ForeverMissed
REQUIEM MASSES
Memorials have been established in her name at both churches.


OBITUARY
Helen Lois Garlach, 89, of Homosassa, Fla., died May 12 at Sunflower Springs in Homosassa after a long fight with multiple myeloma. She was a devoted wife, a loving mother, and a doting grandmother affectionately known as Mema. 

She was born Helen Lois Lawton to Floyd Eugene and Beatrice Elaine (Baker) Lawton on June 13, 1931, in Town of Clayton, N.Y. She and her four siblings grew up on farms in upstate New York, as their father was a farmer and dairy plant manager. Helen graduated in 1948 at age 16 from Watertown High School, where she met the love of her life. 

Jack Edward Garlach had returned home after serving as an Army infantryman in Germany during WWII. He wanted to brush up on the basics at Watertown High before heading off to college in 1946 to study mechanical engineering at Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y. He and Helen met in Study B. After Helen graduated, she worked as a secretary and bookkeeper. Jack earned his bachelor’s in June 1950, and they were married on Dec. 16, 1950, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Watertown, N.Y. She remembered it snowed 4 feet that day. Don & Shirley Parks (of Zephyrhills, Fla.) were their witnesses and have remained lifelong friends. 

Jack took a job with Worthington Corporation (later Dresser-Rand) as a sales engineer, and Helen was a homemaker. They moved to Buffalo, N.Y., in 1951 and had four children there. The family moved to Kansas in 1963: first to Prairie Village, then to Wichita a year later, and back up to Olathe in 1973. After Jack retired from his 41-year career with Dresser-Rand, he and Helen enjoyed summers at the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and winters in St. Petersburg, Fla. They moved to Crystal River, Fla., in 2003, before settling in Homosassa, Fla., the next year. They celebrated 61 years of marriage in 2011, two weeks before Jack died on Dec. 27.

Helen and Jack were faithful parishioners in the Episcopal churches they attended, including St. Matthias in Wichita, St. Aidan’s in Olathe, and St. Anne’s in Crystal River. Their church friends were like family. Helen was always generous with her time and talents. Over the years, she enjoyed singing in the choir, doing needlework for the altar guild, and helping with the church’s bookkeeping. She was a member of the Daughters of the King, a Christian order devoted to prayer and service. She also volunteered for many years at Olathe Medical Center. 

Summer was Helen’s favorite season: she loved to swim, barbecue, eat ice cream and watch baseball. After moving to Florida, she became a diehard Rays fan and rarely ever missed a game on TV. She was always up for a good match—whether playing bridge, canasta, dominoes or Phase 10, or watching TV game shows. She was a wonderful cook. She loved Christmas and always made it special for her family. She looked forward to talking with her sister and best friend Phyllis nearly every day. She was a dear friend to many. Above all she will be remembered for her generous spirit, good advice, warm hugs and abundantly loving heart.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers Morris and Kenneth Lawton, and sister Doris (Richard) Fuller. She is survived by her sister Phyllis (Frank) Smith, sisters-in-law Reta and Irene Lawton, four children—Jack Garlach, Jr., Jeffrey (Jeanne) Garlach, Kathy (Michael) Zielinski, and Paul (Kim) Garlach—six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Posted by Linda adair on June 9, 2021
Been trying to put what I feel into words. Helen and jack became our neighbors about 13 years ago. They became second parents for us. We stood by Helen thru jacks passing. Saw him the night he passed. Helen and I did lunches, bingo, shopping, swimming, card games. She became so special to me. She will be greatly missed. She always had a listening ear. We used to liike to go see Annie & Tims band at church. She was a very independent, respectful, loving and gracious person. Will miss her coming to meals. She had been sick awhile. I had trouble seeing her in the end. As with her family I have lost my second mombut know she is looking down on us and I now have another angel. RiP
Love and miss you dearly.❤
Posted by Jeanne Garlach on June 3, 2021
Helen was my mother in law for over 46 years. She was a mother to me. Besides how special she was to me, her love for my children and especially the grandchildren was incredible. She just loved getting together with us and cuddled whichever baby was around.
I am going to miss her terribly bad. I hope she’s with God and her loved ones in heaven.

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Posted by Linda adair on June 9, 2021
Been trying to put what I feel into words. Helen and jack became our neighbors about 13 years ago. They became second parents for us. We stood by Helen thru jacks passing. Saw him the night he passed. Helen and I did lunches, bingo, shopping, swimming, card games. She became so special to me. She will be greatly missed. She always had a listening ear. We used to liike to go see Annie & Tims band at church. She was a very independent, respectful, loving and gracious person. Will miss her coming to meals. She had been sick awhile. I had trouble seeing her in the end. As with her family I have lost my second mombut know she is looking down on us and I now have another angel. RiP
Love and miss you dearly.❤
Posted by Jeanne Garlach on June 3, 2021
Helen was my mother in law for over 46 years. She was a mother to me. Besides how special she was to me, her love for my children and especially the grandchildren was incredible. She just loved getting together with us and cuddled whichever baby was around.
I am going to miss her terribly bad. I hope she’s with God and her loved ones in heaven.
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