ForeverMissed
We the three sons of Helga Sylvia Ulfers (and Horst Emil Ulfers) created this webpage in memory of our beloved mother, born in 1931, and passed into eternal life on February 1, 2021. Please feel free to add your own memory of Helga in the tribute section and/or add photos of her life (you are also more than welcome to add any of the same for our father Horst who passed into eternity in 1997).

Bernie, Bob and Detlef Ulfers

Deutsch: Wir, die drei Söhne von Helga Sylvia Ulfers (und Horst Emil Ulfers), haben diese Webseite in Erinnerung an unsere Mutter erstellt, die 1931 geboren wurde und am 1. Februar 2021 verstorben ist. Bitte fügen Sie Ihre eigene Erinnerung an Helga in den Tributbereich ein und / oder Fotos ihres Lebens hinzufügen (Sie können auch gerne dasselbe für unseren Vater Horst hinzufügen, der 1997 verstorben ist). Bernie, Bob und Detlef Ulfers
Posted by Stuart Belfield on February 20, 2021
Words, alone, cannot express the grief I feel, over the passing of Helga. She will forever remain in my heart as a woman that cared for me as much as my own mother. She was always positive and upbeat about things. I grew up in Reston with her son, Robert, and later in college with her son, Detlef. My childhood memories are filled with wonderful experiences of living with the Ulfers family. I will never forget them. My only regret is that I didn't get to know her in her later years, when she was living in Blacksburg. Goodbye and God bless Helga, and may she rest in peace in her eternal life.
Posted by Janet Hulme on February 19, 2021
Helga consistently helped others anytime she was aware of their need even when it was outside her comfort zone. She was always patient, gentle and caring. She loved the Lord and served others without any hesitation and I am certain that Jesus welcomed her with Open arms and greeted her with
"Well done Good and Faithful Servant"....I also remember many years ago when my husband was ill with Cancer that Helga and Horst came to our home and brought us something good to enjoy. Truly a Blessing motivated by the Love of Jesus. PTL!
Posted by Kurt Pronske on February 14, 2021
Helga and Horst were among the first couples we met in 1971. My wife, Jean, and I had just moved into Reston and we met at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, then just a mission that met in various members' homes. Helga was a loving friend for many years, She and my wife became much closer after Horst died. Helga was always so sweet and caring of "yeene" as she called her. Helga was one of the first to call me in 2019 after jean died. We have stayed in touch all these years and I will treasure the phone calls we have shared . What a lovely lady, I will miss her.
Posted by Wenda Smith on February 13, 2021
Helga has been a dear friend and sister-in-Christ of mine and my husband, Jim, since 1991. What a wonderful lady!! ...full of loving kindness, compassion for others and of a humble spirit. We admired her MANY talents, her love of the arts, her gracious hospitality and her joyful smiles (makes me smile when I think of her). She had such a zeal for life, cared deeply for her family and friends, and was always lending her hand to those in need. She will indeed be missed by all who love her until reunited with her for Eternity in Heaven.
Posted by Volko Ruhnke on February 13, 2021
Helga with Horst were like my local aunt and uncle, as my relatives lived far away in Germany, my family and the Ulfers were close since earlier residence in New Jersey, and Robert (Bob) and I were best friends as grade-schoolers in Reston. My mother also was South American-born and my father German, part of a tight immigrant community.
Helga must have hosted me on hundreds of occasions as I played and grew up. Horst led my Webelos troop and coached me in soccer. One very fond memory: Helga and Horst took me on my first camping trips--a hobby that my parents were not familiar with--and that gift to me inspired many such trips of my own in my later life with my wife and kids. Especially whenever I go camping now, I will fondly remember Helga, and Horst too. May they rest in peace together.
Posted by David Hardin on February 13, 2021
I will always remember Helga and Horst as a couple who accepted me as part of their family when I roomed with their oldest sons Bob and Bernie for one year in an apartment called Drapers Meadow West. Bob and Bernie were VA Tech students, and I a Radford University student. Anyhow Helga and Horst accepted me as pary of their family from day one that we met, as my own parents accepted Bob and Bernie as their family as well. When Bob and Yezmin got married, they opened their house for me to stay with them while I was there for the wedding. Probably would have done the same for Bernie and Meg's wedding if I had been able to get there for it. I had had hernia surgery and was inable yoake both weddings, and rode the bus from Roanoke to Restin. I think I had gone up there another time droving prior to both weddings, each time she and Horst were very welcoming as of I were their own family. Really we are because of our King, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which makes all true believers in Christ Jesus family, brothers and sisters in Him. When Bob was injured in a caving accident, my parents opened up our home in Roanoke for them to stay while Bob was at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. My memory is that they did stay at my parents house during at least some or all of that time, until Bob came back to Blacksburg. Anyhow she was and is a wonderful blessed woman of God, and she is missed, yet I look forward to seeing her again, along with Horst one day, whenever our King, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ takes me home to heaven and however He has it for me to get there amd whenever that day will be at His determination and plan. I am so honored to have known both Horst and Helga, and look forward to seeing them al0ng with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all eternity as well as my immediate family and other friends and "family." God bless and comfort Bob, Yezmin, Bernie, Meg, Detlef, and the whole family, and grandchildren.
Posted by Lisa Narayanan on February 12, 2021
The Ulfers were very close family friendly and I have many fond memories growing up together in Reston. Helga and Horst were like another set of parents and I remember staying with them while my parents took a trip somewhere. I shared a picture of them dancing at my wedding. Horst was kind enough to videotape our wedding for us on that day. I will forever remember your parents.
Posted by Walter Hartung on February 12, 2021
Lillian and I spent many happy years being Ulfer's neighbors in Reston. Being of German heritage we shared many things in common; my granddaughter was born on April 15, Horst and I worked together at the Defense Communications Agency. It was always a pleasure for us when Helga invited us for dinner; she was a fabulous cook and host. They were our first friends in Reston and will forever dwell in our hearts and mind. 
Posted by Seby Bell on February 12, 2021
I know that my life, and my son's life, were made a little better through knowing Helga. She's been Skye's Oma since he was 4 years old and she was very special to both of us. I was always impressed by her grace and although she claimed not to be very smart, she was an incredible card player, spoke 3 languages, was an incredibly talented artist, had some music skills, could play the guitar and had a lot of wisdom and insight into many of life's issues that others miss, no matter how old they become. She was feisty and stubborn, but also loving and kind. We miss her.
Posted by Bernard Ulfers on February 11, 2021
My mom will certainly be missed. The last several years she would often reply 'Well ... life goes on.'

Well - she is right ... life does go on. And I am glad for that gift! I haven't done anything to earn it - my hope is in Christ alone. My last words to mom were 'I know we will see each other again.'
Posted by Josiah Ulfers on February 11, 2021
In any fairy tale with a sweet grandmother I've always imagined my Oma.
Posted by Detlef Ulfers on February 10, 2021
Thank you. Beautiful selection of photos!
She blessed us with her kindness and sympathy. I'm constantly surprised how many friends she made wherever she lived.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Stuart Belfield on February 20, 2021
Words, alone, cannot express the grief I feel, over the passing of Helga. She will forever remain in my heart as a woman that cared for me as much as my own mother. She was always positive and upbeat about things. I grew up in Reston with her son, Robert, and later in college with her son, Detlef. My childhood memories are filled with wonderful experiences of living with the Ulfers family. I will never forget them. My only regret is that I didn't get to know her in her later years, when she was living in Blacksburg. Goodbye and God bless Helga, and may she rest in peace in her eternal life.
Posted by Janet Hulme on February 19, 2021
Helga consistently helped others anytime she was aware of their need even when it was outside her comfort zone. She was always patient, gentle and caring. She loved the Lord and served others without any hesitation and I am certain that Jesus welcomed her with Open arms and greeted her with
"Well done Good and Faithful Servant"....I also remember many years ago when my husband was ill with Cancer that Helga and Horst came to our home and brought us something good to enjoy. Truly a Blessing motivated by the Love of Jesus. PTL!
Posted by Kurt Pronske on February 14, 2021
Helga and Horst were among the first couples we met in 1971. My wife, Jean, and I had just moved into Reston and we met at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, then just a mission that met in various members' homes. Helga was a loving friend for many years, She and my wife became much closer after Horst died. Helga was always so sweet and caring of "yeene" as she called her. Helga was one of the first to call me in 2019 after jean died. We have stayed in touch all these years and I will treasure the phone calls we have shared . What a lovely lady, I will miss her.
her Life

Obituary of Helga Sylvia Ulfers

Helga Sylvia Ulfers, age 89, of Blacksburg, Virginia passed into eternity peacefully on February 1, 2021 a few days after seeing all seven of her grandchildren and her three sons. She was born in 1931 in Santiago, Chile to Erwin and Hermine Sievers. She married Horst Emil Ulfers in April 1960 who preceded her in death in 1997.

She was raised in Chile the second of three siblings. She received her Christian baptism on October 15 1932. She grew up as part of the German community in Chile. After moving to the USA with her beloved Horst, she returned regularly to Chile to visit her parents, her two brothers, Ronald and Gerold, and her dear friends and extended family. She had a very special place in her heart for the wonderful Chilean people, landscape and rugged-stunning coastline.

She is known as Helga, Ma, Mom, Oma and Helgita. She lived a healthy and vibrant life to the end, enjoying frequent outdoor walks. She was fluent in three languages (Spanish, German and English). Although most of her years were spent in the USA she always stayed in close contact with her childhood school friends in Chile. She always appreciated beauty whether in art, music, or life itself; It wasn't unusual to hear her say "That is a beautiful thing." As a young woman, she studied (ceramics) abroad in Germany where she first met Horst. She was very creative as evidenced by the artwork hanging in so many of the homes of her extended family and friends – beautiful expressions of who she was. Her faith in Christ expressed itself in her simple love towards family and stranger. She would often volunteer in her community and at her church. People from at least four continents, including Africa, who visited her had very fond memories of her. Her kindness was an expression God’s gift to us all. When grandchildren visited her in Reston, they enjoyed playing games like Canasta and Mexican train dominos with her. She enjoyed guitar and piano until the end of her days. And she will always be known by those who visited her in Reston Virginia for her hospitality. In 2018 she moved to Showalter Center in Blacksburg, Virginia where she made new friends and continued to enjoy her amazing life.

After their marriage ceremony in Chile, Horst and Helga settled down in the United States to begin their new life together raising a family of three sons: Bernard, Robert and Detlef. During those first years in New Jersey they made many life-long friends. In 1970 they moved the family from New Jersey to Reston, Virginia where she and Horst continued to enjoy a happy marriage. They were founding and active members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and members of The Reston Chorale. In 1989 they moved to the Netherlands for several years before returning to Virginia. After Horst's passing in 1997, she continued to live in Reston with remarkable independence, always ready to welcome family and friends into her condo, where she was very much appreciated as a “great neighbor.” In 2014 her older brother Ronald Sievers preceded her in death.

She is survived by her younger brother Gerold Sievers, her three sons and all her grandchildren: Caleb, Nathanael, Carolyn and Jesse, who were born to Bernard and Meg; and Josiah, Hannah and Bina, who were born to Robert and Yezmin. She also has three great grandchildren: Peter, Anna and Joshua, who were born to Carolyn and Lance as well as many more of her brothers’ children and grandchildren in Chile and Europe.

Burial service shall be limited to immediate family with additional memorial services to be eventually held in Reston, Virginia and in Blacksburg, Virginia to celebrate her life with those who knew and loved her.

Memorial services will be open to all friends. Please leave your contact information with Robert "Bob" Ulfers if you are interested in receiving dates, locations and times for Helga's memorial life celebrations which are yet to be scheduled for a safer time. He will contact you when those details are known. You may call him at 540 998 4800.

Recent stories

My sister Helga

Shared by Bob Ulfers on February 21, 2021
On behalf of my uncle Gerold Sievers....

Valdivia, February 2021

My dear sister Helga was 13 years older than me. She used to tell me that she disliked taking me out for walks because people thought she was my mother, but as I grew older a close friendship was established in which she often covered up or fixed some misdeed I had done. We told each other all our problems, and in that way, I knew before my parents did, that she was going to marry Horst and that she was very afraid to go to the USA, because she did not know what was waiting for her. Her departure was a great loss for me because I missed her advice and her unconditional affection, which I only partially replaced with my love for classical music, introduced to me by her when she gave me Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and, when she left, her extensive record collection and her excellent Grundig hi-fi radio.

I remember the day she wrote us that she was expecting her first child Bernie and then Robert; also, her visit to Chile with the two boys and how much fun I had playing with them in the garden of my parents house in Santiago.

Horst and Helga supported me in an important way during my veterinary studies in Valdivia by sending me, for 5 years, a monthly amount of money that allowed me to dress and feed myself well and to buy some textbooks at a time when my father had serious economic problems.

We always kept in constant and loving contact with Helga and Horst. Unforgettable were the moments when they welcomed us as newlyweds on the Ring Road (Reston) and we met little Detlef, when they went to visit us in Germany inviting us to see the castles on the Rhine and when they spent a week in Valdivia where we tasted those expensive Chilean wines that Horst bought. Many years later I was fortunate to visit them in Holland when they were preparing for their return to the USA and their well-deserved golden years as retirees, which, unfortunately, were cut short by Horst’s untimely departure. What immense sadness we felt! The times we visited Helga in Reston we sensed that she never recovered from that loss despite the enormous affection of her three children and numerous grandchildren. How we would have loved to visit her more often, but the conditions were not given. To make up for this deficiency, Helga financed Bernie and Detlef’s trip to Chile allowing for an unforgettable hike and a great reunion with our brother Roni’s family at La Barra del Rio Bueno. She also made it possible for Robert and two of his children to visit Roni in Osorno and us in Valdivia.

Helga always kept in vivid contact with her youthful friends Ines Kirsten, Helga Müller, Lilo Lenz and Gabriela Eimbke whom I managed to contact these last weeks to tell them about her surprising and quick departure. All of us who knew Helga mourn her passing and will remember her as a woman who loved beauty, who had integrity, kindness and was very, very loving. Her beautiful ceramics, made with intense sensitivity and humility, will remain in our homes as a precious reminder of her extraordinary creativity.

Dear sister Helga, we know that you are now resting in peace with your Horst!

Gerold Sievers

Memories and thoughts from the other side of the world

Shared by Joaquin Sievers on February 19, 2021
Dear Bernie, Robert and Detlef,

Many thanks for inviting all the family and friends to this memorial of my aunt Helga, the sister of my father Gerold. It was very nice and emotional to read other memories and to see old known - and new unknown - pictures of her and our family. I must say that is difficult for me now to find some words to share with you, but I am happy to have the chance. Maybe is difficult because I would prefer express myself in Spanish or German.But also because my memories about Helga and Horst are little, from a longlong time ago and because the distance between Chile and USA made it difficult for our families to come together often. But being in living in Chile we always knew that we had a family in USA. It was a bit exotic and “cool” for me, my brothers Ralf and Carlos, and probably also for my(our) other cousins Carmen and Roberto, having this very blond cousins and Family in the USA. It is also challenging write to you all now, in this sad moment Helga left us, and on the other side having so much to tell and ask about different thinks and thoughts . But here my short try.

I knew the day after from my parents in Chile that my aunt Helga left us. Probably this is the best that could happen in such a critical heathy moment for her, but for sure you three and your families and friends will miss her a lot. I wish you all a lot of strength and many wonderful memories about her. Every time I saw her in Chile she was smiling and having nice thoughts and stories about her sons, grandchildren and also about Horst.

The days after she died thought about her a lot. I live already 20 years in Germany and we wrote sometimes emails and she was always interested how me, my wife Laima and son Conrad are doing. A very nice memory was in 1995 , I was 21 years old, and on my return flight from Europe to Chile, after backpacking for three months in Europe I flew via Washington DC and I visited one week your parents in Reston. They help me with the purchase of a mountain bike and explain me how to take the trains to get all the museums in Washington. I took the orange line I think… Well in the evenings I was with Horst and Helga and we spoke German. They had a fridge with automatic ice maker. In never saw such a spectacular fridge before. Your father used to drink gin tonic sometimes with ice from this fridge and I drank some lemonade with ice. But one evening they invite me also to drink gin tonic and that was my first gin tonic ever. And I drank too much…. It was a wonderful week that time with your parents and I am happy to have that memory of both together. It was the first and the last time I saw them together.I remember, when I saw her later, that she always cried a bit when she told about Horst because she loved him so much. Last time I saw her it was 2004 or 2005 in a little bus station in Temuco (northern city from Osorno and Valdvia).What a coincidence and what a nice moment! since I already lived in Germany and visited family in friends in Chile, same she did. She visited a childhood school firend that time in Temuco. She was so happy about this visit.This are some simple memories I wanted to share with you all.

And last but not least, Iwant also express my wish to visit you all in the US sometime. Hopefully not in 10 years… You three cousins are such a direct family living in the US and we know each other so little and I am so curios about you all!It's a beautiful idea that Helga to give us knowing and seeing each other more in the future. Perhaps she would have wished it that way.

A hug with love and warm feelings for Helga and Horst.

Your cousin Joaquín Sievers

Shared by Wenda Smith on February 15, 2021
Jim and I came to know both Helga and Horst very well after joining a newly formed Bible Study group, called "Souper Bible Study" in early 1991.  Our weekly study began with a soup and bread supper that was prepared by the host for the evening.  So, there was always plenty of lively discussion around the table.  I remember one particular evening Helga recounted for us some memories of her years as a young girl growing up in Chile.  It was evident she had a wonderful childhood and teen years there with so many good times spent with her best friends.  I have a feeling she had LOTS of them too!  Helga told us, with a little chuckle at herself that ,as a youth, she was always wishing she had the beautiful dark / brunette hair like so many of her Chilean friends and classmates had.  However, looking at the photos posted here of Helga as a young girlwith her beautiful blonde hair and great smile, I imagine that some of her friends were wishing they might look more like Helga!