Helen Heins

March 3, 1927–January 5, 2024

Helen Faye Heins of Poulsbo passed away at the age of 96 on January 5, 2024 at her son’s home in Edmonds, WA. Her husband, Roscoe Heins, preceded her in death in 2009. Survivors include her three children, Lisa (Doug) Ruecker of Vancouver, WA, Cory Heins of Edmonds, WA and Derek (Cris) Heins of Piedmont, CA. She also leaves four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Helen was born March 3, 1927 in the small town of Presho, South Dakota (pop. 527), the second of four children to Julia and Albert Abdnor, a Lebanese/Syrian immigrant. Her parents ran a general store in Presho.

After graduating from Presho High School in 1945, Helen attended the University of Nebraska where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1949. While walking across the Nebraska campus one day, a friend from her hometown, who was in the dental school, introduced her to one of his classmates. On December 30, 1949 Dr. Roscoe Heins and Helen were married in Presho and then traveled by train to Seattle. Roscoe took her to Poulsbo where he had set up his practice as one of Poulsbo’s first dentists and had rented a modest unit in “The Project” for their first residence. While living there, they met a number of other newlywed couples who became life-long friends.

Helen was a piano teacher in Poulsbo for a number of years and also served as the organist at First Lutheran Church where she and Roscoe were members. They raised their three children in the home they had built in 1955. Helen continued to live in that house after Roscoe passed away. For the past five years, their son Cory lovingly cared for her there when she was unable to live alone.

Helen was a stay-at-home mom who found time for the Ne Si Ka Garden Club, First Lutheran’s Womens’ Guild, and to be a founding member of both the Lillian Larson Orthopedic Hospital Guild and the Kitsap County Dental Auxiliary. She often filled in as her husband’s dental assistant and eventually became his full-time partner at the office during their final 18 years there. When Dr. Heins retired in 1985, so did his very efficient and able assistant, Helen. They sold the dental practice to Dr. Kregg Hoover, a classmate of Lisa’s and the son of one of their oldest friends, Hal and Helen Hoover.

During retirement Helen volunteered with Poulsbo’s Friends of the Library, the Kitsap County Library Foundation and the City of Poulsbo Library Board and at Harrison Memorial Hospital. She loved assisting the paid staff and patients at the hospital; after all, she had told her daughter that she would have liked being a nurse.

She also started quilting, something she had always wanted to do. She went at it full-force, learning from classes and other quilters, while becoming a founding member of Kitsap Quilters. Helen strove for perfection in everything she did. Accuracy and precision when matching fabric pieces and in her hand stitching is apparent in all her quilting projects.

A memorial service for Helen will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 12:30pm at First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo. Remembrances can be mailed to PO Box 95 Poulsbo, WA 98370. Donations in Helen’s memory can be made to World Concern 19303 Fremont Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133