Granton FFA Alumni Names
Roger and Caroline Helm
Granton's 2013 Honored  Grandparents


Roger and Caroline Helm



Caroline and Roger Helm were selected as

Granton’s Honored Grandparents for the

2013 Granton Fall Festival (Contributed photo)


Roger and Caroline Helm have been selected as the 2013 Honored Grandparents for the Granton Fall Festival. They were nominated with a letter from all seven grandchildren. They were selected by the Granton FFA Alumni committee from among many outstanding nominations and will be honored as part of the Fall Festival events Sept. 6 to 8 beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. with recognition at the queen coronation and concluding with the parade Sunday, which is National Grandparents Day.

In the nomination letter, the grandchildren said, “If you were to look up the word special in the dictionary, you would find a picture of our grandparents next to it.”  They shared numerous stories about Grandma and Grandpa, but all the stories showed one common theme and that was family time.  The letter did not focus on material gifts or possessions but rather on phone calls, visits and games.

They shared the story about one year when their grandchildren from different families all had their school Christmas programs on the same day, and Roger and Caroline traveled to be at all three programs. When asked about that day, the Helms recalled, “We went to Marshfield in the morning, Loyal in the afternoon and Bloomer in the evening.”  They said it was a tight squeeze to make it to Loyal on time, once Marshfield’s program ended, but they did it, “with the camera in hand."

The grandchildren also shared the fact ever since they can remember; Grandma and Grandpa Helm have made the Granton Fall Festival a huge event for their family. “Every year for the festival, our families get together at their house.  It becomes a hotel with everyone there.  Sometime we even put mattresses in the kitchen so everyone has a place to sleep.”  They also shared there is always plenty of good food to eat when they are there, and they are treated with carnival ride tickets and quarters for the cake walk each year.

They also noted, “When it comes to birthdays, we are all remembered. Grandma even calls us and sings happy birthday over the phone.”  The Helms said they make every effort possible to go to the homes of their grandchildren right on their birthday, whether there is a party or not, just because they want them to feel special on their special day.

As you can tell, family times ring out loud and clear as the theme for why Roger and Caroline are special grandparents.  They spent some time talking about family and shared some neat history about their life together.  They originally met at the Silver Dome when they were both out for the evening.  Roger went over and asked Caroline to dance and she said, “He had her heart from there on, and he was sure a good dancer.”  The two of them dated for five and a-half years and were married May 18, 1963.  They just celebrated their Golden anniversary this spring and spent it on an Alaskan Cruise.  To celebrate, they, along with Roger’s brother Donald, sponsored the beef for this year’s Granton benefit park picnic dinner.

When the Helm’s married, they took over the family farm on Granton Road, which was originally owned by Roger’s dad, Henry Helm. Roger and Caroline had four daughters, Debbie, Sandy, Lisa and Donna, which convinced them to eventually name the farm “Petticoat Acres” in their honor.  They farmed until 1993 when Roger retired from milking 40 head of dairy cattle and cropping 160 acres of land.  They remained on the farmstead until they moved into their current home in Granton in 1997.

Caroline helped out on the farm and stayed at home as housewife until all the girls had started school. She then went to work at Citizen’s State Bank for 11 and a-half years until moving on to Security Health Insurance for 21 and 1-half years, where she retired in 2010.  After retirement from the farm, Roger worked at Figi’s, Norm-E-Lane Farms, Granton Schools and Modern Janitorial Services throughout the next 10 years.  The Helms said they wanted to instill the value of hard work to their children and grandchildren.

The grandchildren of Roger and Caroline are Krissy Sandley, Eric and Austin Haselow, Tommy and Shelisa Bagnecki and Mariah and Katelyn Naedler.  The great-grandchildren are Haylee, Zoe and Parker Sandley.  They all added their thoughts in the nomination of their grandparents, which included how much they enjoy playing games when they visit.  These games include Sequence, cards and Farkle.

The holidays are always important for their family as well, as they all gather at Roger and Caroline’s for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, for grand dinners, where everyone chips in and brings food.

Valentine’s Day also has special meaning at the Helm household with a tradition started by Roger the year before he and Caroline were married.  He bought Caroline a beautiful heart-shaped box of chocolates, which she loved. She kept that box to display the following year, which has since had another box added each year they were married, for 51 total boxes now. Each year, she gets them out and displays them all over the house. But, the tradition did not stop there. Every year on Valentine’s Day, all of the girls in the family each receive their own special hart of chocolates from Roger, so they all come home to see their “sweetheart” Roger. This tradition has now become known as “Dad’s Holiday."

Roger and Caroline have helped with babysitting their grandchildren on many occasions throughout the years.  They even had them all together for the turning of the millennium.  Three times a week, they have the great-grandchildren at their house to babysit because the granddaughter wants her children to experience the same things that she did as a child.

When asked what legacy they would like to leave their grandchildren, Roger and Caroline said, “We want them to remember we had a lot of fun here.  Family is the most valuable thing in life, and it means more than anything. And don’t forget your faith; it is so important.”  They live this legacy in their lives, as they continue to share their time with each other and serve others.  Caroline has been the organist at church for 38 years and has helped with Sunday school and Vacation Bible School for nearly as long.  Roger served as a church elder and secretary for years, as well.  They also noted they sincerely believe, “The most wonderful place to live is Granton, and you can’t beat it."

Caroline recalls crying each year as another one of her daughters boarded the school bus for the first time, but says “with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, you get to relive that all over again, appreciating it more each time.”  Roger said he “loves watching the children grow and change."

Throughout the 50 years of their lives together, Robert and Caroline have seen numerous changes, but one thing remains, and that is love.


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 28, 2013

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, September 9, 2013

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, September 11, 2013

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