July 23, 1913 - January 16, 2011
Visitation: 5-7 pm Friday, Jan. 21 the Family will be greeting friends
Visitation Place: Tennant Funeral Home Reception Room
Service: 11:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2011
Service Place: Christ United Methodist Church
Cemetery: Riverside Cemetery
Helen Mae Sandstead Budin, 97, of Greeley and former long time resident of Sterling, died Sunday, January 16, 2011, at North Colorado Medical Center, surrounded by her family. Born July 23, 1913, on the family farm in Willard, Colorado, Helen was the third of eight children born to William and Pearl Sandstead.
Helen attended Willard schools until the end of her junior year of high school when her family moved to Fort Collins. Helen was graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1931. While in high school, she played forward for her high school women’s basketball team, averaging 30 points per game. Helen attended Colorado A & M (now Colorado State) in Fort Collins, majoring in English and Literature and studying piano at the Music Conservatory.
On November 14, 1933, Helen married Paul Budin. Although they had grown up just 7 miles apart, they did not meet until they were both attending Colorado A & M in Fort Collins. Neither Helen nor Paul completed their college educations, but both became strong proponents of higher education, making sure all three of their children had college degrees. All seven of their grandchildren have also received college degrees.
Paul Budin was one of four brothers who formed the Budin Brothers partnership in the 30’s. Newlyweds, Paul and Helen, moved to the home they shared their entire married life 5 ½ miles north of Pawnee Pass and began their married life working for the partnership for $2 per day plus 100 chickens and one milk cow. Helen made extra money by selling eggs for $.12 per dozen and butter for $.25 per pound to her brother who owned a grocery store in Willard. She and Paul used those “profits” to buy groceries.
Following Paul having a life threatening illness in 1939 and the realization that she knew little about the day to day operation of the ranch business, Helen had a local CPA help her set up the books for the ranching operation. She kept all of the records for the business until she was 90 years old. She also kept a detailed diary for more than 70 years! The couple built a thriving cattle ranching business together. Paul died in 1971 as a result of a ranching accident. Helen continued to operate their ranching enterprise until her retirement. In 1976, Helen was named Logan County Rancher of the Year by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce. Helen’s life was filled with service…to her industry, her church and her community. She spent more than 60 years as a member of the local, state and national levels of CattleWomen. She helped organize the Northeastern Colorado chapter, served in a number of state level capacities including State President in 1974-75 and State Treasurer from 1970 to 1973. In 1974, at the request of the national president, Helen chaired the first National Beef Cookoff. That first year saw 13 states represented with $500 for first prize. From that humble beginning, today’s event pays $50,000 for first prize and all 50 states are represented. An Honorary Life Membership in the Colorado CattleWomen was bestowed on her a number of years ago. In 2003, Helen was inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame. Then in 2005, she was inducted as a Pioneer Ag Leader in Colorado by the Colorado Young Farmers Association. Helen served as a 4-H club leader (and organizer) of Pawnee Pals 4-H club for 15 years. In addition, she and her husband organized the Logan County 4-H Rodeo in the late 40’s and furnished stock for the rodeo for several years. Helen was a 30 plus year member of Home Demonstration clubs (Pawnee Pals and Jolly Jokers). She held many offices at the local and county level and served as State Music Vice Chairman for 3 years and State Music Chairman for 5 years. In 1966, Helen was honored to sing the National Anthem at the opening of the National Convention and played all 50 state songs during the convention. Helen was also a member for more than 40 years of the Graylin Neighborhood Improvement Club and a 20 year member of the Pawnee Neighbors Club.
The Logan County Historical Society bestowed an Honorary Life Membership on Helen for her 30 years of service to the group including 13 years as their Treasurer. Helen also furnished the moss rock from one of her ranches for the exterior of the Hamil Addition to the Sterling Museum. Helen was a life long Democrat and was honored as the Logan County Democrat of the Year in 1981. She served for many years on the Election Board, was a Precinct Committee Woman from the 1950’s to the 1990’s, was Vice Chair of the Logan County Democratic Central Committee from 1953 to 1960, was a member of the Jane Jefferson Club for more than 50 years having helped organize it in the late 40’s and having served as president for 10 years. In addition, she was appointed by then governor Ed C. Johnson to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Commission. She served 4 years. In 1956, she was honored to attend the National Democratic Convention in Chicago as an Alternate Delegate. A member since 1934, Helen worked tirelessly for her church, Christ United Methodist Church. She served as the first woman Trustee Chair from 1980-82, sang in the church choir for more than 20 years, and was a Wonder Group member and part of the Methodist Quilters Group for 25 years. In addition, she was her Sunday School Class pianist for more than 40 years. Helen was a longtime organist for Eastern Star. As a member since 1935, she was an Honorary Life Member. She was also a frequent organist for White Shrine and a member since 1960. She was also a 35 year member of Fortnightly Club and a 25 year member of Humanities Club. In addition, she was a charter member of the Sterling VFW. Music and playing the piano and organ were one of Helen’s great lifetime loves. As a teenager, she made a $1 a night playing the piano at the silent movies. She played in dance bands in the 50’s and 60’s. She frequently played for weddings and funerals. She especially enjoyed accompanying her brother, Earl “Buddy” Sandstead, when he sang. In addition, she served as the Community Concert Membership Chairman for 15 years bringing many fabulous musical shows to Sterling in the 60’s and 70’s.
Finally, Helen was a 30 year survivor of breast cancer. During her year of chemo and radiation, she drank many gallons of Aloe Vera and Grape Juice and credited her miraculous recovery to having a great surgeon, Dr. Curt Kimball, and the healing benefits of drinking those juices. Helen is survived by her three children: Pearl Ann Adams of Greeley; Paul Budin and wife, Mary, of Sterling; and Rudy Budin and wife, Dianne, of Sterling; two sisters: Evelyn Osborn of Broomfield and Virginia Woods and husband, Jim, of Seattle, WA; a sister-in law, Lois Sandstead, of Fort Morgan; Seven grandchildren: Kim Larson and husband, Brian, of Greeley; Stephanie Weatherill and husband, Bryan, of Sterling, Chris Budin of Denver, Anna Rajadurai and husband, Rajesh, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lisa Strassle and husband, Mike, of Ponca City, OK, Matt Budin of Anchorage, Alaska, and Ben Budin and wife, Lindsay, of Harrisville, Utah; six great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Paul F. Budin, Sr., her parents, her brothers Herbert Sandstead (Cora) of Holyoke, Willard Sandstead (Auriel) of Sterling, Morris Sandstead (Vivian) of Sterling, Earl Sandstead of Willard, and a sister, Alene Spangler (Hugo) of Fort Morgan, and a son-in-law, John Adams of Sterling. A memorial service is planned for this Saturday at 11:00 am at Christ United Methodist Church in Sterling. Reverend Ed Bigler will preside. A beef luncheon will be served at the church immediately following the service. A reception to visit with the family, or for those unable to attend the Saturday service, will be Friday from 5 to 7 pm at the Tennant Funeral Home Reception Room. Helen chose cremation, with her ashes to be placed next to her beloved husband, Paul, and spread across their beautiful ranch northwest of Sterling. Memorials may be made payable to Christ United Methodist Church, the American National CattleWomen Foundation or the American Cancer Society and mailed to Tennant Funeral Home, Box 1547, Sterling, CO 80751.