Helen Raker, Sioux Falls, SD, died January 9, 2017, at Sanford USD Medical Center. She was 95. Funeral Services were held on Monday, January 16. On-line condolences may be left at the Miller Funeral Home website.
Helen J. Raker was born October 29, 1921, to Emma and Joe Haverberg in Centerville, SD. She was second oldest of their six daughters. Helen attended Centerville Public Schools and graduated from Centerville High School in 1939. Active in the Scandia Lutheran Church youth programs and choir, she also played the piano and bassoon. After high school, she served an apprenticeship in a local beauty salon where she satisfied all requirements to become a licensed beautician. At this time, Helen met, fell in love with, and married Donald B. Raker of Brookings, SD. He was serving a one-year pharmacy internship in a Centerville pharmacy. Helen married Don on June 6, 1943 and they made their home in Brookings, SD where Don finished his pharmacy education and began his career.
Two years later, Helen became a mother to Bob. In 1947 Don took a pharmacist’s job at Schirmer’s Pharmacy in Mitchell, S.D. While living in Mitchell, Helen gave birth to her second son Jim. In the opinion of friends, family, her sons and husband, Helen became an outstanding homemaker and a fantastic cook. In 1952 Helen and her family moved to Sioux Falls, SD when Don became a traveling pharmaceutical salesman. They joined and became involved in First Lutheran Church. She was deeply involved in mothering her two boys, by volunteering at school and by making sure the boys finished their homework and refereeing the boy’s squabbles.
Helen worked in various capacities for Norwest Bank from the late 60’s retiring in the mid 80’s. As they got closer to retirement, she and Don began making trips to Arizona to escape winters in SD. The trips began with a two-week stay in Sun City and finishing in 1999 as a 3-month trip. She took up golf and continued golfing not only in Arizona, but was active in ladies’ golf leagues in Sioux Falls well into her 80s. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Don, in 2000. She is survived by her sister, Margaret Godsk; sons, Robert (and his wife, Karen) and James; grandchildren, Andrea Raker, Gretchen Black and Joel Raker; and great-grandsons, Drew, Colton and Greyson Black, and Mason and Axel Raker.