Peggy Helphrey


After a long battle with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, on Sunday, December 24, 2023, Peggy Helphrey, the best of us, passed away at the age of 74.

A Memorial Service will be held at St. George’s Episcopal Church at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 28.  The burial will follow at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan at 3:00 PM.

Peggy was born on August 6, 1949, in Watford City, North Dakota. She had a magical childhood, raised by her parents, Homer and Alice Sorenson, on a ranch at the edge of the Badlands. As the only girl, Peggy was expected to help her mother in the house, but she preferred to be outside with the boys- always proving that she could do everything they could. She attended a small country school through her elementary years and lived with relatives in Watford City when it was time to go to high school- that is when her grandma taught her to drink coffee (and boy, could she drink coffee)! Peggy graduated from Watford City High School in 1967.

Shortly after getting settled into her dorm room at NDSU, where she planned to major in Home Economics, Peggy met the love of her life. She thought he was extremely funny, exciting, and handsome. Peggy Sorenson married Jim Helphrey on September 6, 1969.

The couple resided in Fargo, Devils Lake, Bismarck, and St. Cloud, Minnesota as they took care of their first child, Kris. Their second child, Luke, was born in 1979 and made the family complete.

Through the years, Peggy worked for Beneficial Finance, Associate Finance, the St. Cloud Times, and as the Credit Supervisor at The Bismarck Tribune. She was known to be “small but mighty” in her business dealings.

Always looking to help make the community better, Peggy was generous with her time, volunteering at St. George’s Episcopal Church, with St. Alexius Hospice, and with the Bismarck High School Parent Advisory Committee.

Lake Isabel was Peggy’s heaven on earth. She loved getting up early in the morning to watch the sunrise- taking thousands of pictures over the years. She enjoyed all the projects and improvements that come with owning a lake property and especially loved sharing it with others. Later in life, she even learned to swim- just good enough to save herself if she needed to.

Peggy is survived by her husband, Jim Helphrey; daughter, Kris (Jim) Thompson; son, Luke Helphrey; grandchildren, Mason, Megan, Maddex, and Knox; great-grandchildren, Noah, and Link; and brothers, Craig (Barb) Sorenson and Wayne (Cindy) Sorenson.

She was proceeded in death by her parents, Homer and Alice Sorenson; her in-laws, Earl and Ott Helphrey; a special sister-in-law, Juanita Boyd-Helphrey, and a nephew, Brent Sorenson.

Peggy was the ultimate caretaker, often putting her life on hold for someone in need. She was a loyal and devoted daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, and friend. She loved fiercely, never giving up on goodness and she believed that with a little work all things would work out in the end. We can best remember Peggy by paying forward the same consideration and thoughtfulness that she gave to the world.

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God rest her soul. Jim, my condolences to you and your family.

Jim and family, Tom and I are thinking of you and your family. We are so sorry. May your many memories and adventures sustain you.
Peggy was a wonderful person. She and Cleta and Pat were so special to me at The Tribune, and I loved working with that trio of goodness.
take good care of each other.

Jim, Craig, and Wayne, I am so sorry for the loss of Peggy. She was a wonderful person and will be missed. Her tally and my family were friends for many years. God bless. May the memories you have comfort you in the days and weeks to come.

Jim and family, I am so very sorry. My heart aches for you. Peggy was a beautiful soul. Her smile could light up a room. Her eyes were filled with joy and wonder. Thinking of you and holding you in my heart.

Jim and family. I was so sorry to hear of Peggy’s passing. She was such a good person. We always had a little giggle when we greeted each other “Hi Peggy” “Hi Peggy”. God bless her and your family.

Kevin and I send our deepest sympathies. Such a tremendous loss – a beautiful soul with a gracious heart who brought such love and kindness to so many. Her precious smile will be missed the most.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kendel Paulsen

Jim and Family,
We are so very sorry to hear about Peggy passing away. Many hugs and prayers coming your way!!

My Thoughts and Prayers are with you Jim and Family, she will be missed but hold the memories and times shared together they will comfort you.

Jim, Kris and family, Luke and family: We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Peggy. We were so fortunate to get to know you both in the years of the traveling BB with our sons! We always enjoyed our conversations with you both! May you all hold onto the PRECIOUS memories of her! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, esp. in the days ahead! With our “heartfelt” sympathy and prayers, along with hugs, Jan & Gary Gilchrist

I remember the first time I met Peggy. I’m a friend of her grandson, and she just gave me the biggest hug and kiss on the cheek within seconds of being introduced. It’s something that always stuck with me. My condolences.

Jim sending you my deepest condolences. Peggy was a lovely person, she made me smile. Sorry for you loss.
Jann putz Frazier

Peggy was a beautiful soul. Loved working with her at the Tribune. She was a kind person with a fantastic sense of humor.

Jim, I am very sorry to hear of Peggy’s passing. I am sure that she will be missed by all of you. May God give you peace during this trying time.

Jim, Kris, Luke and all of the Sorenson families: We are so sorry to learn of Peggy’s passing. She was a wonderful, beautiful, kind and very, special little lady. She was tiny, bubbly and mighty. We have a lot of special memories of her and you all at Alice & Homers ranch. Also, meeting with all of the cousins at Medora in the summers. Our sincerest condolences to you all. She was loved and will be greatly missed.

Gena, Nona, Keira and families.

Last edited 6 months ago by Gena, Nona & Keira