Helen Therese (Wedge) Brant, 89, passed away peacefully, July 29

Helen Therese (Wedge) Brant, 89, of Saint Joseph, MI, passed peacefully into the Heavenly Gardens of her Lord on Saturday afternoon, July 29, 2017 surrounded by family. Helen was born Feb 18, 1928 in Terre Haute, IN to the late Joseph Alfred and Esther Susan (Klingenberg) Wedge. She married the late Joard “Jack” Brant on Feb. 9, 1948.

Helen was devoted & loyal to all whom she loved. Her family was her utmost joy. All of the holidays & family gatherings were special to her, especially Christmas. She did her best to ensure her children received something of what they wished for; sometimes, this is where her luck came in handy. Her descendants remember her as an intuitive, competitive woman who loved life & delighted in inspiring others to let life be an adventure as she did. Helen had many interests which included taking her children camping, trips to the beach, swimming, boating, fishing, a love of dogs, horseback riding, the rodeo, skating, & skiing, both downhill & cross-country. She always welcomed dark chocolate while at the same had candy to offer others, including one for the road. She was an accomplished homemaker who enjoyed sewing, gardening, home improvement projects, cooking & canning with her children learning at her side.

Her competitiveness and luck often surfaced while playing a game of Scrabble, Words with Friends, many card games, gaming, and watching football as an avid fan of the Denver Broncos & the Notre Dame Irish. As a young girl, Helen won both archery & Scrabble championships at the Kiwanis. In her adult life, she entered a national Scrabble competition and a Wii Golf Tournament. Both demonstrated that she wasn’t afraid to take her competitiveness to the next level.

Helen was artistically gifted & while young, one of her drawings was selected to be considered as a stamp. As an accomplished artist of numerous medium, her artwork included stained glass, wood carvings, tole, oil & water paintings. Helen often entered her work in the county fair where she was awarded numerous ribbons. At the age of eleven, she began working as a soda-jerk. Her later career interests included earning high rankings & awards for Avon sales, working for the March of Dimes, & 25 years as a telephone operator beginning with “Ma Bell”, ultimately retiring from AT&T in 1990 as a lifetime member of the Communication Workers of America (CWA). As an enthusiastic organizer, in her younger years, Helen led a Brownie Troop, & along with her friends was instrumental in organizing “Femme Frau”, a women’s club that gathered weekly at Kiwanis Park to picnic & brainstorm about the organization’s many philanthropic activities. She was a member of the Telephone Pioneers & the American Legion Auxiliary. Helen loved to travel & her adventures took her on numerous family reunions on Prince Edward Island where she reconnected with hundreds of cousins she had never known, trips to Las Vegas, camping in Alaska with her grandsons’ Boy Scout Troop & most importantly, backpacking through the Holy Land on her Pilgrimage to visit the sites where Jesus performed His miracles. Helen also journeyed to Mount Carmel in Haifa to visit the Baha’i’ Holy Site known as “The Shrine of the Bab”.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, her sons David Michael and Timothy Sean Brant, granddaughter Jill (Schrader) Kiser, her sister Mary Ann (Wedge) Story, her brother Alfred Joseph Wedge & Joard “Jack” Brant, the father of Helen’s children.

She is survived by two daughters: Kathleen Olsen of Benton Township, Patricia (Ryan) Schrader of South Bend, & son John Brant of Saint Joseph; 8 grandchildren: Erik (Kari) Olsen, Clint (Michelle) Olsen, Amanda Olsen (Eric) Musson, Theresa Zerbel Renner, Timothy (Mary) Zerbel Jr., Laurie Schrader (Kurt) LaDow, Wendy Brant Freeling Hoffman, & Jason Brant; 21 great grandchildren:  Logan Snyder-Olsen,  Kaleb (Rebekah) Cole,  Dayna (Travis) Schuster, Alyson Olsen,  Ashley Olsen, Nolan Olsen, Samuel Olsen, Jessica Perkins (Michael) Forsyth, Jaina Renner, Joshua Renner, Jonathon (Bethany) Ward, Grace Zerbel, Karley LaDow, Brandon Kiser, Brooke Hoffman, Victoria Benson Brant, Dylan Hill, Teaghan Brant, Carson Huber Brant, Payton Brant, & Kendra Brant; 6 great, great grandchildren: Cade Stephens, Carmen Stephens, Alexa Alsup, Landon Schuster, Travis Schuster Jr. & Lorelei Ward, with two more expected in Sept.; plus scores of nieces, nephews & cousins whom she dearly loved.

Visitation will be Fri, Aug 4, 2017 from 5-8 pm with Rosary at 7:30 pm, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd, St Joseph. A celebration of life mass will be held at 10:30 am, Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at St Bernard’s Catholic Church, 555 E Delaware Ave, Benton Harbor with Father Harold Potter officiating. Burial will follow in Riverview Cemetery with a luncheon immediately following. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be given to Birthright, 2700 Niles Ave., St. Joseph MI, American Legion Auxiliary 3093 Johnson Rd., Stevensville MI, or Lake Michigan Catholic Schools. Those wishing to leave a condolence online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

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