciative for the loving, daily care provided by Helen’s caregivers Mimi O’Laughlin and Erica Bright whom Helen considered as part of the family.
Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Ann Catholic Church Chapel 7301 Mission Rd, Prairie Village 66208. Following a luncheon, burial will be at Corinth Cemetery in Prairie Village. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.
Condolences may be expressed at www.cathyb6.sg-host.com. Assistance by Brian O’Laughlin of the Funeral Advocates www.FuneralAdvocates.com. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Signature Funerals of Kansas City, Mo.