Helen O’Connor

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Helen Marie Ritter O’Connor of Woodstock, Illinois, was born October 11, 1961, the daughter of Howard and Joyce (Otten) Ritter.  She attended and graduated from Monroe High School in 1980, from DMACC in Ankeny, Iowa, and the University of Columbia, Missouri earning a B.A. in business.  Helen was a member of the United Methodist Church in Killduff, Iowa, and attended Willow Creek Community church in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Helen began her career in retail with Alco in Newton, Iowa, during her senior year in high school.  She advanced rapidly within the company, was promoted to store manager, serving at both Pampa and Dumas, Texas, stores. Helen was transferred to Boone, Iowa, and eventually moved to Woodstock, Illinois, serving as store manager in both locations. Helen started her 21 year career with Target in 1997.  Her last position was with Target Distribution Center in De Kalb, where she was employed as an executive recruiter.

It was while Helen was in Woodstock, that she met Tim O’Connor.  They were married on May 25, 1996, in Pella, Iowa, at the Historical Village church.

Helen and Tim both enjoyed traveling.  Their journeys took them to both the east and west coasts, south to visit family and in most recent years, cruises with other family members.

Helen especially loved spending time with their grand children.  Having them stay overnight and partaking in special activities gave her immense joy.

Helen’s glass was always half full! Her relentless positive attitude and strong faith helped her through her long journey with cancer.  Even in the most difficult times, there was always a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face.  Helen impacted the lives of many other patients undergoing chemo treatment through her positive attitude ministry and made many new friends.  Even in her adversity, God used Helen in a mighty way.

Left to share her memories and celebrate her life are her husband Tim O’Connor, her step-children: Brian (Kimberly) and Zachary O’Connor, and Erin (Dom) Rizzi, Max and Franny Rizzi; her brothers: Dean Ritter, and Wayne (Nora) Ritter, her sister-in-law Ellen (Dale) Ritter, her mother Joyce Ritter, and 28 nieces and nephews.

Helen was preceded in death by her father Howard Ritter, infant brother David and her brother Dale Ritter.

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