/ Obituaries / Helen Merker Williams

Helen Merker Williams


Helen Merker Williams, currently of West Bend, was born on Jan. 2, 1927 in Milwaukee to the late Herman “Lonnie” Merker and late Helen (nee Fehr) Merker and passed away at the age of 93 on April 5, 2020, in West Bend.

Helen attended Milwaukee Downer Seminary, Finch College in New York and University of Wisconsin in Madison before marrying the late Franklin Charles “Buzz” Williams II on Feb. 22, 1947. “Buzz” died on July 7, 1993. They are survived by their three sons — Nicolas Kurtz (Carol) Williams, Peter Merker (the late Eda) Williams and James Gibbs (Deborah Sabol-Williams) Williams and their grandchildren, Jack Gibbs (Sarah) Kolb-Williams, Ted James (Molly McManus) Sabol-Williams and Kristen Elizabeth (John Meriwether) Williams.

At the time of her death Helen was one of the very last surviving great-granddaughters of George and Henrietta (Brandhorst) Brumder. George was a prominent Milwaukee publisher of German language newspapers and books.

During her life Helen believed in volunteerism. In Milwaukee she was a member of the Junior League of Milwaukee, where she actively worked in their Children’s Theater program, their Penny-Wise Thrift Shop and their annual money raising Follies theater productions. Later she became involved in and was President of The Service Club of Milwaukee for several years. Helen was a member of The Woman’s Club of Wisconsin.

In retirement Helen and “Buzz” spent their summers on Crab Lake in Presque Isle, and their winters in Tucson, Ariz. At the lake Helen was the treasurer of the lake association, was a “Loon Ranger” for more than 30 years and helped form the Crab Lake Conservation Foundation. Helen was especially proud of the fact that she spent 93 consecutive summers on the same property at the lake and 30 winters in Tucson. In Arizona Helen made fine jewelry and was a member of the Skyline Country Club. She returned to winter in West Bend in 2013.

Helen was preceded in death by one brother, Herman Fehr Merker and her stepfather, George Sprackling. She is survived by one brother, Timothy Frederick (Annette) Merker and one cousin, John Fehr (Alcy) Merker. 

Celebrations of life will be held in both West Bend, and Presque Isle at a later date with private internment.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Helen’s name can be made to the Crab Lake Conservation Foundation (CLCF) P.O. Box 256, Presque Isle, Wisconsin 54557 or Project Loon Watch, c/o Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute 1411 Ellis Avenue, Ashland, Wisconsin 54806.

Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has been entrusted with Helen’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at www.myrhum-patten.com.


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