Redlin Funeral Home Redlin-Ertz Funeral Home

Helen Ada (Opperman) Niles , Age 78

October 18, 1943 --October 01, 2022

Helen Ada Niles (Opperman), 78, officially the world's sweetest grandma (Guinness Book of Records 2000), peacefully and gently passed into the arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ, early Saturday, October 1, 2022. Helen's passing was precisely on schedule as it reads in the Bible in Psalm 139:16 "....and in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me."

Helen was born October 18, 1943, to the late Clarence and Audrey Opperman as the third child in a family that included sisters Dorothy and Susan, and brothers Don, Duane, and Dale. Grammy was preceded in death by daughter Jamie (Bob) Zimmerly, sister Dorothy, brothers Donald and Duane, brother-in-law Gerald and sister-in-law Barb. Mom is survived by husband Steve, son Gary (Connie) Hames, son-in-law Bob Zimmerly, sister Susan (Tim) Emerson, brother Dale Opperman, and sisters-in-law Judy (Clyde) Sutton, Janice (Jerry) Ward, Martha Harding, Barbara Smith, Chris (Ken) Wilder, Holly Opperman, and Tammy Dart.

As a child, Helen attended school in Lodi. The family then moved to a farm in North Freedom, where she attended Pleasant Valley School and Baraboo High School. As Helen grew up, reliable sources claimed she struggled to perform basic domestic chores. Apparently, it would take her several hours just to wash dishes because of all the impromptu breaks Helen would take dancing to rock-n-roll music - Elvis was her man! Helen met her BFF Martha Harding at age 14. They were two peas in a pod. Several times the pair would skip school, hop in the VW Beetle, and go joyriding anywhere - the countryside, Diamond Jim Delaney's Surplus Store - even to Madison. The two foreshadowed the lack of trust in the public school system when they both quit school together. Mom would quietly earn her GED later.

Helen would soon marry a man who would fail her and abandon both her and her children. Here's what God did though - He gave Mom the perfect husband for her and her children. All doubted their marriage would last. After being together 50 years (45 married), all were proved wrong. Mom and Dad fished, hunted, and fell asleep in their chairs together. They spent their children's inheritance touring 43 of the lower 48 states. Much of it on the back of their Goldwing motorcycle. God helped Mom with many jobs, finally ending with the Sauk County Courthouse in the maintenance department for 25 years until retirement in 1999.

Don't tell anyone, but Helen was a classic snoop. A "draw the curtains, turn out the lights, and grab the binoculars" snoop. Remember, there are no secrets with the janitor! Her husband correctly nicknamed her "Mrs. Kravitz" - after the nosey neighbor on the TV Show "Bewitched". Bravo Dad! Moms desire to maintain civic awareness duties has been passed down to the next generation in her son and then her grandson (you know who you are).

Grammy loved all her dogs: Buck Henry, Tessie Bear, Sandy, Joe, Rex, Willy, Ryder, and Logan - all spoiled rotten. Grams enjoyed Pizza Ranch chicken, shrimp, chicken-fried rice, Maine lobster, Fritos, and hard Cheetos, washed down with a tall glass of iced tea - the more ice the better. Grammy had a clown collection to be envied by the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baileys Circus - a collection soon to be donated to the chosen few! Helen even pondered joining the clown school in Florida. Mom also enjoyed quilting - mostly just starting quilts - and crocheting. (Mom still owes me an afghan from high school - oh well). Mom cherished her trip to the Cayman Islands with her daughter Jamie.

But the real loves of Grammy's life were her grandsons: Josh (Kelsey), Joe (Cassie), and Jake (Cari) Hames. She spoiled those boys at Christmas. Ma enjoyed all the football games from pop-warner to Jake's aka 'the Golden Boy' record setting performance on her 70th birthday. Just to be clear, Josh was Grammy's favorite. We love you dearly Joe, but it wouldnt have killed you to hang on to the ball once in a while! G-Ma was blessed to have three beautiful great-granddaughters, within whom she will live forever: Holly, Cali, and Adriana.

Our family would love to thank the staff at Fresenious Dialysis Center in Baraboo for the quality of life they helped Mom to enjoy for several years. We also want to thank the attending physicians and nurses at Froedtert Hospital MICU, particularly Cami, Lauren, Katie and Kevin for their compassion and professionalism. Although Jesus is the only one who could ever heal, you were His hands, feet, and heart. You didn't choose this career; God chose you and equipped each one of you. For that, we praise God for His grace and mercy, and for the love He displayed through you. God's blessings on you all. To Him alone be the glory! Amen.

Dad, I personally want to thank you for the way you cared for Mom. I can't even imagine how darn hard it was these last four years. I wish I could have helped you carry your burden more. In a world of deadbeat dads who quit when the temps rise, you persevered. You taught me and your grandsons how to treat our wives through your love. I hope we remember your commitment when it's our turn. You honored Mom. It's a privilege to know you and be part of your family. I will always be grateful for you. You are a true gift from God! I love you!

Services will be held on October 18, 2022, at Redlin-Ertz Funeral Home, 401 Madison Avenue,
Baraboo, WI, 53913 with visitation from 9 - 11 and service from 11 - 12.


Pam Bangert October 05, 2022

Friend of Gary and Connie Green Bay , Wisconsin

So sorry for your loss. But now she ain't suffering and in no pain. I know its hard but she is with Jesus.

Laura Osborne October 05, 2022

Friend of family Green Bay , Wisconsin

Praise God for Helen's new life in Jesus arms. She will be missed on earth but praying that being reunited someday will get her family through. R.I.P. MS. HELEN🙏🎚❤