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Helen Leben - January 26, 2010

Helen Jecminek Leben, 88, of Fort Collins, formerly of Holyoke, was born in Watertown, S.D. Oct. 1, 1921 to Reinhold and Molly (Marker) Litka. She died and went to meet her Lord Jan. 26, 2010.

Helen lived at the Denver Home for Children from the age of 5 to the age of 15, when she was “hired out” to a family in Holyoke. She married Leonard Jecminek and five children were born to this union. Leonard died in 1952. She then married Rex Leben in 1958 and celebrated 50 years of marriage before he died in 2008. Two more children were added to the family. Having grown up in an orphanage, she considered her children her greatest blessings.

She spent her life taking care of her family and cooking incredible meals, cinnamon rolls and desserts. She loved to sew and did it for her family and for many others. She even created entire wedding party ensembles, including the bride’s gown. She was very active in the church in Holyoke and contributed to her church in Fort Collins as much as she was able. She and Rex moved to Fort Collins in 1999 to be closer to their children.

Helen had an especially strong faith that saw her through her youth at the orphanage and through the years of raising five children by herself. God’s strength shone through her and she was an incredible example for others, especially her children.

Helen was preceded in death by her husbands, Leonard Jecminek and Rex Leben; sister, Dorothy Brown; brother-in-law, Ray Leben and sisters-in-law, Virginia Leben and Fern Mast.

She is survived by her brother, David Litka; brother-in-law, Wayne Leben; sisters-in-law, Betty Brown and husband Gene, Fay Rockwell and husband Gene and Yvonne Wernet and husband Boyce; children, Chuck Jecminek and wife Sonja of Roanoke, Va., Al Jecminek and wife Loraine of Oro Valley, Ariz., Gloria Lewis and husband Forest of Rochester, N.Y., Dave Jecminek and wife Susan of Loveland, Dan Jecminek and wife Elaine of Greeley, Pam Kropp and husband Fred of Fort Collins and Ryan Leben and wife Tina of China Grove, N.C.; 22 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and numerous great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Jan. 29 at Peace With Christ Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, with a graveside service at Holyoke Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Peace With Christ Emergency Family Fund, Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, 1412 West Swallow Road, Fort Collins, CO, 80526. Friends may send condolences to the family at