Helen R. Kottas
Jan. 4, 1924 – March 11, 2020
Helen Rose Kottas, the youngest daughter of the late Anton and Mary Nadherny Stejskal, was born near Tobias on Jan. 4, 1924. She passed away March 11, 2020, at Ridgewood Care Center in Seward. Helen grew to womanhood in the Milligan vicinity, living on a farm southwest of town. She attended Milligan public grade school and high school, graduating in 1941 as valedictorian of her class.
Following graduation, she taught rural schools for two years. On Oct. 27, 1942, she married William J. Kottas in Hawthorne, California. This union was blessed with four children, Sharon, Marylin, Janice and Douglas. During her younger years, Helen helped part time in their grocery store in Tobias.
She was active in community and civic affairs volunteering her time. She was instrumental in organizing the Tobias Community Historical Society in 1968, where she served as president for more than 27 years. She also assisted with the Girl Scout troop, 4-H club and served as a den mother for Cub Scouts. Her interests were in helping her children excel in their activities. She enjoyed history, sewing and all types of music. She and her husband enjoyed dancing to big band and polka music.
Helen believed in helping veterans and promoted Americanism. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, joining in 1946. She held many offices over the years including District 11 president and served as the Nebraska Department legislative chair and Nebraska Department publicity chair. Helen was active with the Catholic church. She held offices with the Parish Council of Catholic Women and served on the Crete Deanery Board. She volunteered for many pro-life events and was news reporter for Sacred Heart Church for many years. Other organizations she was active in were the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, Military Order of Purple Heart Auxiliary, Extension Club, WFLA Lodge Krivoklot 79, Nebraska Rural Letter Carriers’ Auxiliary, Saline County Retired Teachers, Saline County Music Choir and Saline County Museum Board.
Helen was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She enjoyed having her grandchildren and great-grandchildren come to visit. They all looked forward to eating her traditional Czech foods, especially her apricot kolaches. Helen and Jimmie celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary on Oct. 27, 2019.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Anton and Mary Stejskal; sister, Mildred Tesar; brother in-law, William Tesar; and nephew, William E. Tesar.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, William J. Kottas; children, Sharon (Allen) Brozovsky, Marylin (Albert) Ericksen, Janice (Mark) Schweer and Douglas (Dawn) Kottas; 14 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was March 16 at Sacred Heart Church in Crete. Burial was in the Tobias Public Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in care of the family for St. Gianna Women’s Homes and Catholic Women’s Care Center in Lincoln. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kunclfh.com.