Helen Paulson Kolouch, a lover of family, fine chocolate and a good ski run, passed away at age 95 in San Francisco on Feb. 13, 2013.
A native of North Dakota, Helen spent her early life in Fargo and Detroit Lakes, where her father and later her brother both served as editor of The Fargo Forum, the region’s popular newspaper. Helen attended St. Mary’s College in North Bend, Ind., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and where she met her husband, the late Dr. Fred T. Kolouch. Together they moved to San Francisco in 1939, where Helen began her career as a medical secretary at Shriner’s Hospital and Fred completed his internship at San Francisco City and County Hospital.
In 1941, work and family took Helen and Fred from San Francisco back to the Midwest and finally to the Intermountain West, where in 1948 they settled in Twin Falls, Idaho. Helen and her husband discovered the appeal of the mountains in Ketchum, Idaho, where they purchased a small cabin. While raising her family in Twin Falls and later in Salt Lake City, Helen continued her career, first managing her husband’s surgery practice and then a medical office complex they built in Twin Falls. Helen relished her role as a businesswoman and property manager, a role she continued until just a few years ago.
In 1988, Helen, then a widow, returned to Idaho and made Ketchum her home. She was happy to return to the Sun Valley area to her old friends and to the golf and skiing she loved–-sports that she enjoyed well into her late 80s. Finally, Helen returned to San Francisco, the city where she and her husband had spent the wonderful first years of their marriage, so she could continue to enjoy an active lifestyle at a lower elevation.
Helen’s zest for life continued until the day she died. She was much loved by those who cared for her and by her many friends, young and old. She is fondly remembered for her warm hospitality, her smile and her sparkling blue eyes.
Helen was predeceased by her husband and by her daughter Peggy. She is survived by her daughter Karena and her husband, Matthew Fowler, of San Francisco; three sons, Fred Kolouch of New York City, Tom and his wife, Dr. Zhi-ping Kolouch, of Seattle, and Victor and his wife, Gigia Kolouch, of Denver; grandchildren, Karena and Ralf Youtz, Christian Kolouch, Fred and Kathryn Kolouch and Helen Fowler; great-grandchild, Ben Youtz; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to acknowledge Helen’s wonderful caregivers at Vintage Coventry, the staff of Sutter Care at Home Hospice and all the friends who brought so much joy, love and dignity to Helen in her last years.
Memorial services will be held in San Francisco and in Ketchum, Idaho. Please contact family members for details. Memorial contributions may be sent to Sutter Care at Home Hospice, 1625 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94019; to Wood River Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, Box 4320, Ketchum, ID 83340; or to your local Meals On Wheels.