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Helen Mary Moshak

July 25th, 1934 - July 19th, 2023

Helen Mary Moshak of Longmont, CO, formerly of Skokie, IL, died peacefully in the early morning of July 19,202, six days shy of her 89th birthday. Never shy herself, she was born in Appleton, WI in 1934, the Daughter of Lawrence Casper and Mary Ann Driessen Casper. One of six children, she is preceded in death by her husband, John Moshak and four siblings, Lynn Belanger, Lee Casper, Barbara Marian, and Mary ( Liz) Casper. She is survived by her children Helen Moshak ( Scott Baskerville) of Louisville, CO; Jenny Moshak ( Chris Hofmann) of Seymour, TN and Damian Moshak ( Joni Moshak) of Cathedral City, CA and her brother, David Casper of Combined Locks, WI and Numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. Helen attended Appleton Senior High School and graduated with honors from Lawrence College with a Bachelor of Arts in English while serving as an editor at both the college newspaper and the literary magazine. She began her long and storied career in public relations after moving to Chicago where she started at Daniel Edleman & Associates while living downtown. She met and married John Moshak in 1963 and together they raised three children in Skokie, IL. She was a wonderful wife and loving mother. Together they built a beautiful woodland retreat in Michigan to share with their family, friends and community. Throughout her professional life she worked as a public relations freelancer for small businesses, political campaigns, local library systems and non-profits. She helped launch and promote Darome, Inc. , a ground breaking telecommunications startup and worked with the college of Lake County and the Skokie Public Library. She served as the president of the local League of Women Voters and volunteered with civil rights movements and political campaigns to end racial discrimination, protest the Vietnam War, pass the Equal Rights Amendment, and advocate for civil and gay rights. In 1997, she became a founding board member of Literature for All Us, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young women and men in need share books, write poetry , love literature and use their voices. Over the decades, she shared her love of reading and writing by editing, coaching, teaching, and volunteering to help countless people harness, refine and appreciate the power of the written word. She was a constant source of wit, wisdom, laughter and support. She welcomed all at her table, nourishing people's minds, hearts and stomachs with her soup, clever edits, puns and warmth. She loved to play cards ( bridge, hearts, and canasta), visit with friends, attend theatre, participate in book groups, travel and read books- many, many books; the New Yorker magazine and the New York Times. In their last years, she and John moved to Bridge at Longmont, a wonderful assisted living community in Colorado, to be near family and support. Folks visited from across the Midwest and many often called and wrote, sending words to connect and continue their friendships. She is loved by many and will be deeply missed by her family and community. In honor of Helen's request, in Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fistula Foundation, helping women to restore their health and lives. A Poem by Karen Thomson on the occasion of Helen's 70th birthday, June 2000 Helen has a razor eye She slices the extras from wordy faxes With never a word of reproach I've just tightened it a bit, she says Helen is a woman with a heart Helen is a woman who shops the sales The first to pull out the checkbook for a good cause Helen is a woman who sucks up books, the McNeil-Lehrer report And Mexican Indian realities with equal zest Helen is a woman of one- liners, a standup comedienne with a gavel Helen is a girl you'd really want at your slumber party And Helen is a woman who has a home She opens to girls she doesn't know She makes their beds up fresh and sets a big table Complete with cloth and candles Serves bowls and platters of salad and steaks And then brings out cheesecakes swirled in chocolate and caramel How about some dessert she says? Are they hungry, Ducky-do? Thats what she calls me "Sweetie" she calls the girls They call her Miss Helen And ask her why she has them to her house She tells the story again and again It's called: How We Found The Land How our kids Planted Thousands of Tiny Pine Trees with Us How We Camped Out for Years While John Built the House And then they say, but where are your kids? Oh, now they're all grown up - so you're our kids! We built this house to share- and they accept And scatter - to bedrooms to snuggle in the clean sheets Sometimes for the first time in their lives They rest on the couch and write poetry They help themselves to endless streams of snacks And big bowls of John’s homemade vegetable soup Each secretly determines that she will someday create a home for her kids That is just like this one– Each dreams of a man who will help Meanwhile Helen and John play charades and Spades And go for walks with anyone who will– Each tentative step on forest floor banishing the Murderer lurking behind the trees It is called “Thinking Outside the Box” “Widening Horizons” “Cultural Enrichment” I call it fruit salad and friendship I call it love at the Land I call it just plain goodness

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