July 24, 2015
Helen Ruppel was taken home by her Lord on May 29th. She passed away peacefully at her home in Gardnerville. Helen was born in Longmont, CO to Herman D. Nair and Fern I. Nair. She was the second of four siblings. Her father managed the Woolworth store at Longmont, and later owned a Red-and-White grocery store at Grand Lake, CO. Helen's childhood at Grand Lake was one of her cherished memories. She was often snowed in for days, with roads closed, so she skied and enjoyed Winter sports. Summers meant water sports in the lake. At the build-up to WWII, her father moved the family to Bremerton, WA to work for the navy. Helen spent her 7th to 9th school years there. At the end of the war, the navy moved the family to San Pedro, CA where her father worked to decommission ships returning from the war. Helen entered Torrance, CA high school. Following high school, she worked at various jobs from 1946 – 1954. She was introduced to her future husband, Robert Ruppel, by his aunt, who worked at the same place as Helen. They were married the following August 21st at the Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, CA. Bob was a naval officer, and was released from active service in September, 1955. Helen and Bob then moved to Montana, where Bob had a University assistantship. In the years 1955 to 1967, they raised a family of two boys an two girls. Bob completed his advanced degrees, and taught in Montana, and Illinois, the children adjusting to new schools in their educations. In 1967, Bob returned to active duty during the Vietnam War, and Gary, Terry, Nicky, and Patty completed most of their high school and early college educations at Illinois and New York. Helen worked for Magnavox as an Inspector and various other jobs including one as a cashier for the navy commissary. Following Bob's release from active duty in 1971, the family moved to Santa Cruz, CA. Helen continued to work as a cashier/clerk in various stores. The siblings furthered their high school and college educations. In Helen's family, her oldest sister, Shirley, passed away in 2013. Her younger sister, Jackie, and her younger brother, David, live in Southern, CA. Helen's oldest son, Gary, preceded her in death. An adopted son, Nickolay, lives in the Bay Area. Helen's second son, Terry, lives in Franklin, TN. Loving daughters, Nicky and Patty live in Minden. Grandchildren are Fred, Ron, Amy Miller, Joe Hollowell, Ian and Adam Ruppel. Helen was the center of her loving family: a loving mother, a perfect hostess, and a master cook. She and Bob hosted many lu'aus, dinners, and cocktail parties. She was the gracious wife of a navy captain, always making friendships and helping others. Her hobbies were ceramics and sewing. Helen also loved to read, especially Christian literature. She had had intensive Bible Studies during her years in California. She loved to travel, and she and Bob had many cruises and trips abroad. Many camping trips and family picnics were made into the Sierra Mountains. She will be greatly missed by friends and family. A Celebration of Helen's life will be held at Christ Presbyerian Church in Gardnerville on August 23rd at 2:00pm. (1436 Industrial Way). In lieu of flowers, please donate to Sierra Lutheran High School, 3601 Romans Road, Carson City, NV 89705, or to a charity of your choice.