Share a special moment from Helga's life.

My cousin Helga

Shared by Bob Ulfers on April 8, 2021
On behalf of my Hellmuth Sievers my mother's beloved cousin :

" Dear nephews Bernie, Bob & Detlef and families. 

It was really very sad news that Helga passed away. 
As you may remember we were very close not only as cousins but also as very good friends.
Each time Emmy and I (and later I), had an opportunity to visit either in Chile or in the USA we used that opportunity to meet. The problem was that the distances were so great that it was, unfortunately, not as frequent as we would have wished. But each time it was a joy.
Also with your father our mutual understanding was prima.
I have been remembering so many good times, the last one was when I visited her (how many years ago I do not remember) and we made the trip to Bernie's house. Detlef was also there. 
Helga is resting now in peace which is probably the best that could happen to her by freeing her from suffering after such severe operation. 
We have to accept God's call  and as consolation to all of us who are mourning her is the assurance that she has joined her beloved Horst in Heaven.
Con mucho sentimiento y acompañándolos en vuestro dolor les abraza muy cariñosamente, 
Uncle Hellmuth "

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!

"Adopted" by Helga

Shared by Bob Ulfers on February 12, 2021
In the 70's my mother had enlightened women friends who would put pressure on her. ’Why don’t you get a job of your own.’ I remember how emotional a thing that was to her. But she really wanted to be a mother, good cook, volunteer and enjoy her family and do arts and crafts at home. My friends enjoyed visiting our home, not just to play with me, but because of her constant faithful presence. Even in my visits back from Cameroon when my good friend Pascal came to visit, he never forgot Maman Helga. Recently he told me by phone, "I’m so sad that (on our next visit to the USA) I will not be able to introduce Marie-Jeanne (my wife) to Maman Helga.” Helga just had that simple acceptance of anybody and everybody. She worked hard at being comfortable with all. After I left for college, I never knew how many young people stayed and visited my parents. Many consider her to be ‘mother,’ ’aunt’ or ‘Oma’: Thomas, Jana, Claudia, Corina, Volko, Skye, Seby, Beth, Carlos, Harald, Max, and the list goes on and on - people in NJ, Reston and even Blacksburg. You know who you are! Most everyone who met her, even interacted just a bit with her, left knowing she accepted them. This was my mother, the mother and Oma of many.

Arts and crafts

Shared by Bob Ulfers on February 11, 2021
Ma (Oma) had this book that I can still see in my mind's eye. It was in German and I being dyslexic didn't like reading anyway. But it was so well illustrated that I would just look at the step by step illustrations and try to do it. One of her knitting friends, Krista, wrote : "I was always amazed how she could look at a challenging pattern and she would look at it a little bit and then bring an identical pattern to our next meeting." So I think its an Oma trait passed down.

A website

Shared by Josiah Ulfers on February 11, 2021
It's funny that Oma has a website now. I can't imagine her ever making a website. Opa would have, of course. He taught me my first programming in basic on the 486, I think.

Oma didn't have much time for the computer. She may have been the last dial-up customer in Reston, but she would learn enough to use stay in touch with people. On that little tablet-keyboard combo she had for a while, I remember she knew two buttons for sure: the trash can to get rid of junk and the back button to get out of trouble if she opened some program she didn't want.


Shared by Josiah Ulfers on February 11, 2021
I'm glad you got a picture of Christmas up there. I think that's when I'll miss her the most - it just won't be Christmas without Oma and Seby and uncle Detlef and Skye. I think that picture was the first time we went to Blacksburg for Christmas after Oma moved away from Reston. My parents had us sing carols; we hadn't sung carols in Reston and maybe for good reason. I doubt we sounded very good but everyone else is more musical than I am, so I probably ruined it!

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