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Helen Gillespie Jacupke

September 2, 1926 — January 16, 2024


Helen Gillespie Jacupke

Hastings resident Helen Gillespie Jacupke, 97, passed away Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at College View Assisted Living, Hastings, NE.    


Helen Gillespie Jacupke was born September 2, 1926, to Paul and Vera Gillespie in Omaha, NE. She attended the Omaha Public Schools, graduating from Omaha Central High School in 1944. After four years at the University of Nebraska, she graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was married to Gerald Paul Jacupke in October of the same year.


The couple lived in several Nebraska towns, finally settling in Hastings, where they finished raising their four beloved children: Paula, Jay, John, and Julie. In 1972 the couple separated and a few years later were divorced.


Although Helen was a devoted homemaker while her children were young, as time permitted, she yearned to return to the classroom, this time at Hastings College. There, she took 64 hours of classes in literature and history and earned a teaching certificate.   Subsequently, she taught English for nineteen years at Hastings Senior High School, including three years half-time at Hastings Junior High (now Middle School). Looking back on her years as a teacher, Helen considered them profoundly rewarding.


Retirement provided additional time and opportunity for things she enjoyed: time with family and friends; time to read and learn; time for interesting groups of all kinds, especially PEO and Finches; time for more classes at Hastings College; time to travel; time to volunteer and serve.


Those who preceded her in death are her sons, Jay and John, her granddaughter, Emily, her parents, and Aunt Clara, all beloved family members. Survivors include her daughter Paula Barta and husband, John; her daughter Julie Jacupke; four grandchildren; Jenna Jacupke, Jessica (AJ) Achilles, Jordan Jacupke, and Ryan (Paula) Carlson. Six great-grandchildren; Hunter, Jay, Rhodes, & Adler Jacupke, Leah & Sarah Carlson.    


A private service will be held for the family. There will be no viewing or gathering. 


Memorials may be given to St. Mark’s Pro-Cathedral Church, First Presbyterian Church, Hastings College, or Hastings Public Schools Foundation.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Gillespie Jacupke, please visit our flower store.


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