Age 81, of St. Paul, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Harry Wright McLaughlin and Helen Struck McLaughlin. Survivors include daughters Sheri (Ken) Beck, Cindy (Simon) DeRuyter, and son Liam Cook, grandsons Daniel, Jonah, and Toby, and her twin brother, Harry McLaughlin.
Born in Highland Park, MI, Helen grew up in Springfield, IL and Downers Grove, IL. After high school, Helen earned her bachelor’s degree in German from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, including two summers spent studying German at Middlebury Language School in Vermont. She went on to pursue her master’s degree in German from Wayne State University in Michigan, where she met and married Dayton Cook. They raised their children in Aberdeen, SD, before divorcing in 1981.
Helen had an adventurous spirit, and called a number of cities “home” over the years before finally moving to St. Paul in 2007. Helen loved living in downtown St. Paul and enjoyed daily walks, coffee dates with friends, finding treasures at local antique stores, and the sense of community she gained living on the skyway.
An avid genealogist, Helen loved making discoveries about her ancestors and connecting with extended family members over coffee or lunch. She also cherished her time with her children and grandchildren. Helen’s generosity and kindness will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have known her.