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Phyllis Rita (Kavanagh) Helsper, age 84, of Lake Odessa, went to be with her God on Monday, June 11, 2018. She was born to Charles & Maude Kavanagh on January 8, 1934 in St. Paul, MN. Phyllis taught religious education for 22 years, and pre-school for 5 years, at St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Lake Odessa.

Phyllis is survived by her husband of 65 years, William A. Helsper; her children, Joseph (Monica), Charles, Amy (Ian), Theodore, Edward (Brenda), Robert, Elizabeth (Paul), Gerald (Karen), and Mary (Don); as well as 25 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

A rosary service will take place at St. Edward’s Church on Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., where a memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018 at St. Edward’s Church, 531 Washington Blvd., Lake Odessa.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Manna’s Market, P.O. Box 18, Woodland, MI 48897.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Phyllis’ online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


  1. hank and nancy swientoniowski on June 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    bill and family, she was a very friendly and woman that put people before herself. if everyone was like her there would peace on earth. GOD BLESS

  2. Barbara (Kelley) Stockburger on June 14, 2018 at 8:26 am

    My Aunt… a big presence in our family, my moms best friend and one of the most loving people I had the joy of knowing!! My love to Uncle Bill and cousins.

  3. Patricia (Kelley) Schmit on June 17, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    big loss! she will be really missed. Lots of love to the family!

  4. Caroline Bradford on June 18, 2018 at 11:48 am

    We are so sorry for your loss. Praying for your family during this difficult time.

  5. Brenda Helsper on June 18, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    You were a wonderful Wife, Mother, and Grandmother. I will cherish all the wonderful memories I have of you from over the years I’ve known you. You will be missed so much. Love you Mom, Rest in peace. Your daughter in-law Brenda

  6. Harvey & Sharon Miller on June 20, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Our heart felt sympathy to the entire Helsper family for the loss your mother and wife…….Phyllis will certainly be missed, we all loved her dearly!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you today.

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