Helen Louise Kretzer, our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away at her home in Clarkston, Wash., Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009.


Helen Louise Kretzer, our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away at her home in Clarkston, Wash., Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. Mom was born in Peru, Neb., Sept. 8, 1919, to Christian and Katie Maude Adams. She was the third oldest of 11 children. She attended school in Nebraska City, Neb.

On July 2, 1940, she married Harold Nickeson. They farmed south of Lincoln, Neb. They had two daughters, Joyce Elaine and Coleen Ann. However their marriage ended in divorce. After the divorce she moved to Nebraska City, where she owned and operated a nursing home on Kearney Hill.

In 1959, she and her girls moved west and settled in Moscow. She became the primary caregiver for Robert Weisel, a paraplegic.

She met Doyle M. Loehr, who was Mr. Weisel’s doctor and neighbor. They married, and enjoyed traveling and fishing for many years. They retired to Safford, Ariz., where mom enjoyed establishing an antique shop.

After her husband’s death she moved to Loveland, Colo., where she became a caregiver to her uncle and aunt. There she met and married Ralph A. Kretzer. They later retired and moved to Belen, N.M. They became active in the Presbyterian Church where she became known as the “Cookie Lady.”

She loved baking cookies, sewing, doing various crafts and volunteer work.
She and Ralph lived there for 25 years until his death in 2002.

Mom moved to Clarkston in 2004 to be closer to her daughter, and several of her nine grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

She still enjoyed some traveling, visiting her daughter Joyce in Elk Grove, Calif., and going back to Belen and a family reunion in Nebraska. In 2005, she traveled to southern California to her grandson’s wedding. She loved her grandchildren dearly. On June 26, 2006, while on a visit to her beloved Belen she suffered a stroke. After spending two weeks in the hospital, we flew her home, where she entered a rehabilitation facility. She returned to her home on August 22, 2006, where she spent her remaining years.

She is survived by her two daughters, Joyce and husband Tom Paulsen, and Coleen Nickeson; former son-in-law, Herb Schumacher; nine grandchildren, Keith and Robyn Paulsen, Kim Gyles and Joe Schmalz, Kris Paulsen and David Whitley, Kirk and Tanya Paulsen, Lori Ann Duvall-Jones and Pete, Lisa Clyde and Tim, Lynn Hochberger and Kent, Scott and Beth Schumacher, and Jeff and Denise Schumacher; 25 great-grandchildren, Alexandra and Zachary Paulsen, Aaron, Taylor and Kaitlin Gyles, Jillian and Madeline Schmalz, Andrew and Dylan Paulsen-Whitley, Sophie Paulsen, Amanda Duvall and Eric Jones, Samantha and Nicholas Clyde, Katie and Abigail Hochberger, Kylie and Madison Schumacher, Cody, Victoria, Paige, Britany, Christopher, Jessica and Josie Schumacher; her brothers, Jess and Bill Adams; and her sisters, Twyla Gillispie and Phyllis Adams.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Charles and Floyd Adams; sisters Iva Rakes, Nellie Thorne, Faye Hostetter and Lillian Bauche.

Mom will be cremated and a small memorial will be conducted in Clarkston. In July 2010, she will be interned in Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City with her family and friends celebrating her life.
Mom was 90 years old on her birthday in September and she had a full life. She will be greatly missed.