Helen Maurine Bergen, 90, of Augusta, KS, passed away Wednesday, September 4, 2019. Service will be at 2 o’clock, Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at Headley Funeral Chapel, Augusta, KS. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery, Augusta, KS.
Helen was born to the late Edna (Tangeman) and Paul Vogt on December 28, 1928 at home in rural Hesston, KS. The second daughter of five siblings, Helen was privileged to live in a conservative, rural community with many relatives living in the area. Helen grew up in a Christian home and was faithfully taken to church. As a young child she realized her only hope of eternal life was in Christ, and she accepted Him and had a desire to live a life pleasing to Him.
Helen attended a rural, one-room school of eight grades. After grade school Helen attended Hesston College-four years in its academy and one year of college. When she felt the need to attend a Bible college, she enrolled at Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, where she attended three years. While at Grace Bible Institute, Helen felt called to mission work in Africa. A year before graduation she and Alvin Bergen began dating. After graduation Helen entered a three-year nursing program at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton, KS, pursuing a goal she had dreamed of since early childhood. Several days after her nursing program’s graduation, Al and Helen were married (September 11, 1953) at Garden Mennonite Church in Hesston, KS.
Al and Helen made preparation for work in Ethiopia and celebrated their first wedding anniversary on a Dutch freighter going down the Red Sea to Ethiopia. After language school they were sent to a mission station where Helen helped in the hospital. They served three terms (a total of 17 years, until 1971), and their four boys were born and raised in Ethiopia.
Because of a communist takeover, Al and Helen were unable to return to Ethiopia. After moving to Wichita, KS, Helen worked as an R.N. with Via Christi for twenty-two years. She also volunteered with Good Samaritan Clinic at World Impact, and she was involved in their local church.
Helen is survived by her husband, Alvin Bergen; sons, Mikeal Bergen and wife Rita, Myron Bergen, Lowell Bergen and wife Karen, and Lyman Bergen; 9 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; brother, Arnold Vogt. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Verna Brockman, Betty Oller, and Dorothy Friesen. Memorial donations to: SIM USA, 14830 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC 28273, or donate online at simusa.org.