Helen Sapa

helen sapa

Helen M. Sapa, 90, Fargo passed away Thursday, April 14 at Elim Care and Rehab Center, Fargo.

Helen Margaret Silseth was born September 6, 1920, in St. Paul, MN, to Arthur Francis and Helen Cecelia (Ryan) Silseth. She grew up on a farm near Rutland, ND, and attended school there. She graduated from Havanna, ND, High School. She married Joseph Ambrose Sapa on August 7, 1940, in Havanna. They lived on the Leo Sapa farm in Cayuga, and in Rutland after Joe was discharged from military service. They moved to Fargo in 1958, and have lived here since. Mr. Sapa passed away in 1982.

Helen was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Rutland for 62 years. She was also a member of Catholic Daughters of America. Helen was a very active member of St. Mary's Cathedral, the CFM and Women's Guild and enjoyed doing volunteer work for the church.

She is survived by three children, Margaret Hartze, Fargo, Jean (Dave) Seifert, Fargo, and Jerry Sapa, Rutland, sister, Marguerite (Cod) Hewitt, Fargo, brother, Arthur "Rusty" Silseth, Becker MN, 13 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, children, Joe Arthur, Alacoque Gibb, Mary Helen Konewko, two infant sons, and an infant daughter.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Hospice of the Red River Valley and/or Fargo Catholic Schools.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Devils Lake ND
    Margaret, Jean and Jerry, Please know you and your family are in our thoughts and in our prayers! We are so sorry we could not make it to the funeral. The Paulsons

  2. Crystal MN
    I am sorry to hear the loss of your mother. Our prayers go out to you and your family. Your mother is looking over you and your family from heaven.

    Your faith in Jesus Christ
    and the comfort of your family will provide strength during this time of sorrow.

    Keep strong and look forward to seeing you in the future. Take care and God Bless!

    Paul McConville (Shaney HS Class of ’65).

  3. Laurel MTAunt Helen was a great gal and a joy to be around as was Uncle Joe. I will treasure the memories that I have stored in my heart. Love & Prayers, Fritz and family.

  4. Fargo ND
    Helen Sapa, though small in stature, was a giant of a human being. My relationship to her and her family goes way back, and I’ll not forget the joy and insight she brought into so many lives. She was a person of courage, conviction and strength. Her spirit lives on. Tom Matchie

  5. Bismarck ND
    Jean, Jerry, Margaret and families, my thoughts and prayers are wilth you at this time. It is not easy to have a parent pass away. I have fond memories of Helen & Joe as we were growing up together and spending time at the Sapa’s. May you take comfort in those very good memories of your Mom.

  6. Omaha NebraskaOur prayers are with you. So sorry we can’t be with you, but please know you all are in our thoughts. A memorial will be sent to the Red River Hospice in honor of your mom.

  7. fargo ndMy thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve the death of Helen and celebrate her life. May you experience the healing presence of Jesus as you grieve and may you hearts be filled with gratitude, peace and joy.
    Sr. Maureen Walker

  8. Edina MN
    Jeanie, Margaret Ann and Jerry –
    Carol Ann called me last night to tell me about Aunt Helen’s passing. I remember her as this tiny dynamo who loved the family gatherings, was always ready to help someone else even though she had a large family and much of her own work, and was by far the best bread baker in the county. I am so sorry that I will be unable to be with you as you say your last goodbyes, but please know my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
    Love to all,
    Your Cousin

  9. Fargo ND
    I heard the angels chattering enthusiastically. The Grand Visitor had arrived. No one could visit like Helen. She was the best. She was one of those quiet behind the scenes volunteers that makes the Democratic Party great. She was always willing to work the election day polls, be a precinct chair, or bake goodies for a fundraiser. I still have incredible memories of her cooking. Her baking was definitely a taste memory not to be forgotten.

    Though the tears of sadness never cease, my prayers for you is that the tears of laughter flow as you remember the happy times shared.
    God gave us memories so we might have roses in December. (Barrie)

    God blessings of patience, wisdom, courage and strength for each day.

  10. Bismarck ND
    Margaret, Jean and Jerry and families,
    We are so sorry to hear that Helen passed away. We have many great memories of her at the Silseth Family reunions. May you be blessed with many wonderful memories of her. Our thoughts and prayers go to all of her family at this difficult time.
    Larry and Kyia Zubke

  11. Brookings South DakotaMargaret, Jeannie, Jerry and all of your families, (and especially Bruce and Brian Konewko). Want to let you know we are thinking of each of you. So sorry to hear of Helen’s passing, may she rest in peace. Many memories over the years that Mary and I were friends. My Mom was 90 when she passed also and even though it was a blessing it is still so very difficult to let them go. Helen will always be forever in your hearts, Blessed be her memory. Love to all of you.
    Avis and Bruce

  12. Osage MN
    Hi everyone! So sorry to hear of Helen’s passing. I know that at times it is better to let some loved one’s “go”, but I know that it is still a difficult time to say good bye. Just lost my Mom on March 9th and while she was ready to go, it was very hard. I have fond memories of Helen and I will never forget I always was hoping that she would be baking bread and fresh cinnamon rolls when I came over to stay with Mary. My timing was always right on. I will be thinking of all of you throughout this time of grieving and may God keep you in his care.

    As ever…Dee and Ray

  13. sartell MN
    I am the oldest son of Delores Schultz who is the daughter of John & Bernice Sapa of Lidgerwood ND
    . My condolences on your loss.

  14. Orono MN
    I have fond memories of being welcomed to your home for brunch on Sundays when I lived in Fargo while attending college.

    It was never very clear to me how we were related – but it was certain that we were. “Shirt-tail” relatives was the term my Mom always used.
    I do recall how my Grandpa John thought the world of Joe, Walt and their families.

    Deepest Sympathy.

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