Helen Hoskins, 90, of La Crosse
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 3:25 AM
Helen A. Hoskins, 90, of La Crosse, Wis., died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at her home in La Crosse.
She was born in rural Mound Prairie, Minn., on March 26, 1922, to William Joseph and Emma Therese (Langen) Von Arx. Helene attended Bush Valley School in Mound Prairie and later St. Peter's School in Hokah.
She was a life-long member of St. Peter's Church and served as their organist for over 60 years.
An accomplished pianist, she spent many nights providing entertainment in nightclubs throughout downtown La Crosse and the surrounding areas.
For several years, she was the keyboard player with the Mississippi Muddcats performing locally as well as in Las Vegas and in Mexico. Helen's happiest times were behind the keyboard, flashing that infectious smile.
She knew through music that people could forget their troubles for awhile, which allowed her to touch the hearts of the lonely in many nursing homes and senior citizen centers by taking residents down memory lane to a happier time in their lives with her playing.
In 2000, she decided to return to school to get her GED certificate, fulfilling a desire she quietly carried for years. Upon completion in 2001, she became a competitive Scrabble player and was often accused of memorizing the Scrabble dictionary; losing wasn't an option.
On Feb. 22, 1945, Helen married William E. Hoskins at St. Peter's Church in Hokah. He preceded her in death on Aug. 7, 1988. They were blessed with nine children, William (Dorothy), Bonnie (Ralph) Hicks, Michael (Arlene), Mary (Tom) Low, Emily (Peter) Klug, Ann Frances (deceased), Therese (Larry) Sciborski, Mark (Anne), and Rose Marie (Tom) Bielefeldt.
She is further survived by 17 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Surviving siblings include two brothers, Francis (Frannie) Von Arx and William (Teddy) Von Arx; three sisters, Marguerite Sheehan, Dolores Benz and Rita Hayes; and sisters-in-law, Rita Von Arx, Betty Von Arx, Liz Von Arx, Mary Zirkel and Irene Hoskins.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter; brothers, Alfred (Evelyn), Otto (Marge) Paul, Walter, George, Jacob (Jean), and Joseph (Phyllis); a sister, Bernice (Don) Cavanaugh; and brothers-in-law, Gerald Hoskins, Fred Zirkel, Les Sheehan, Donald Benz and William Hayes.
A Mass of Christian Burial was Nov. 29 at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Hokah. Monsignor Bernard McGarty and Rev. Pratap Reedy Salibindla officiated. Burial was in the Mount Calvary Cemetery, Hokah.
The Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home in La Crescent assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.schumacher-kish.com.