Helen E. Groninga
April 8, 2023

Helen Eleanor Groninga, age 89 of Watertown, passed away on April 8, 2023. She was born on September 24, 1933 to Ralph and Nettie (Thompson) Utne in Madison, Minnesota.

Helen grew up on a farm in Cerro Gordo Township in Lac Qui Parle County and her family were active members of the Borgund Lutheran Church. She graduated Madison High School and began teaching elementary grades at the Country School near Madison. Helen went on to get her teaching degree through Mankato State Teachers College and taught elementary school in Renville and Montrose Minnesota.

Helen married Ken Groninga in 1954 and eventually settled in Watertown, devoting her life to her family and raising her children. She was a skilled seamstress and quilter who never saw a piece of fabric she didn’t like. Her most cherished times were spent with her nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, particularly enjoying their band and choir concerts.

She was preceded in death by her husband Ken, daughter Valerie Lawrence, father Ralph, mother Nettie, sister Grace, brother Bob, and son-in-law Mike Searcy.

Survived by son Tom (Clare) Groninga, daughter Lori Searcy, grandchildren Sarah (Rob) Latham, Kate (Kevin) Massey, Emily (Dylan) Giesen, Elizabeth Groninga, Addison Lawrence, Kristen Searcy, Michael Searcy, Connor (Kelsey) Lawrence, and Branden Searcy, great grandchildren Makayla, John, Kyle, Isaiah, Samantha, Jay Lynn, Genevieve, Katherine, Cecelia, Chloe, Madison, Amara and Kendall.

Memorial Service was at 11 AM on June 9, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Watertown, Minnesota. Visitation was from 10-11 prior to the service, all at the church. Inurnment in Fort Snelling National Cemetery.