Helen “Mailbag” Mae Thilmony (77), resident of St. Maries, passed away at the Schneidmiller Hospice House surrounded by her loving family. She was born to Klemens and Ann (Jacobs) Schwahn on July 10, 1944, in Killdeer, N.D. Helen grew up in Spokane and graduated from Central Valley High School with the class of 1962.
Following high school, Helen moved to North Dakota to study Education at Valley City State College. She met Dick Thilmony and the couple married on June 10, 1965, in Oriska, N.D. They made their home on a farm in Oriska. In 1967 they moved to Mattoon, Ill. where she went to work at an antique store. To be closer to family, in December of 1969 they moved to St. Maries. Initially renting from Dick McFadden, he was instrumental in helping her obtain a job teaching at the St. Maries Catholic School. Helen taught there a few years until the school was closed. At that time, Dick had been running a mail route, which Helen took over and ran it for over 50 years. She semi-retired in 2011 but helped fill in on the mail routes as needed.
Helen enjoyed bowling, camping, and traveling. She had taken cruises, spent time in Hawaii, and her favorite place Cancun, Mexico. Helen enjoyed traveling in the warm sunshine and loved the beautiful places she went. Her greatest joy in life was her grandchildren. She played a huge part in their lives and helped Kim out tremendously when they were younger. They were her life, and she never missed a program or sporting event they participated in. They were by her side right until the very end.
Helen is survived by her husband of 56 years Dick Thilmony of St. Maries, her daughter Kim (Walter) Chappell of St. Maries, her grandchildren DJ Chappell and Lexi Chappell both of St. Maries, bonus grandson Ryan Vannatter of St. Maries, bonus daughter Kari Turner of St. Maries, and her sister Jean (Bob) Benthagen of Spokane, Wash. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Leo Schwahn, Virgil Schwahn, Kenny Schwahn, Norbert Schwahn, and special friend Rondi Elders.
At Helen’s request, there will be no services. Her ashes will be placed at her favorite place in Mexico. You may visit her online tribute at hodgefuneralhome.com.