Severson obit mugshot

BELVIDRE – Helen Catherine Severson was born in Minneapolis, Minn. on Aug. 22, 1928 to immigrant parents George and Anna Schmidt.
As a girl she loved to run, ice skate, and to perform with her high school synchronized swim team.
After graduation, she worked for Sister Kenny at the Kenny Institute which revolutionized the treatment and rehabilitation of polio victims. Polio was the most dreaded childhood disease in the world during the 40s and 50s.
After moving to Belvidere in 1957, Helen continued to work in the medical field. During the 1967 tornado, she rushed from Dr. Dommer’s office to man the switchboard at St. Joseph Hospital where she had worked for many years.
Later, Helen was a medical transcriptionist at Janet Wattles in Rockford.
Helen belonged to Zion Lutheran Church and the Sorosis Club of Belvidere. She sang with the Silver Belles of the Keen Age Center. Helen loved birds–especially loons, collected gnomes, went white-water rafting at age 72 and always met life with a smile.
Her family looked forward to her chocolate-frosted brownies and her annual pumpkin carving party.
Helen passed away on Aug. 19 in Belvidere, Ill. She was 86-years-old.
She is preceded in death by her parents and two sisters Maryann and Dorothy, and by her beloved husband Arthur who passed away too early.
Helen and Art raised four children: Jean (Jim) Twyning, Mark (Lauri) Severson, Daniel Severson, and Jill (Eric) Stubenvoll.
Grandchildren are Rob (Karen) Twyning, Kristina (Rob) Surma, April Severson, Allison Severson, Jack and Shaun Stubenvoll.
Great-grandchildren are Bryce and Acadia Twyning and Sarah and Emily Surma. Helen requested a private family funeral.
Memorials may be given to the family for tree dedication in Belvidere Park or to an organization of the giver’s choice.
Condolences may be shared at

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