Helga L. Lenz, January 15th, 1928 - March 27th, 2023

Helga's Obituary

Helga L. Lenz, 95, passed away peacefully after a full life on Monday, March 27, 2023 at Woodland Terrace in St. Joseph, MI.

Friends may visit with the family honoring Helga on Friday, March 31, 2023, from 12-1 p.m., followed by a celebration of life service at 1 pm, both to be held at Starks & Menchinger Chapel in St. Joseph, Michigan. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made the D.A.N.K. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at ww.starksfamilyfh.com.

Helga was born January 15, 1928 in Bad Salzuflen, Germany to Albert and Charlotte, nee Waterbär, Hollmann. She attended the private Berufsschule in Bad Salzuflen, where she excelled in her secretarial business courses. During her studies she would also meet her lifelong friend, Annelise Schormann. Helga’s caring spirit led to her close relationship with her nephew, Bernd, whom she helped her sister, Hilde, raise during WWII. On December 30, 1954, she married Reinhold Lenz in Bad Salzuflen. They immigrated to the United States and arrived in St. Joseph, Michigan, on July 13, 1956, with their eldest daughter Annette. After arriving in the states Helga and Reinhold would grow their family and together found fulfilment in raising their four children.

In 1959, Helga and Reinhold helped co-found the D.A.N.K (Deutsches Amerikanisches National Kongress) Chapter 13, where she was an active member of the Frauengruppe (women’s group) and celebrated her German heritage amongst friends and family. She enjoyed the annual Oktoberfest, Christmas and Easter festivities with her family, especially her grandkids. Among her many passions were entertaining family and friends at various celebrations and gatherings. Helga enjoyed attending and participating with local German heritage festivals and singing along with a variety of German music. She took great joy in cooking her family sensational traditional German foods. Among family favorites was her famous “Oma potato salad” and highly requested Blaubeer and Apfelkuchen. In 1972, Helga and Reinhold began their wholesale German import business, Lenz Import Center, which they both took great pride in.

Helga is survived by her children, Dr. Annette Friend (Dr. Neal Penneys) of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Marianne (Mark) Dine of St. Joseph, Gabriele (Steve) Radies and Christopher Lenz (Melinda Wicks) both of Stevensville; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Brent) Robbins, Melissa (Joe) Behr, Richard (Lori) Dine, Chad Radies, Matthew (Sarah) Dine, Justine Radies, Phillip (Alicia) Dine, and Elizabeth (Greg) Schrubba; great-grandchildren, Ashton, Gavin, Rhys, Charlotte, Kyle, Aunalea, Nathan, Riley, Jacob, Zackary, and Abigail; closest friend, Annelise in Germany, nephew Bernd and numerous other nieces and nephews both in the United States and Germany. She was preceded in death by her husband, Reinhold, her parents and sisters, Anny and Hilde.