With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Helen Marie Riffel (nee Mahlum), at Eureka, Montana, on July 10, 2016 at the age of 72 years. Helen was born on August 7, 1943 in Kalispell, Montana. She was raised in the Helena Flats and Patrick Creek areas until she graduated from high school in 1962.
Helen moved to Seattle, WA where she married and had two children, Darren and Bradley Gore. In 1973, Helen and the boys relocated to Eureka, MT where she worked as a bartender and waitress. Helen married her second husband, Bob Clarke and assisted in the operation and management of the First and Last Chance Bar until his death. She remained as a partner in the ownership of the bar until 1995.
In 1994, Helen married Lawrence Riffel and together they developed Gateway Village, Deer Park, Country Meadows and Horizon subdivisions and operated a successful gravel pit business for several years. Helen and Lawrence were always together, shopping, working, traveling, visiting and spending time with family and friends. She was generous and kind to everyone and enjoyed supporting and attending the NRA banquets, was a member of the VFW Ladies Auxillary and was always ready and willing to lend a hand to friends and family. She was an avid gardener, spending hours planting, pruning and weeding her flower beds and they thrived from her care and attention. Helen loved feeding the birds and various diverse animals that turned up at their place, never turning away a hungry stray!
Helen will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her devoted husband, Lawrence; her children: Bradley Gore of Phoenix, AZ; Darren (Maureen) Gore of Phoenix, AZ; her step-daughter Crystal Loewen of Sylvan Lake, AB; step-son Dave Clarke of Eureka; four grandchildren: Keelaina, Alieda, Tristan, Brittany and one great-grandchild Paityn. She is also survived by her sister Janet Neer (Doug) of Seattle, WA and her brother Gary Mahlum of Eureka and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father Tony Mahlum, her mother Hazel Dare, her step-father Frank Dare and her second husband Bob Clarke.
A celebration of Helen’s life will be held at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at the First Baptist Church (355 – 9th Street, Eureka), with Pastor Jeff Butler officiating. Reception to follow. Public viewing from 10 am – 12noon.
Friends wishing to do so may make donations in Helen’s memory to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Spokane (911 W 5th Ave, Spokane, WA 99204) or the charity of your choice.