Helga Amalia Garrison

Category: Obituaries
Created on Friday, 21 April 2017 11:24
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Helga Amalia Garrison

Catholic funeral services for Helga Amalia Garrison, a Sitka resident since 1978, will be held at noon on Friday, April 28, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church.

Interment and a potluck reception (desserts will be provided) will be held at the church after. 

 Helga died March 26, 2017, in Monroe, Wash., with her family at her side. She was 43.

Helga was born Dec. 2, 1943, the youngest of six children of Franz Ferdinand Leischner and Amalia Kapaun-Leischner, in the former state of Hessin, Nazi-occupied Germany. When she was a small child her family became refugees in their own country, losing everything they owned to the Nazi and Russian forces as they moved through Europe.

When she was 16, she met the love of her life and husband of 50 years, Joe Raymond Garrison, while he was stationed in Germany. Helga immigrated to the United States at 17 and they married on Jan. 13, 1967, in Salem, Ore.

They moved to Alaska in 1967 following the logging industry and lived in several logging camps throughout Southeast including Rowan Bay and St. John the Baptist Bay. In 1978, they moved to Sitka making it their home, and in 1984 Helga started the second  B&B in Sitka, Helga’s Bed & Breakfast, which she continued operating until the time of her death. 

 Helga was well known for her quick wit, sense of humor and love of gardening. Anyone who knew her knew that her true passion was with the Catholic Church and her love for Jesus, and, just as important, the love and pride she had for her daughters and grandchildren – all of whom she adored. 

 Picnics were a regular part of every summer and Helga often joked about the whole town hearing their row boat adventures, including giggling, arguing and screaming as the “Garrison Girls” made their way from their house across the channel to Middle Island. 

As a longtime member of the community who took action and initiative with whatever concerned the city, Helga made many friends on the small island she called home and her kind heart and go get ’em attitude will be dearly missed. 

 Helga was preceded in death by her husband Joe in 2011; brother Franz, who died from complications of lockjaw before her birth; and sisters Aloisia and Leisel, with whom she grew up.

She is survived by her remaining siblings, Hilda and Kurt, and numerous nieces and nephews in Germany, whom she loved dearly. She is also survived by her daughter Beth Compton with grandchildren Ray (fiancé Beka Adams) and Victoria of Sitka, and daughter Tracy (husband Jay) Beavers with grandchildren Joshua, Benjamin, Riley, Maria, Matthew, Amalia and Alyssa of Duvall, Wash.

 “Everyone is welcome to attend and in honor of Helga’s sunny spirit and love for this time of year, please wear bright colors!” her family said.