Cover photo for Helen Sue (VanMaanen)  Rishel's Obituary
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1942 Helen 2023

Helen Sue (VanMaanen) Rishel

November 2, 1942 — March 16, 2023


Helen Sue Rishel passed away peacefully at her home Thursday, March 16, 2023. She was born November 2, 1942, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, daughter of the late Leroy and Alice (Boss) VanMaanen and had been a lifelong area resident.

Helen loved her Lord and Savior and lived her life to honor Him. Helen built her business with her love and talent for sewing. She would spend her days caring for her family and then head to her sewing room, sometimes sewing all night. More than anything, Helen loved John and her four girls. Her love grew with fourteen grandchildren, and one great-grand baby.

Helen was preceded in death by her infant son, Mark John Rishel; son-in-law, Thomas Geyer; grandson, Kenneth Duchene, Jr.; and siblings, Leroy, Jack, and Sonnie VanMaanen. On June 18, 1963, Helen married John W. Rishel, who survives. Also surviving are her children, Sherri (Michael) Barwegen, Victoria Geyer, Alana (Matthew) DePriest, and Christina (Kenneth) Duchene; grandchildren, Abrahame (Rachel) Barwegen, Solomon, Elizabeth, and Nathaniel Barwegen, Isabel, Lily, and Abby Geyer, Daniel DePriest, Anna, Gracie, Emma Rea, Zachary, Hannah, and Alice Duchene; and great-granddaughter, Noel Barwegen.

Visitation will be 10-11am Monday, March 20, 2023 at Renovation Church, 1715 W. Centre Ave, Portage MI 49024, where services will begin at 11am. A private committal service will be held in Ft. Custer National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family, c/o Langeland Family Funeral Homes, 622 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. To view Helen’s personalized web page, please visit

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, March 20, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 20, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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