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Obituary: Busch, Helen Dorothy (Olson)

Sun., Oct. 27, 2013

BUSCH, Helen Dorothy (Olson) Passed away peacefully at the age of 96, October 21, 2013 at Bishop Place Assisted Living in Pullman, Washington.

Helen was born on August 9, 1917, the daughter of Swedish immigrants Carl and Elsa Olson who settled in the Millwood area of Spokane in the 1920s.

She graduated from West Valley High School where she was an outstanding tennis player and student body secretary.

Helen came to Pullman in 1936 to attend Washington State College.

She worked at Struppler’s Restaurant and at the J.N.

Emerson Gift Shop in downtown Pullman.

During her early years in Pullman, she lived in the home of retired WSC President E.A.


Because his eyesight was failing, she read and wrote letters for him.

In Pullman, Helen met her future husband, Cletus Busch, a Uniontown native.

They were married on June 6, 1939 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pullman where she was a lifelong member and all five of her children were also married.

Except for a short period in St. John and Colfax, they spent the rest of their life together in Pullman.

Helen and Cletus built their family home on South Street when it was just a dirt road.

There they reared their five children - Terry (Joyce) Busch, Bellingham; Carol (Jeff) Oyler, Spokane; Tim (Judy) Busch, Pullman; John (Linda) Busch, Spokane; and Laurie (Pat) Caraher, Pullman; and supported all five children through WSU.

Cletus was a partner with Pullman Tractor and Implement Co. Helen cared for him at home during his long bout with Alzheimer s disease until his death in 1983.

She married retired farmer Don Sodorff in July 1989.

He died in 1994.

Helen was a devoted mother and homemaker, famous for her apple pies, cinnamon rolls, Swedish breads and cookies.

She was very supportive of her children’s activities and athletic events.

In her later years, she enjoyed golfing and was a long-time member of Pullman Women’s Golf League.

She traveled to Scotland with her son Terry and played the Old Course at St Andrews in 1992.

Other activities included bridge, oil painting and traveling with her daughters.

Among her wide circle of friends, she was known for her kindness and sense of humor.

She was lovingly called “Mor Mor” by her grandchildren.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, brothers Carl and Harry and sisters Esther, Ruth and Mabel.

She is survived by her children, 13 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Saturday, November 9 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a celebration of her life at the Bishop Place Social Room.

Kimball Funeral Home is caring for the family.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Bishop Place, 815 SE Klemgard Ave. in Pullman and designated for the Employee Scholarship Fund.

Online condolences may be sent to KIMBALL FUNERAL HOME, Pullman, WA


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