Hellen Amalia Strand , 104, of Oak Grove, died at home in her sleep March 11, 2014.

She was born June 2, 1909, in Harmony to Jacob and Carrie Strand.

She graduated from Winona State Teachers College with a two-year degree. Later she graduated from St. Olaf College with a bachelor of arts degree and moved on to the University of Minnesota, obtaining a master of arts and Ph.D.

She taught primary school in rural Harmony, Donaldson, Lockhart, Spring Grove and Aitkin. During WWII, she became a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserves -WAVES. She worked in the Navy Department, Bureau of Ordinance, the War Department, Post Office Department and Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., before returning to Minnesota to pursue her MA and PhD.

She became the professor of Education at Luther College from 1954 to 1974. She traveled to Liberia in 1966 as a Fulbright lecturer at Cuttington College. She remained there from 1969-1972 as director of students and Upward Bound Program. From 1974 to 1979 she taught at Balob Teachers College in Lae, Papua New Guinea, as an American Lutheran Church missionary.

During retirement she was a board member of "The Box Project," and helped support a Mississippi family by periodically sending boxes of food and clothing. She also volunteered at the Center for Victims of Torture, taught Sunday school at Glen Cary and served on the Glen Cary Mission committee. Faith, family, friends, education and travel were the most special things in her life.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Arthur Strand; sisters, Bessie Blatchly and Marion Strand Carlson and all of her first cousins, both American and Norwegian.

She is survived by her sister, Elizabeth (Dale) Reishus; nephews, Allen, Howard and James (Carol) Strand, Jacoby (Bev Kelley), Diek and Achim (Wendy) Carlson, Bob and Tom Reishus; nieces, Corrine Mix, Chris (Bruce) Beaubien, Renee Anderson, Heidi (Marc Blackburn) Severson and Patti Post and all of the children of her nieces and nephews, other relatives, friends and former students.

Funeral services took place at Glen Cary Lutheran Church, in Ham Lake on Tuesday, March 18.