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Helen M. Classen, 93, formerly of Benton Harbor, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at her home in Hartford. She was able to live at home thanks to the help of many amazing friends and neighbors - and we will respect her wish to scatter her ashes in a private service later this summer.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held 4:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 3:00 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. In consideration of everyone’s health, masks will be required for attendance.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Helen’s name could be made to The Mayo Clinic or The Humane Society of Southwest Michigan. Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family’s on-line guest book at

Helen was born May 8, 1928, to Christian & Lillian (Rozenska) Wuszke in Benton Harbor.

She was raised on the family farm and developed a love of horticulture and agriculture. Helen played saxophone in the marching band for Benton Harbor High School class of 1946 and attended Western Michigan University.

While raising her daughter, Helen also worked over the years at Superior Steel; Benton Harbor Malleable; as Executive Secretary at Leco Corporation; and Administrative Assistant at Summit Sales & Nursery. Helen was a member of the Michigan Farm Bureau, the Berrien County Genealogy Society and was a supporter of the Humane Society. She loved working in her beautiful flower gardens, enjoying the company of her dogs, and reading emails about her great-grandchildren on the computer.

In her free time, Helen enjoyed traveling, golfing, and bowling. Her grandparents lived in the Silver Beach area of St. Joseph and Helen was instrumental in obtaining the Sand Rabbit plaque that commemorates that area today.

Helen is survived by her daughter Diane (Mark) Holstius of Sleepy Hollow, IL; two grandchildren - David Holstius & his wife Cristen Torrey of California, Laura Fehrenbacher & her husband Mike of Colorado; three great-grandchildren: Ben & Grace Holstius, Noah Fehrenbacher; her sister-in-law Nancy Wuszke of Eau Claire; and her nephew Greg (Karen) Wuszke (Elizabeth & Michael) & niece Sherri Kramp (Bryce, Jessica, & Serena).

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Lester Davis and Raymond Classen, and by her brother George Wuszke.


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