Helen Marie was born on July 15, 1923, the second child of Michael and Mary Catherine “Dolly” (McCaffery) Mullen, on their farm 5 miles north of Emmet, NE.
Her childhood years were spent helping on the farm. Her musically talented family began to play for dances in the neighborhood and some were held in their own barn. Helen played banjo, saxophone and piano. After graduating high school at age 16 from St. Mary’s Academy in O’Neill, NE, she taught in rural Holt County schools for 4 years.
On April 10, 1945 in Emmet, NE, she was united in marriage to Staff Sergeant John J. Dvorak, who had just returned to the United States after being detained as a POW for 7 months in Switzerland.
Following the end of World War II, the young family settled on the Dvorak homestead south of Atkinson and remained there until moving into town in 1991.
Helen devoted most of her time to her growing family, but did find time to contribute to several organizations. Over the years she served in various offices for American Legion Auxiliary, Catholic Daughters, Altar Society and TOPS Club. Many Hay Days floats for the AVW Club and 4-H were created from her artistic ideas and the hard work of the club members.
When 4-H became an interest of her children, she took a leadership role with sewing and cooking. She served St. Joseph’s Catholic Church as an organist well into her 80’s, and shared her musical talents to entertain at the Good Samaritan Center. She also volunteered in the school office.
Helen enjoyed music, bowling, dancing and golf. In’ retirement they enjoyed traveling with friends. She belonged to two card clubs and looked forward to those gatherings. She was adept at sewing, crocheting, craft projects and painting. In recent years, she stayed in touch, via text, email and challenged her family at Scrabble and crossword puzzles, becoming very proficient on her computer.
Survivors: Pany (Rich) Pospichal, Ingalls, KS; Kathy (Steve) Smolik, Banlefield, MO; Mike (Connie) Dvorak, Elgin, NE; Jake (Michelle) Dvorak, Atkinson, NE; Joe Dvorak, Atkinson, NE; Jerry (Trudy) Dvorak; Lincoln, NE, Gina (Lyle) Davis, Cozad, NE; Mary (Mike) Fecht, Wray, CO; Barbara (Steve) Novak, Lake Andes, SD; Lori (Jeff) Blowers, Henderson, NV. Sister-in-Law Anna Mullen, Norfolk, NE. 40 grandchildren and 77 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband John, brothers John and Jimmy, and sister Jeanne Kaup.
Her family is grateful for her love, strength, wisdom and gentleness. We cherish our deep faith passed on by her living example. Many will remember her open door, her welcoming smile, the special hospitality of her abundant table, and the peacefulness of her home.
Rest in peace dear mother.