Ryan Helgerson

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Ryan Thomas Jon Helgerson was born the son of Kae Jeanne Helgerson and Gary Helgerson on Jan. 1, 1990, being the first child to be born in northeast Iowa that year. Ryan died March 18, 2022, in Eagle River, Alaska. Ryan was quite a surprise for his family, being 16 years younger than older brother Erik and 13 years younger than Joel. He was baptized at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkader and confirmed at Norway Lutheran Church in St. Olaf. Ryan graduated from Central High School in Elkader in 2008. While in high school, Ryan competed in wrestling and was an avid Boy Scout, earning his Eagle Scout. His Eagle Scout project included the construction and installation of a canoe landing in Elkader. Ryan furthered his education at Iowa State University, where he attended for three years. He loved being a member of the ISU pep and marching bands, where he played the baritone.

 

After leaving ISU, Ryan started working retail at Cabela’s in Prairie du Chien, Wis. He later became the customer service manager. He worked there for five years before he was able to transfer to the Anchorage, Alaska, Cabela’s store and lived with his brother Joel. While in Alaska, Ryan decided to finish the bachelor’s degree he started at ISU, graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) with a degree in business administration with a minor in finance in 2020. Ryan went on to work as the customer service manager at Wal-Mart for a brief time before becoming the general manager for the Anchorage Extended Stay hotel.

 

When Ryan was not working, he loved the outdoors. Ryan was an avid fisherman with a bit of an addiction to buying lures as his family joked. He loved to play disc golf, chase whitetails and tom turkeys in the hills around northeast Iowa and pursue the big game animals of Alaska. He was a lifetime member of the Iowa Bow Hunter’s Association. Ryan was an avid sports fan both professional and collegiate level. He especially loved following his ISU Cyclones.

 

Ryan is survived by his mother, Jeanne, and brothers Erik (Janelle) and Joel, as well as his nieces and nephews Nate, Mady, Caleb and Kara. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Herman and Marian Helgerson and Charles and Winifred Thompson, and father, Gary Helgerson.

 

Visitation was March 29, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Elkader.

 

Funeral services were March 30, at Norway Lutheran Church, rural St. Olaf, with Rev. Marshall Hahn officiating.

 

Inurnment was at Norway Lutheran Cemetery, rural St. Olaf.

 

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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