Cover photo for Helen Dorothy Sanvidge's Obituary
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1924 Helen 2022

Helen Dorothy Sanvidge

February 25, 1924 — February 18, 2022

Helen Dorothy (Noffke) Sanvidge passed away peacefully at 1:30 a.m. on February 18, 2022, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She was 97 years old, a week away from her 98th birthday. 

Born on February 25, 1924 in Appleton, Wisconsin, Helen was the daughter of the late Henry August and Marie Agnes (Schroth) Noffke. In 1935, her family moved to Oshkosh, where her father had started a business, Noffke Fuel. 

After early grade school years at St. Therese in Appleton, then grade school and high school at St. Mary's School in Oshkosh, and senior year at Oshkosh High, Helen went to the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota for one year. She then went to millinery school in Chicago, and afterwards opened Helene's Hat Shop in Menasha. 

Helen met her late husband, Neil Sanvidge, when he was working as a coal truck driver for her father's business in the years before World War II. After Neil left for Army duty as an MP in New Caledonia and the Philippines, they wrote to each other throughout the war. They were married on February 15, 1947, and Neil began building houses. Helen and Neil raised their family in Oshkosh, with trout-fishing-season weekends at a cottage on the Wolf River in Langlade, until 1971, when they moved up to Langlade full time. 

In Oshkosh, Helen started a non-rural 4-H club with her friend Joyce Misch. When a proposed dam threatened the upper Wolf River, Helen organized a successful petition campaign with her Langlade neighbor, Herb Buettner, to fight it. When a historic train depot in nearby White Lake was about to be demolished, Helen and neighbor-friend Ken Peters were able to save it. That restored train depot was the beginning of the White Lake Area Historical Society, and Helen was its first president. 

In her spare time, she was obsessed with birds and wildflowers, started Northwoods Naturals, a shop in their former cottage, and enjoyed RV traveling with her husband, Neil. After Neil died in 2005, Helen remained in Langlade for several years and then moved to Winneconne to be closer to her family. In 2010, at age 86, she married Del Schwaller, a grade school classmate, who died in 2019. 

Helen Sanvidge is survived by four daughters: Susan Sanvidge of Oshkosh, Diane (Frank) Seckar and Jean (Floyd) Wouters of Winneconne, and Julie (Kevin) McClellan of Lebanon, Ohio; and seven grandchildren, Nathan Bluestone of Oakland, California; Amy (Bob) Albright of Butte des Morts; Frank (Jodi) Seckar III of Oshkosh; Angie (Jeff) Seckar-Martinez of Austin, Texas; and Anne Seckar Cleaver (Mike Mellenthin) of Appleton; Jared (Christina) Wouters of Chicago; Austin (Sarah) Young of South Grafton, Massachusetts. Helen also leaves behind six great-grandchildren: Cami Albright, Robert Albright III, Reed Seckar, Paige Seckar, Addie Seckar-Martinez, and Chloe Seckar-Martinez. 

Besides her parents and her husband Neil, Helen was preceded in death by her brothers, Henry Noffke, Jr. and James Noffke; an infant daughter, Mary Pat; and an infant granddaughter, Carrie Sanvidge Wouters.            

Graveside services will be held on Thursday May 26, 2022 at Town of Wolf River Cemetery  W1768 Memorial Dr. White Lake Wi at 1 p.m followed by a reception at the Wolf River Town Hall N4393 Blue Goose Dr. White Lake WI 54491 until 4 p.m.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Dorothy Sanvidge, please visit our flower store.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, May 26, 2022

1:30 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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