Helen Beilsten, age 98, passed away very suddenly on August 7, 2020. She was born in Los Angeles, 1922.
Helen was an amazing, very loving mother, and a beloved wife. She had a sweet sense of humor and a beautiful soul. She was happily married to Harry Beilsten, who predeceased her in 2015, for 70 years, and they had so many wonderful adventures. She is survived by her daughters, Susan Branston and Debbie Vayder; three grandchildren, Tammy Varnum, Jenny DeGroat, Sheri Obranovich; and her 3 great-grandchildren, Austin Penney, and Audrianna and Emilie Obranovich.
Helen was an accomplished singer and pianist. She and Dad met singing together for many churches and venues in Los Angeles, and sang the leads in the opera “Carmen” for the San Gabrielle Opera Company. They married during WWII, which changed her singing ambitions. They started building houses during the war while working fulltime jobs. They built 14 homes and an apartment complex over their lifetimes, for which Mom drew the plans and ran the skill saw.
In 1962 they moved from LA to Lake County. Helen loved the country, and taught us to appreciate the beauty of nature. We learned to sing, play piano and cherish gorgeous music. She came from a family of ranchers in New Mexico and Arizona and she bought a ranch in Lake County complete with cattle, horses, and pear trees. We loved every minute there learning to garden and become horse- loving cattle folk enjoying everything the country life had to offer. Every cow was special. The pigs all had names. She went to the horse auction and bought a horse that jumped the fence a few days later. They purchased a restaurant in the bay area to supplement their lives, and ran both places for many years. Helen had always loved art, and traveled abroad and to Alaska, Canada and the US gathering pictures for her paintings. She sold many of her paintings and was in the Painters of America catalogs. She wrote a novel, taught us to sew, to bake, to garden, to laugh, to love, to cherish life, and in spite of many downturns and challenges in her life she always remained positive. Her message to us was “that taking risks is ok, and don’t give up when difficult times come.” One of her favorite sayings was “It’s in God’s hands.” The last year of her life she said “If you have any joy in your life, live it now,” and about the Covid Virus and life in general she said “Don’t you think the Lord will take care of us?” In her last few weeks she said “Go with God every day.” We will miss her until we see her happily with Dad in Heaven above. We were lucky to have known her, and I am sure she is shining brightly in Heaven. We all love you forever Mom.