Cover photo for Helen (Buss) Halsey's Obituary
Helen (Buss) Halsey Profile Photo
1920 Helen 2013

Helen (Buss) Halsey

April 12, 1920 — December 5, 2013

Helen Rumsey Buss Halsey (also known as “Oma”) was named after her Aunt Helen Buss Thomas. Helen was born April 12, 1920 at home on a farm in Provo, Utah to Edith Bliss Rumsey Buss and Fred Earle Buss. When she was 3 years old they moved to Palo Alto, California. Her father taught at San Jose State College. Helen graduated in 1938 from Palo Alto High School and went on to graduate in biological sciences from San Jose State College in 1942. While attending San Jose State, Helen became a lifetime member of “Black Masque,” an honorary service organization. She received her Master’s at Stanford University in 1944; her thesis was “Genetics of Methionless Mutants of Neurospora Crassa.” After receiving her Master’s, Helen did research on orchids for the McClellan Nursery. Helen and her future husband Theodore Vail Halsey, Jr (“Ted”) were good friends for 10 years before their marriage on June 22, 1947. Helen left her career behind and moved up to the ranch on Jersey Island in the San Joaquin River delta area in California where she helped run “Delta Properties, Inc.” Helen’s studies of genetics helped as she and Ted developed the cattle herds on Jersey Island: registered Polled Herefords. As newlyweds Helen and Ted became members of the Brentwood Community United Methodist Church and soon served as Methodist Youth Fellowship leaders. Helen also joined the church choir where she sang alto for many years. Helen also taught Sunday School, participated in the church women’s group, and attended many Bible studies.

Helen and Ted had 3 children: Edith Louise, John Robert and Kenneth Edward. Helen and Ted faithfully took their children to Sunday School and church. Helen drove her children to many activities; all of her children achieved the rank of “All Star” in 4-H. Helen also taught entomology and received a leader award for 20 years of service as a 4-H leader.

Helen had many talents. She loved music; she played the violin. Together with Ted, Helen participated in the Sing-It -Yourself Messiah in San Francisco yearly. In addition Helen and Ted were part of a writer’s group; Helen wrote several volumes of short stories about their lives.

Helen and Ted were active in the community. Helen was instrumental in the Women’s Club since 1947 in Oakley, California; when Helen moved to Nebraska she joined the Auburn Women’s Club and appreciated their friendship. Helen and Ted were active members of the Farm Bureau (for over 50 years), the Contra Costa Historical Society, and the California Academy of Sciences; in addition, they were supporters of Delta Memorial Hospital (now Sutter Delta Medical Center). They were also patriotic, active citizens.

In November 2008, Helen and Ted together with Edith began the process of having their first new home custom-built by Eric Bohling on an acreage just outside Auburn, Nebraska. At the end of May 2009 at the age of 89 Helen and Ted at age 92 made an incredible move to their new home in Nebraska. Immediately Helen and Ted began attending the churches served by Harold and Edith: Peru Community Church and Tecumseh Lutheran Community Church where they made new friends and Helen helped with events as she was able.

When “Ted” passed away Dec. 26, 2010, Helen bravely continued without her spouse after 63 years of marriage. “Oma” loved receiving photos and letters from family and friends and also wrote letters often. She loved to read, play bridge and dominoes, and do puzzles. Helen appreciated her caregivers and the staff at Good Sam and Asera Care Hospice.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Theodore Vail Halsey,Jr.; her parents: Fred and Edith Buss; siblings: Walter, Paul and Robert Buss and sister, Mabel Crittenden. Surviving children are Edith (and Harold) Bickford; John Halsey; Kenneth (and Julie) Halsey; and grandchildren: Sally(Dave) Ghilarducci, Harold “Bud” (Amy) Bickford; Christel (Andrew) May; William (Elizabeth) Bickford; Joshua (Guinevere) Halsey; and great grandchildren: Ben and Mia; Julia, Ivan and Henry; Lucas and Camille. Many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends will miss her.

A funeral service was held Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn, officiated by Revs. Doyle Karst and Sharon Schuster. Special vocals were provided by Elizabeth Bickford, and accompaniment for hymns was by Marge Zimmerman on piano and Sharon Schuster on guitar. Pallbearers were Harold Bickford, William Bickford, Ken Thomas, Ronald Meyer, Kevin Schlange, and Mark Boellstorf. Honorary bearers were John Halsey, Kenneth Halsey, and Joshua Halsey. Jean Thomas, Elizabeth Bickford, Rachel Bohling, and Kathy Boellstorff were flower attendants.

Helen’s body’s temporary resting place will be beside “Ted” at Sheridan West Cemetery in Auburn, Nebraska, but her home is in heaven with her beloved Savior and LORD, Jesus, the Christ.

Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen (Buss) Halsey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, December 9, 2013

9:00am - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Hemmingsen Funeral Home

801 S St, Auburn, NE 68305

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Sheridan West Cemetery

, Auburn, NE 68305

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