LONG BEACH - Naselle resident Helmie H. Wirkkala, 77, died Nov. 16, 2003 in Long Beach. Born March 17, 1926 in Rosburg, she was the youngest of 14 children born to Charles and Anna (Lempke) Holkka. She attended Rosburg elementary and was a 1944 graduate of Naselle High School.
On April 6, 1947, she and Fred Wirkkala were married and settled in Naselle. Mr. Wirkkala was a logger and part-owner of Salmon Creek Logging and the couple lived for 14 years in Cougar, where Helmie was a wife and mother and also maintained the Naselle residence where the family returned on weekends. In 1971 when Mrs. Wirkkala returned permanently to Naselle she began working at Chinook Packing in Chinook as a processor, retiring in 1996 after 25 years of service.
She attended the Community Congregational Church in Naselle where she was active in The Friday Club. She also enjoyed the senior dinners at the Rosburg Community Hall. She was an excellent cook, baker and homemaker. She took pride in her housekeeping and flower gardening and enjoyed her friends and family. In younger years, she and her husband traveled throughout the western states.
Mrs. Wirkkala is survived by her daughters Ramona Sagmiller of Long Beach and Roseanna Rogers of Shelton; sister Jennie Pearson of Rosburg; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband and 12 siblings.
Memorial service will be Saturday, Nov. 22, 1 p.m. at the Community Congregational Church in Naselle. A reception follows in the church hall. Arrangements by Penttila's Chapel by The Sea, Long Beach.