Sara Benson Helke, 56, passed away peacefully at her home in Eagle River, Wis., on Nov. 26, 2020.

Sara was born in Wausau, Wis., on May 15, 1964, to the late Richard and Linda (Voelker) Helke.

Sara graduated from Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn., in 1982, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., in 1987.

Throughout her life, Sara enjoyed hiking, snowshoeing, skiing at Rib Mountain and getting out on the water on her SUP.

She loved living in the Northwoods, where she could be close to nature surrounded by the forests, the lakes and wildlife she loved. Some of Sara’s favorite moments were spending time on the shores of Lake Superior in Ontonagon with her family and close family friends.

Sara was a very creative individual. She was an amazing photographer capturing the subtle details of nature, including her favorite birds.

She also expressed her creativity in decorating, design and using her practical and unique ability to repurpose any object into something beautiful.

Sara, as part owner with her four siblings, worked for Helke Furniture Co., the longest running business owned by a single family in Marathon County. After our father’s passing, she continued to operate the business as president until closing the store in 2018. Not only did Sara help run the family business, she was our parents’ main caregiver throughout their later years of life.

Sara is survived by her four sisters, Elizabeth (Howard Jahre) Helke of New York City, N.Y., Karen Helke of London, England, Ann (Terry Seidel) Helke of Boulder, Colo., and Katherine (Penn) Vieau of Waunakee, Wis.; her aunt, Sara Neubauer of Racine, Wis.; and several cousins.

Sara is also survived by her beloved cat, Oskar.

She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Sara’s life will be celebrated at a private gathering with family and close friends in the upcoming spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Raptor Education Group Inc., N2160 W Rollwood Rd., Antigo, WI 54409, the Northwoods Wildlife Center, 683 S. Blumenstein Rd., Minocqua, WI 54548, or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Gaff­ney-Busha Funeral Home, Eagle River.  Online condolences may be expressed at gaffney-busha.com.

PAID OBITUARY