Helen Sundblad

September 8, 1935 ~ June 12, 2020 (age 84)


Helen Alberta (Poitra) Sundblad, 84, formerly of Erhard, passed away Friday, June 12, 2020 at Northfield (Minn.) Hospital.

Helen was born to Robert and Eva Poitra of Dunseith, ND on September 8, 1935.  She was the fifth of 11 children born to this union.  Helen attended school at St. Michael Catholic Boarding School after which she met and married Donald Gordon Sundblad on October 23, 1953.  They made their home in rural Erhard, MN after Donald was honorably discharged from the US Air Force.  During Donald’s time in the service, the couple lived in Denver, Colorado.  Onto this union were born four children: Steven, Vicki Lynn, Randy and Sandy.  Many happy years were spent with family and friends in Erhard.  

Helen enjoyed fishing, gardening, canning and playing cards with family and friends.  Her homemade tomato juice and refrigerator pickles were very sought-after recipes!  Many, many games of hand and foot were played around the kitchen table.  Helen also loved going to various casinos, however, most important were her grandchildren.  She loved holding them as babies and watching them grow up.  When they were old enough, she taught them how to play cards with her.  

Helen also enjoyed dancing, sharing coffee with family and friends, collecting old lamps and blue figurines.  Helen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved eating fresh raspberries from her garden and enjoyed home cooked meals; especially her fresh creamed peas, carrots and potatoes as well as her fried fish and fried potatoes.  Helen was a member of Grace Lutheran Church of Erhard.

Helen is survived by her children, Steve (Sandy) Sundblad of Pelican Rapids, Randy (Linda) Sundblad of Savage, MN and Sandy (James) Mann of Lonsdale, MN; grandchildren, Tina (Brent) McKellips of Clarksville, TN, Matthew Sundblad of Moorhead, Joshua, Austin and Cameron Sundblad and Zachary Laven, all of Savage, Rebecca Gray of Jordan, MN, Mason and Dezriah Mann of Lonsdale, and Jordan Mann of St. Louis, MN; great-grandchildren, Mackenzie and Parker McKellips, Tarin, Kindle, Ryder and Tatum Sundblad.  Helen is also survived by her brother, Virgil (Sharon) Poitra of Dunseith, ND; and two sisters, Amanda Poitra of Fargo, ND and Theresa Manson of Rolla, ND; and also one sister in law, Irene Melkert of Rothsay, MN; as well as many nieces and nephews.  

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald Sundblad; infant daughter, Vicki Lynn; infant great-grandson, Carson; seven sisters and brothers, Douglas (Gertrude) Poitra, Gladys Poitra,  Blanch (Donald) Hunt, Clarence Poitra, Harry (Leona) Poitra, Lorane (Ronald) Haggerty and Wayne (Patty) Poitra; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Raymond and Joyce Sundblad, Leonard and Jeanie Sundblad; as well as a brother-in-law, Buddy Melkert.

Memorial Service: 11:00 AM Thursday, June 18, 2020, at Grace Lutheran Church of Erhard, with visitation one hour prior to services at the church.  For those unable to attend, a live stream of Helen’s service will be available on her memorial page at

Clergy: Reverend Brad Soenksen

Interment: Bagstevold Cemetery, Erhard

Arrangements by Glende-Nilson Funeral Home of Fergus Falls





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June 18, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Grace Lutheran Church-Erhard
US Highway 59
Erhard, MN 56534

Funeral Service
June 18, 2020

11:00 AM
Grace Lutheran Church-Erhard
US Highway 59
Erhard, MN 56534


Bagstevold Cemetery
18787 370th St
Ehrard, MN 56534

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