In Memory

Helene LaCASSE (Nurse) - Class of 1980 VIEW PROFILE

Helene LaCasse

1926 - 2012


MISSOULA – Helene J. LaCasse, 86, of Missoula, passed away on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 12:18 a.m. at Village Health Care in Missoula of natural causes hastened by a short battle with bile duct cancer. She was born on January 26, 1926, at Biddle, Montana, the daughter of Dan and Rose Leary.

As a young girl she lived with her family on a ranch in Biddle, just outside of nowhere.  She often spoke of the hard lessons and tough times of her childhood that seemed to forge tight bonds between her and her two sisters.  Helene graduated high school in Broadus.  Shortly thereafter she moved to Missoula and enrolled in the Sisters of Providence School of Nursing.  Her intentions were to serve in World War II providing medical care for our nation’s wounded, however the war ended just before she finished her training.

Upon completion of her schooling with Sisters of Providence, Helene worked in Boulder and Great Falls performing her clinicals.  She moved back to Missoula and took a job at St. Patrick Hospital where she worked as a nurse for many years.  Helene lived a wild and free life until the day she met a dashing young man named Henry.  He stole her heart, and she eventually stole his last name.  Mr. and Mrs. Henry LaCasse built a home on the LaCasse Family Ranch just outside of Frenchtown.  Henry worked the ranch, and Helene raised their three children.  She later returned to work as a nurse, at the pulp mill in Frenchtown, and worked there until she retired.  In her spare time, Helene loved to sew, craft, and grow flowers.  After they both retired, Helene and Henry spent time traveling, playing poker with friends, camping, and building memories with family.  Helene and Henry were married 47 years before his passing in 1997.

Helene was an active member of the Catholic Church in Frenchtown.  She enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren.  Fair time was one of her favorite times of the year, and she loved working with her grandchildren to enter various flowers, baked goods, vegetable monsters, and 4-H animals.  She will be fondly remembered by her children and grandchildren for her great family gatherings, home-cooked meals, full cookie jar, “preserving” butterflies, and catching crawdads with bacon on a string.

With the passing of Helene LaCasse also comes the passing of a generation.  The wisdom and strength of our parents/grandparents will be missed, and we only hope we can carry on as well as they in their absence. Although Helene will be dearly missed, we know our Lord is rejoicing in the return home of another of his saints.

Helene was preceded in death by her parents, Dan and Rose Leary; her son, Larry LaCasse (Recovery); her husband, Henry LaCasse; and her sisters, Betty Smith and Marion Kane.

She is survived by her son, Allen and his wife Laurie LaCasse of Missoula; her daughter, Rosemary and husband Jay Howard (Maintenance) of Frenchtown; her daughter-in-law, Julie Knight-LaCasse of Frenchtown; her grandchildren, Kristie and Angela Howard, Nick, Jamie and Dora LaCasse, Rachel, Chad, Shane, and Justin LaCasse, Kamala Shepard and Tamara Rosenthal; and 18 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank all of the nurses and staff at Village Health Care who took such loving and compassionate care of Helene in her last weeks of life.

We would also like to apologize for burying you on Halloween, Grandma, but we know you are laughing in heaven.

Visitation was held at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula Tuesday, October 30 and was followed by a Vigil Service.  Funeral Services were held the next day at St. John the Baptist Church in Frenchtown.  The burial  followed at the new St. Mary’s Cemetery in Missoula. A reception was held at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula. It was the family's wishes for all to join them in the celebration of the life of Helene.

Garden City Funeral Home assisted Helene’s family with arrangements.

Rest in Peace dear Friend.

Click here to see Helene's last Profile entry.