Memorial Mass for Sister Helen Jean Washtoak

Sister Helen Jean Washtoak, 90, a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, died of COVID Sunday, November 22, 2020 at Avera Mother Joseph Manor, Aberdeen, SD.

 A virtual Prayer Service and sharing of memories will be held December 17, 2020 at 4 p.m.  The Memorial Mass is private and will be celebrated by Reverend Joseph Sheehan in Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Presentation Convent December 18, 2020 at 11 a.m. Inurnment will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery. Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Sister Helen Jean Washtoak was born May 30, 1930 in Henry, SD to Ferne Velcie (Brando) and John Peter Washtoak.  She graduated from Henry Public High School in 1948. She entered Presentation Convent, professing vows August 1951 and receiving her religious name, Sister Mary Carmen.

Sister Helen Jean received a bachelor degree in Elementary Education from Northern State University in 1967 and a master degree in Religious Studies from St. Mary’s Winona MN. in 1974.

Sister Helen Jean’s ministry in education spanned from 1951 to 1986.  She taught at St. Mary, Sioux Falls, Notre Dame, Mitchell, Sacred Heart and Roncalli, Aberdeen, St. Joseph, Mobridge, St. James, Chamberlain SD; St. Stephen, Anoka, Our Lady of the Lake, Mound, St. Adrian, Adrian, MN. From 1986 to 2001 Sister served in pastoral care at McKennan and St. Luke’s Hospital and as Director of Pastoral Care for Aberdeen Living Center.  Later she volunteered at Avera St. Luke’s and continued prayer ministry at Presentation Convent. Sister enjoyed history and writing poetry and she will be remembered for her leadership and organizational skills.  

Sister Helen Jean is survived by her community family of Presentation Sisters, many nephews, nieces and friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents; 4 brothers: Robert, Edward, John, Michael; and 2 sisters: Marie and Agnes.

Sister requested that Memorials be sent to the Presentation Sisters to assist in the needs of women and children.