Claire Anne Helsper, age 87, of Ashland left this earthly world and passed into Glory on October 28th, 2021. She was born on November 13, 1933 to Charles and Clara Brotzler in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Claire graduated from South St. Paul HS, attended business college and worked various jobs before landing her dream job of executive secretary to William McKnight of 3M. Love changed the course of her life when she became the wife of Francis “Buzz” Helsper, an Air Force Officer. The next 20 years found them stationed all over the United States and Japan while raising 8 children. Following his retirement, they settled in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After raising her family, Claire attended Chippewa Valley Technical College and graduated with a degree in Medical Transcription and entered the work force again at Midelfort Clinic and Group Health Cooperative in Eau Claire.
Her sense of adventure and humor did not die with her passing. Claire wanted everyone to know she was a “very old lady” which she considered a miracle in and of itself as she spent much of her youth and adulthood partaking in activities that could have killed her. Some of her many adventures included, running through a greenhouse window resulting in numerous stitches, jumping off a roof with an umbrella, flying down a ravine on a bike with no brakes, and facing a Brahma bull on a deserted road in a station wagon full of kids are only a very small example of her crazy escapades. She was also famous for taking wrong turns. One time she drove on a runway, along with her little brothers and ended up trying to outrun a plane. The plane won. Years later, on a cross country road trip, a wrong turn in a small town in Arkansas found herself in a downtown parade much to the embarrassment of her children…so she just waved! Claire even fought off an intruder in her home with a cast iron frying pan only to find herself years later, serving on a homicide jury and the weapon was a cast iron frying pan. She laughed at all these memories, stating her life was never boring and wondered if God allowed her to live this long just to see what she would do next. We know her crazy antics are ongoing in heaven as she has also been reunited with her two dear friends, Mo and Alice. If you have any interest in following her ongoing saintly mischief and escapades in heaven, Claire strongly encourages you to follow Jesus and you too, will know… “the rest of the story”
Claire is survived by daughters, Lynn (Mike) BeBeau-Ashland, Lisa (Gary) Case-Panama. Sons, Patrick (Danny) Helsper- Washington, Kevin Helsper-Eau Claire, Christopher Helsper-Eau Claire. Daughter-in-law-Karen Helsper-Idaho. Brothers, Dan (Pat) Brotzler-Arizona, Joseph (Karen) Brotzler-Minnesota. Numerous Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren all of whom she loved dearly.
Claire was preceded in death by her husband, Francis “Buzz” Helsper and sons, Michael, Timothy and Shaun Helsper.
A Memorial Gathering of family and friends will take place on what would have been Claire’s 88th birthday, at 10:00 am Saturday, November 13th at Pleasant Valley Methodist Church in Eleva, WI. A Celebration of her life will follow at 11:00 am officiated by her grandson, Jonny BeBeau.