Helen R. Van Tuyl, a longtime local resident, died Jan. 24, 2019, three days after her 100th birthday, at the ArchCare Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at Ferncliff in Rhinebeck.
Helen was born in Stoughton, Wisconsin, on Jan. 21, 1919, the youngest of the five children of Ferdinand and Emma (Aaker) Rasmussen, and the first to be born in a hospital.
Helen was impressed by the family’s doctor and decided at a very young age that she wanted to be a nurse. When she graduated from high school at age 17, she was too young to start nursing school, so she took courses at a secretarial school until her 18th birthday when she enrolled in the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing in Illinois. Helen began her career as a registered nurse in Chicago.
In 1948, she married Arlan Roberts. The couple had four children and moved the family to Fishkill in 1958. Helen returned to nursing in 1967, after her youngest child started fifth grade. She was a nurse supervisor at Butterfield Hospital in Cold Spring and later worked for Fishkill OB/GYN, where she was the office manager for more than 15 years.
Her husband Arlan died in 1973, and in 1981 Helen married Warren Van Tuyl. After her retirement in 1984, the Van Tuyls explored the U.S. for several years, eventually settling in Tucson, Arizona. Warren died in 2003.
Helen had a strong Christian faith and was a longtime member of the First Reformed Church of Fishkill, where she was active on many committees. She was fascinated by the rich history of the Hudson Valley, and was an enthusiastic member of the Fishkill Historical Society. For many years, she volunteered for the Girl Scouts of America. Helen was 100 percent Norwegian and loved to share her ancestry’s culture with family and friends.
She is survived by her children: Karen Ransom (Scott Tuttle) of Staatsburg; Linda Lund (David) of Staatsburg; Richard Roberts (Nancy) of Glenville; Melissa Belanger (Paul) of Kailua, Hawaii; Jennifer Van Tuyl (John Donoghue) of Fishkill; and Pamela Van Tuyl of Fishkill.
She also is survived by her grandchildren: Lara Wohlenhaus (Doug), Kathy Rothfus-Stroup (Paul Stroup), Eric Roberts (Jennifer), Jason Roberts (Crista), and Kristin Lee; and her great-grandchildren: Ali, Nick, Will, Rosie, Kiley, Ella, Everett James and Leonora.
A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, at the First Reformed Church of Fishkill, 1153 Main St. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).