Helen Mildred Hensleigh 102 of Kalispell died July 12, 2020 in Kalispell. Helen is survived by her children William Hensleigh, Jim Hensleigh, Sheila Hobbs, Tom Hensleigh and Mary Thane. Services will be held in late September 2020. Johnson-GloHelen Madler Hensleigh passed away on July 12, 2020 at the age of 102.
Helen fit a lot into those 102 years. She was a wife, mother, faithful Catholic and an
extraordinary player of the game of Bridge. She was born in Baker, Montana, but left Baker at age 16 to attend business college in Great Falls and two years later started her career as bookkeeper for Montana Dakota Utilities in Baker.
Helen married Lyle Hensleigh on January 31, 1943 in Baker and relocated to Kalispell while Lyle served in WWII. During the initial years in Kalispell Helen worked as a bookkeeper for Winkler Dress Shoppe. She then devoted her energy to raising five children: Bill, Jim, Sheila, Tom, and Mary Kay. She cheered them on in all their athletic endeavors, but basketball was her favorite sport to watch. Helen could be found watching NBA ball games even up until the end in the company of her son Bill; always rooting for the winning team! Helen and Lyle celebrated their Golden Anniversary during the summer of 1993.
Helen was a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and dedicated her time, talent and treasure to make sure it thrived.
Helen founded the Kalispell Duplicate Bridge Club in 1954, originally in the family home, before it moved to Main Street above Jordan’s Cafe. The Bridge Club could be called her second family as she devoted more than 75 years of her life to the game. Many articles in the Daily Interlake chronicled her successful career. She was very proud to be a Gold Life Master of the game. There are countless people who enjoy playing Bridge as a result of attending the many classes she taught.
Our Mom was very social and enjoyed entertaining. She and Lyle hosted many parties and Mom continued to do so for several years after Lyle’s death. She didn’t have a drivers’ license and was frequently seen walking about Kalispell, usually at a very brisk pace.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Lyle in 1993, her grandson Brian, her great grandson Rhys and son-in-law Robert Hobbs. She is survived by her children Bill and Bonita Hensleigh (Heath, Garth, Devon,); Jim and Jennifer Hensleigh (Liza, Dan); Sheila Hobbs; Tom and Mitzi Hensleigh (Chris, Tyler); and Mary and Mark Thane (Emilie, Lindsay); as well as her brother, Robert Madler, and eight great grandchildren. She is also survived by life-long friend Florence Sutherland, former daughter-in-law Lisa Hensleigh and devoted niece Rayna Weiss.
The family is very appreciative of all those who cared for our mom from the periphery including Flathead Valley Bridge Club members, Crevier’s, Eagle Transportation, and members of St. Matthew’s Parish. Special thanks to the staff of Prestige/Expressions and Frontier Hospice who took such good care of our mom in her later years.
Memorials may be directed to Feed the Flathead, Meals on Wheels or the Helen Hensleigh Memorial Scholarship for students attending St. Matthew’s School. The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, September 25th at 1:00 p.m. in St. Matthew’s Parish.
schat Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.
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