Helen Smith


Helen (Zellmann) Smith, 96, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at Edgewood Baxter.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the Fireside Room at the Northland Arboretum on Friday, July 21, 2023, at 12:30 pm.

Helen and her twin sister, Jean (Zellmann) Griffith were born on July 24, 1926, in Hillsboro, Illinois to Fred and Lydia Zellmann.

Helen earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Speech-Language Pathology and her first job out of college was in the Brainerd Minnesota school district #181 where she functioned as the district’s first Speech Therapist.

In 1951 Helen married William (Bill) K. Smith. Bill and Helen both worked in education at the Tri Point School District, Kempton, Illinois. After retiring from education Helen and Bill returned to the Brainerd Lakes area where Helen studied watercolor painting, was a member of Encore Art Club and Cross Lake Art Club. Helen’s work was shown in City Hall, the Public Library and at many art events in the area.

Helen is the last of her three siblings to pass. She is survived by her children Kathy (Smith) Thompson of Tacoma, Washington, Tim Smith of Jefferson City, Missouri, Anne Smith of Burien, Washington, and one grandson, Aiden Basco of Burien, Washington along with numerous nieces and nephews and their children. She is preceded in death by husband, Bill Smith of 66 years marriage, oldest son, Kelly Smith of Plano, Texas, and her three siblings Kay Seymour, Fred Zellmann, and Jean Griffith.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the ALS Association in Helen’s name. Her twin sister, Jean suffered from and succumbed to ALS.

Arrangements are with the Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, Brainerd.

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