Contact Information

304 South Main Street
Minot, ND  58701

Phone: (701) 838-2832
Toll Free: 1-800-228-3588
Fax: 1-701-838-6949

Pearl Van Berkom Helgeson Simlik

Pearl Van Berkom Helgeson Simlik, 98, Fullerton, CA, formerly of Powers Lake and Minot, died Friday, November 18, 2016 in a Fullerton, CA Nursing Care Facility.

Pearl was born on September 9, 1918 on the family farm in Burke County near Powers Lake, ND to Mike and Emma Van Berkom. She was raised on the family farm and educated at Powers Lake and Northgate, before graduating from Powers Lake High School in 1936. She met Henry Helgeson during her high school days at area dances. They were later married on November 25, 1936 in Bowbells. From this union three children were born. They made their home in Powers Lake, where Henry operated a bar and clothing store.  Pearl was active in the community with the Band Boosters and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, where she sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and served as president of the Ladies aide. She was also a member of the Civic Club, American Legion Auxiliary and VFW Auxiliary all of Powers Lake.

Henry suffered a stroke in 1968, so they sold their home in Powers Lake and moved to Minot.  Pearl worked at Stevenson’s and Walter’s Clothing Stores and Trinity Hospital in collections. Henry died in 1974. Pearl worked a short time before moving to Fullerton, California in 1977 to enjoy the warmer climates. She was employed at the Convention Center, sold Mary Kay Cosmetics and later at the Martin Lutheran Hospital in Anaheim. In 1990, she moved to Apache Wells, AZ. It was important to Pearl to return to her roots in North Dakota each year to visit family and friends.

On December 1, 2001, after 27 years of being a widow, she married Maj. Gen. Will Simlik (USMC/Ret) in Vista, CA. They made their home in Vista and Carlsbad to be close to Camp Pendelton, where they attended many Marine events.  In 2009, the C.P. Rotary Club honored them with an appreciation party and plaque as the founders of a program to assist young marines and their families while they were away on duty.  

Due to health concerns, they moved to Fullerton, CA to the Morningside Assisted Living Facility in 2010.   They had Sunday visits and spent holiday’s with granddaughter, Michelle and family from LaHabra, California over the years.  Will died in 2014 and she moved into the Nursing Care Facility there.  Her family celebrated her birthday with her each year and many trips in between. Her family was very important to her.

Pearl’s hobbies and interests included dancing, playing bridge and traveling. She had been on cruises to the Hawaiian Islands, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Mississippi River and to Alaska.

Pearl’s loving family includes, children, Dennis (Marvel) Helgeson, Minot, Linda (Robert) Marshall, Ft Wayne, IN and Jerry (Sandy) Helgeson, Windsor, CO; 7 grandchildren: Michelle (Darwin) Kolschefski, Mark (Beth) Helgeson, Christian (Trisha) Helgeson, Stacy (Andrew) Jarvis, John (Angie) Marshall, Susan (Mike) Steidl, Julie (Jamie) McCawley; 18 great grandchildren: Danielle, Alexis & Anthony Kolschefski; Henry & Greta Helgeson; Taylor & Sydney Helgeson; William, Emma & Jack  Jarvis; Alex, Natalie & Nate Marshall; Lauren & Jonathon Steidl; Conner, Braden & Madelyn McCawley;  sister, Ione Johnson, Minneapolis, MN sisters in law, Loris Van Berkom, Williston and Gloria Helgeson, Minneapolis, MN; several nieces and nephews.

Pearl was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, Henry Helgeson & Will Simlik, brothers, Roy and Robert Van Berkom and sister, Alice McMachlan.

Booksigning:  Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home - Minot.

Memorial service: 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 23, 2017 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Powers Lake, ND.
Interment: Bethel Cemetery, Powers Lake, ND.
Memorials: preferred to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Powers Lake.

Download PDF of Flowers Received

Guestbook / Messages

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MessageSo sincerely sorry for your loss. I missed the visitation.
Name This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
MessageI met Pearl when we were studying for our Real Estate exams. We drove to Bismarck to take our test together and we both passed. We were friends ever since. She was so much fun.

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