Col. Dr. Helen J. Gurkow
February 15, 1926 - May 24, 2023
Obituary For Col. Dr. Helen J. Gurkow
Col. Dr. Helen J. Gurkow, 97, died Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at the VA Hospital in Madison, WI.
Col. Dr. Helen J. Gurkow was born in Lancaster, WI, the daughter of Carl and Theresa Gurkow. Her parents ran Gurkow Produce/Implement for many years in Lancaster, WI. Following Col. Dr. Gurkow’s graduation from Lancaster High School, she attended the University of Illinois receiving a Bachelor’s Degree. At the University of Wisconsin, she obtained a Master’s Degree and PhD in Anatomy/Physiology. During that time, she taught in the Anatomy Department of the University of WI Medical School. She obtained a MD degree from Marquette Medical School (now the Medical College of Wisconsin). After an internship and year in surgical residency at Madison General Hospital (now Meriter), she went into solo general practice in Platteville, WI until 1986. In 1979 she joined the Wisconsin National Guard 13th Evac Hospital unit; in 1982 she became a Flight Surgeon and served with the 147 AVN Unit until 1990, when she was activated for Desert Storm and served four months with the hospital unit in Saudi Arabia. In 1992 she transferred to the Ohio National Guard where she was Ohio State Surgeon, Army National Guard until retirement in 1994. Col Dr. Gurkow traveled extensively throughout her entire life and became an avid photographer and in later years an environmental advocate (tree hugger). After retiring from Medicine in 1988 she became a professional nature photographer.
Col. Dr. Gurkow was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by a cousin, Wendy and many dear friends especially, Mary Rose Dye Kieler, who was a borrowed daughter from a wonderful family – Jaime and Lola Dye. We ran a top notched medical practice, and I could not have done it without her, she has a son, Eddie whom I delivered.
A special thank you to Bonnie Eustice for all her help and Ben Eustice my computer I.T. Man, also Jim Koener a borrowed son, Vietnam Vet, Cobra and Huey Helicopter Pilot. Also, Bud Leuth, Julie John Gallagher, Janann Clark, Katie Juisto, Fred and Glenda Dye, Connie and Roger Wiederholt, and Beth and Chip Rowedder for all the lunches, phone calls, perms and boat rides. God blessed me with the Jaime and Lola Dye family. Life is sweet, and I have done it all, and it was wonderful – live every day like your last, and one day you will be right.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Nature Conservancy, Madison Audubon Society or your favorite charity.
There will be a private burial date at a later time at Southern Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, Union Grove, WI.
Col. DR you will truly be missed and know that you were loved.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
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