ForeverMissed
Helen Jane Gokbudak, 1933 – 2020 
Laguna Woods, California

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Helen Gokbudak, loving wife and mother of three sons, passed away at the age of 86 while surrounded by her family.  Helen lived an incredibly full life before cancer took its quick toll.  She leaves behind her husband of 65 years, Uygur, sons Kurt (Christine), Brent (Tracy), Erroll, and granddaughters’ Lauren and Allison.

We will remember her forever.

I'm Free
"Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.  Author Unknown


Posted by Linda Vertefeuille on April 24, 2020
Dear caring and joyful Helen, may you sail with the music of the heavens.
Posted by Dorothy Flynn on April 24, 2020
Helen was so kind to me. I was a new docent at Ringling Museum a nd she invited me to join the Accessibility Group and mentored me along the way. We were all so fortunate to know her.
Posted by Jose Uranga on April 23, 2020
Helen was a fellow Docent at the Ringling Museums in Sarasota, Fl. She was a passionate lover of the arts and easily conveyed that appreciation of art to the many visitors who took her tours. Helen was very professional and a great colleague. she will be missed.
Posted by Dorothy Buckner on April 18, 2020
Although we met as teenagers in Broad Ripple High School, it was as middle aged (and beyond) women that we forged a deep and lasting friendship, which leaves me bereft and sad to to have to say goodbye to you, Helen. You were one of the most gifted women I ever knew. To spend time with you was always a delight because of your intelligence, compassion, playfulness, and ability to look at the bright side of life. And without your ever saying so, I know these qualities had matured with hard work and much determination. As you embrace this new adventure, as I believe you will, I will be remembering your bright beautiful smile and your hearty laugh will be ringing in my ears.  With love, I am your friend Dottie
Posted by Dave Ebner on April 13, 2020
It was my great pleasure to meet Helen through her friendship with my wife Carole.  They are second cousins, and Helen was like a big sister to Carole, way back in the late 1940's.  A job transfer sent Carole and I to Chicago in 1963. This provided Carole the opportunity to renew her relationship with Helen, as Helen and Uygur were living in Skokie, just a short distance from us.   Getting to know Helen and Uygur was a really good experience for me. We played bridge regularly and stayed in close touch. Our two children were born in Chicago, and Helen was so helpful in recommending doctors and other resources. We were able to visit Helen and Uygur during their Florida years, and recently in California. I so value their friendship and will never forget Helen's infectious laugh.
Posted by Lale Lovell on April 5, 2020
Helen was a dear aunt to me. She and I shared a love of art and I still have in my house a poster from the first major art exhibit I went to, Georgia O'Keeffe at the Art Institute of Chicago. Helen and Uygur took me to it in 1988 and it had a lasting impression on me. I always enjoyed talking art with Helen and going to the Ringling house in Florida with her. She was full of life and visiting her and Uygur in Florida was always such a treat. I will miss her smiling face, energy and getting a birthday card for her. She never missed one in all of these years! Rest in peace Aunt Helen. Love, your niece Lale

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Linda Vertefeuille on April 24, 2020
Dear caring and joyful Helen, may you sail with the music of the heavens.
Posted by Dorothy Flynn on April 24, 2020
Helen was so kind to me. I was a new docent at Ringling Museum a nd she invited me to join the Accessibility Group and mentored me along the way. We were all so fortunate to know her.
Posted by Jose Uranga on April 23, 2020
Helen was a fellow Docent at the Ringling Museums in Sarasota, Fl. She was a passionate lover of the arts and easily conveyed that appreciation of art to the many visitors who took her tours. Helen was very professional and a great colleague. she will be missed.
her Life
Helen was born on July 11, 1933 in Logan, West Virginia to Chester and Nancy Bland. Helen grew up in Indianapolis and attended Broad Ripple High School. She later attended St. Lukes School of Nursing in Chicago and became a registered nurse, after which she married Uygur in 1955.  She later received a B.S. in Nursing from University of Illinois and a M.S. in Nursing from Loyola University of Chicago, residing in the Chicago area for almost 40 years.  Her nursing career included work in head trauma, gerontology, and home health care specialties. Outside of work and raising three children, she found time to be active as a Cub Scout Den Mother, PTA member, always finding a way to stay active.
Helen was described as a “happy bottle of champagne” full of life and smiles.  A living example of Newton’s “a body in motion stays in motion”, she was always on the go.  Her many retirement activities included spending time with her family and friends, traveling the world, reading, art and culture appreciation, singing in her church choir, playing bridge (2-3 times a week!), taking classes, swimming, sailing, playing ping pong, and volunteering (most recently with Uygur at the Saddleback Memorial Hospital).  
Helen was an active admirer of art throughout the world. After retiring to Venice, Florida with Uygur in 1991, Helen became a long-time docent volunteer at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.  She always enjoyed learning about different artists and their styles, and never missed an opportunity to visit an art museum when traveling.  She also learned to sail in the Gulf of Mexico and was an active member of the "Bitter Ends" - Venice Women's Sailing Squadron for many years.
Helen and Uygur later moved to California in 2017, where they lived close to most of their family. 
Cheers to Helen, may your champagne bubbles never stop popping on your next big adventure!
A celebration of life will be planned once gatherings are again permissible.   
In lieu of flowers please consider making a charitable donation to:  MemorialCare Hospice & Palliative Services, which can be made through Saddleback Medical Center Foundation:Online:   
Visit memorialcare.org/smcf and click GIVE NOW, OR  click here: https://www.memorialcare.org/saddleback-medical-center-foundation/give-now Select Hospice & Palliative Services in the Designation drop-down menu.   
Complete the tribute information at the bottom of the form. e.g., “In Memory of Helen Gokbudak”


Or by Mail:
Saddleback Medical Center Foundation
Gift Processing Center
PO BOX 2665
SEAL BEACH, CA 90740-1665

Please write “Hospice” and “In memory of Helen Gokbudak” in the memo of the check.

Saddleback Medical Center Foundation is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that raises funds exclusively for Saddleback Medical Center, a community-based, nonprofit hospital in Laguna Hills, California. Tax ID #33-0011887


Recent stories
Shared by Gary Fredericks on May 4, 2020
Helen was such a wonderful person.  I met her when I first started to play bridge when I moved to Laguna Woods Village about 1 1/2 years ago.  She always had a welcoming smile on her face and laughter in her heart.  I will remember kidding her about her new glasses and her joking about how much she disliked them.  She was a very kind person who will be missed.
Shared by Carolyn Holmes on April 10, 2020
Helen was a wonderful spirit. I always felt joy and happiness when I was around her. She was kind and I treasure the lovely Clearwater pram she gave me when she moved to California.