The Zoolkoski family of Klamath Falls, Oregon, mourns the loss of their wife and mother Helene Lea Zoolkoski, who passed away at the age of 49 on Sunday, July 29, 2007, while serving at a mission hospital in Niger, West Africa.
Helene was buried on Monday, July 30, in the village of Galmi, Niger, in the presence of hundreds of people who had been inspired by her life. She was born on May 15, 1958, in Jos, Nigeria, the first of five children to Arthur and Alice Warkentin. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of British Columbia, a degree in religious studies from Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan, and a master’s degree in education from the Columbia University Teachers College in New York City.
Helene devoted a significant part of her life working enthusiastically to improve the accessibility and quality of education in the country of Niger. She worked with her husband to address the health care and spiritual needs of that region of West Africa. Helene is survived by her husband Christopher Zoolkoski; her children Elisheva, 13, Zeb, 11 and Joel, 6; her mother Alice Warkentin of Vernon; her siblings Patty Coster of Redmond, Washington, Barbie Patterson of Lethbridge, Alberta, Kathleen Haak of Vernon and Andrew Warkentin of Prince George.