June 19, 2019
Joan Ruth (Wetterling) Helland, 82, passed away Friday morning, June 7, 2019, at Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow, Mont., surrounded by friends and family members.
Joan was born in Kensington, Minn., Feb. 5, 1937, to Waldo J. and Eleanor (Larson) Wetterling. She was the oldest of four children. The family moved to Glasgow in 1945 to farm for Henry Osterberg, and Waldo later bought some land in the Milk River Valley between Glasgow and Nashua. Joan's mother, Eleanor, was a long-time elementary school teacher in Valley County.
Joan graduated from Glasgow High School and married Ronald Blikken Helland on Jan. 22, 1955. She was a homemaker for the first 15 years of their marriage, raising seven kids along with providing room and board for workers at the Air Force Base (now St. Marie) for a few of those years. When her seventh child started kindergarten, she began working alongside her husband at The Glasgow Courier and Courier Printing. In 1978, her husband, Ron, became the publisher/manager of The Glasgow Courier. Joan became the publisher in 1988 after Ron passed away, and she left that position in 1993. She then worked at the Glasgow City Office until 2006. After retirement from her City office job she had a part-time position at the First Lutheran Church as secretary.
Joan served on several boards and organizations: First Lutheran Church Council, Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, Valley County Republican Committee, FMDH Foundation, PEO, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and served her church on the altar committee and quilting group. She loved to play cards (bridge and whist being her top two games). Her first "bridge club" was started in 1958, and she continued to play bridge throughout her life. The last several years, she played bridge at least three times a week. She also enjoyed going to her grandchildren's sporting events and preferred a baseball, basketball, or football game on TV while doing her needlework and reading. She hand-stitched beautiful pillowcases and dish cloths. She was lovingly referred to as "Grandma Joan" to many of her great-nieces and nephews and her grandchildren's friends.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; son David Helland; brother John Wetterling; two sons-in-law, James Fewer and Tom Link; and two sisters-in-law, Carol Helland and Pearl Wetterling.
Joan is survived by two sons, James Helland and Tom (Lynette) Helland, of Rapid City, S.D .; four daughters, Karen Link, of Billings, Mont., Beth (Harry) Knowlton, of Solon Springs, Wis., Stephanie (Monte) Eayrs, of Fallon, Mont., and Jennifer Fewer, of Glasgow; 16 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one sister, Sharon Wetterling, of Eugene, Ore .; one brother, Charles Wetterling, of Missoula, Mont .; one brother-in-law, Frank Helland, of Bozeman, Mont .; and numerous nieces and nephews and many good friends.
Services for Joan were held at First Lutheran Church in Glasgow, Saturday, June 22, at 11 a.m. followed by a graveside service at the Highland Cemetery.
Her memorial preferences would be First Lutheran Church, The Pioneer Museum, and Valley View Nursing Home.
Condolences may be left at bellmorltuarymontana.com.