Dominican Sister of Peace Helen (Basil) Wilxman, 93, passed away at Mohun Health Care Center on May 3, 2019.
Born on December 13, 1926, she was one of the four children born to Marcella Vivier and William Wilxman of Columbus, OH.
Sr. Helen first heard God’s call as a young girl of 12. She waited to finish college before she answered, entering religious life in 1948 after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from St. Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University.
Sr. Helen went on to minister as a teacher and administrator in Connecticut, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania for 27 years, and earned her Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from Notre Dame. She also received a National Foundation of Science grant in Mathematics Research at Colorado State University.
Sr. Helen’s wonderful personality and “get it done” attitude – as well as her talent for mathematics – were key in her next ministry as Director of Development at Albertus Magnus College. From there she accepted a position in Parish Ministry and fundraising for St. Rita and St. Anthony Parishes in Dade City, FL. This opened the door to what would become her favorite work – Director of Daystar Hope Center, an ecumenical non-profit that provided physical aid to the very poor.
In her homily, Sr. Thoma Swanson remembered that Sr. Helen recognized how to optimize every opportunity to meet her ministries’ goals. She convinced the Northerners who vacationed in Dade City to donate their unneeded appliances and clothing to a thrift store, then to work in the store as well. Not only did this little store provide gently-used household goods to the neighborhood’s needy families, but the proceeds from sales helped purchase medical care for the poor through the Daystar Hope Center.
In 2004, Sr. Helen returned home to Columbus, serving as a Volunteer at the Motherhouse and later in a ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center.
Sr. Helen Wilxman was preceded in death by her parents, William and Marcella Vivier Wilxman, her brother, William and her sister, Sr. Louise (Sr. Mary Linus) Wilxman, OP. She is survived by her sister, Beth Schodorf.
A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, OH, on Thursday, May 9, 2019. The funeral liturgy was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel on Friday, May 10. Sr. Helen is interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Helen’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org.
To download a printable PDF of this memorial, please click here.