May 15, 1928 - April 3,2021
Helen C. (Ryan) Pomije, age 92, of New Prague, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend, passed away peacefully in her home in the presence of her loving family on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
Helen was born on May 15, 1928 on a farm in Cedar Lake Township near St. Patrick, MN, the youngest of seven siblings born to James J. and Nellie (Hart) Ryan. Helen was baptized, received First Holy Communion, was confirmed, and married at St. Patrick Catholic Church. She attended District 32 St. Patrick School and graduated from Jordan High School. Shortly before graduating, Helen met “the love of her life,” Ralph B. Pomije of New Prague, MN. Soon after, because he left for military service, a courtship through letters began. One evening while Helen was at a dance with her girlfriends in an upstairs ballroom in Jordan, the handsome young Ralph in his dress uniform, on leave from the Navy, showed up by surprise. While her girlfriends looked on smiling, Helen and Ralph’s first dance was to the newly-popular “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” and the rest is history! While Helen and Ralph continued to date she worked for a while at the dry cleaners in New Prague. Then, on April 17, 1948, they were united in marriage and made a home in New Prague where they raised five children. Once the children all reached school age Helen began working as a seamstress at Queen of Peace Hospital. She worked for thirty-nine years, only retiring at age 73 to care for her Ralph who had become ill.
Throughout her life Helen was hard-working, but she also loved to have fun. She belonged to two bridge clubs and enjoyed cooking and baking, especially her delicious pies, mocha cakes, crescent rolls, and her well-known marshmallow brownies. She was an accomplished seamstress who could sew anything! She found pleasure sewing and giving away hundreds of baby quilts and comforters and created thousands of costumes for theater productions. She was a faithful fan of both the Timberwolves and the Twins, whether they were winning or losing. Never leaving the house without her lipstick, Helen always looked forward to dressing up to go dancing with her Ralph and other couples to the Medina Ballroom. Helen possessed strong faith which she passed on to her children. She was extremely proud of her Irish heritage. Her Irish eyes were always smiling, reflecting her warm heart and welcoming hospitality on all who entered her home. She loved babies! She made each grandchild and great-grandchild feel loved and special and sang many lullabies in her sweet voice. She sewed baby quilts for each child, and all knew that Grandma’s cookie jar was never empty and there were always plenty more chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. As the children grew up she would never forget to send a birthday card and would make for each child specially designed comforters, clothespin bags, pot holders, embroidered towels, and cookbooks of her favorite recipes. Helen had a deep commitment to family and friends and was a ministering angel to anyone in need or in sorrow. She had boundless love as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. Always kind and gentle, Helen was an example of living life with grace and heartfelt compassion.
Helen C. (Ryan) Pomije, “the last rose of St. Patrick,” will be forever missed and remain in the hearts of those she loved--her children, only son David (Barbie) Pomije; four daughters Kathleen (Richard) Ebnet, Monica (Norm) Kokes, Anne Mayorga, and Margaret (Mike) Tschimperle; 15 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; many dear nieces and nephews; and devoted friends.
Preceding Helen in death and welcoming her to her home in heaven are her dear husband Ralph; her mother and father, James J. and Nellie Ryan; all her siblings--J. Robert “Bob” Ryan, M. Loretta Stanton, Evelyn “Evie” A. Seifert, John P. Ryan, Elizabeth “Betty” T. Boegeman, and Roland “Rollie” J. Ryan; many other relatives; and friends.
A private Visitation for family will be Monday, April 5th from 5:00-8:00 pm at the Bruzek Funeral Home. Mass of the Christian Burial, open to the public, will be celebrated by Fr. Kevin I. Clinton on Tuesday, April 6th at 10:00 am at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in New Prague with interment immediately following at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery. Masks and social distancing are required in church.
Memorial donations preferred to St. Wenceslaus Catholic School.