Sr. Helen Kohler, IHM, 87, died Thursday, Feb. 7, at her home, the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe.
Sister Helen was one of four daughters and three sons born to William and Mary Rose (Lambur) Kohler. She was born on May 25, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio, and baptized Helen Marie at St. Joseph Parish, Lorain. She attended the parish’s elementary school and St. Mary High School. After graduation, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe and received the religious name, Sister John Vianney.
Sister Helen earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. From 1953 through 1975, she taught in the Detroit area at St. Cecilia, St. Agatha High School and Marygrove College; in the Chicago area at St. Felicitas and Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, Westchester; and in Monroe at the Hall of the Divine Child. Sister Helen had a special affinity for personal tutoring of students in special need or difficult circumstance. Working through the University of Michigan, she provided tutoring services at the Ypsilanti State Hospital. Sister Helen was hired into the W.J. Maxey Boys Training School, Whitmore Lake, to teach basic and special education for the next 24 years.
After retiring from teaching, Sister Helen resided in Belleville and often served as a volunteer tutor. She moved to the IHM Motherhouse in 2010 and was always quick with a joke or endearing story from her years of teaching to share with residents and staff.
Sister Helen is survived by a niece and her sisters in community. Preceding her in death were her brothers: Arthur, Fred and Francis, and sisters: Dorothy, Lucille and Beatrice (Sister John Bosco, IHM).
Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, on Thursday, Feb. 14, beginning at 9 a.m. followed by a Remembering and the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery on the Motherhouse Campus. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund.