Helen passed away at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, CA. To all who knew her, she was full of riddles, jokes, laughter, positivity, and loved life. It brought her great joy to see others smile; she truly loved to make others laugh. She also loved to garden, cook, bake, sew, and quilt. She was a strong lady who fought a good fight these past six weeks, but her little body just could not hold up anymore.
Helen was born at home to Merlin and Sarah Brugger, in Tulare, SD. She was the fifth of ten children. Growing up on a farm in Tulare, SD, there was never a dull moment with nine siblings, cows to milk, gas station to maintain, cabins to rent out, restaurant to operate, and lots of chores to do. After graduating from high school, she went on to Stewart’s Beauty School in Sioux Falls, where she got her cosmetology license. Shortly thereafter, she met Gerald (Jerry) Otten, to whom she was married for 56 years. While rearing their two girls, she continued to work as a cosmetologist. During their retirement years, they traveled to the Midwest, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, Lake Tahoe, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, and St. Kitts. Wherever she went, she would tell her riddles, stories, and jokes, always bringing a smile to someone’s face. She really enjoyed the time she spent with family and friends.
Helen is survived by her husband, Jerry, of Montclair, CA; her two daughters, Jodie (Thomas) Stahl of Rancho Cucamonga, Lori Fredrich, of Lompoc, CA; grandchildren, Jacob Stahl of Rancho Cucamonga, Dr. Kayla Stahl of Rowlett, TX, Jolynn (Joey) Hayden of Medford, OR, Alex (Brooke) Fredrich of The Woodlands, TX, Phillip (Mary) Fredrich of Stanley, NC; great grandchildren Viviana Fredrich and Lane Fredrich; her sisters, Elaine Binger of Tulare, SD, Vickie (Delton) Tipton of Pierre, SD; her brothers, Leonard (Louise) Brugger of Riverside, CA, Bob (Marlene) Brugger of Redfield, SD, Jerry (Kathy) Brugger of Fontana, CA; sister-in-laws, Rita (Wayne) Nelson, of Redfield, SD, Kathy Brugger of Etiwanda, CA, Hermina VanMeeteren of Luverne, MN, LaVonne Otten of Luverne, MN; and 35 nieces and nephews.
Helen loved the Lord, her family, and friends. She was a faithful and loving wife, a devoted mother, and a loyal and trustworthy friend. She will be dearly missed!
Viewing will be Friday, March 18 from 5-8 PM at Todd Memorial Chapel at 325 N. Indian Hill Blvd. in Claremont, CA. A celebration of life will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, March 19 at La Verne Heights Presbyterian Church at 1040 Baseline Rd. in La Verne, CA. Burial in Riverside National Cemetery will be at 9:30 AM on Monday, March 21 at 22495 Van Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Diabetes Association or to the LaVerne Heights Presbyterian Church. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Todd Memorial Chapel.