Helen Ernestine ‘Erny’ Teachout


Helen Ernestine ‘Erny’ Teachout


Helen Ernestine “Erny” Teachout was born on Nov. 1, 1921, in Powell, Wyoming, to William S. and Sophia Lehman. She left this world on Aug. 31, 2016, to be with her husband and her Lord and Savior. Mom was the third of five children.

Mom was raised in the Lockwood/Billings area. She attended Pine Hills School, which was a one-room schoolhouse. She attended Billings High School (Billings Senior High) and graduated on June 2, 1939.

Mom was baptized, confirmed and married at Trinity Lutheran Church. Mom was a devout Lutheran. She was involved with Walter League, LWML, and teaching Sunday School. Even through her battle with Alzheimer’s, Mom was still a devout Christian. She attended church at the nursing home and continued to sing her beloved song, “Jesus Loves Me.”

Mom met our dad in 1955 at the train station in Ottawa, Canada. Mom was in Ottawa for a church convention and Dad was on vacation with his friends. Mom and Dad kept in touch through letters. Dad even drove from Michigan to Billings to see Mom. When Mom answered the door, she exclaimed, “Look what you see when you don’t have a gun.” Our grandmother was horrified when Mom said this. But that is the sense of humor Mom always had. Mom and Dad were married on April 29, 1956. To this union, three children were born: Timothy, Glenn and Jill.

Mom worked in a dress shop, as a waitress at the original Northern Hotel, and, after working 39 years for the Billings Clinic, she retired in 1984.

Mom enjoyed bowling, playing cards, taking walks, singing, church, and especially her family. Mom loved to reminisce about how her family came from Russia to the United States. Her history of German Russians was very important to her.

Mom is survived by her sons, Timothy (Kathy) of Billings, Glenn (Karen) of Oakland, Tennessee; daughter Jill (James) Peterson of Billings; grandchildren Rebecca (Shane) Wohlschlag, Daniel Edwards, Adam Derting and Nikki (Jared) White; great-granddaughters Caydence and Taylor Wohlschlag; brothers Cleve (Virginia) Lehman and Lew (Rosemary) Lehman; and brother -in-law Frank (Jackie) Teachout. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Stanley (2009); sister Lydia Neitzel; brother Arnold Lehman; sister-in-law Hulda Lehman; parents William S. and Sophia (birth mom) Lehman and Elizabeth Lehman.

Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 537 Grand Ave., with a luncheon to follow the service.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association here in Billings, St. John’s Lutheran Nursing Home Garden Court or Trinity Lutheran School.

We want to thank the staff at St. John’s Lutheran Nursing Home for all of the love and care you showed our parents for the last 11 years. You are all part of our family. Thank you so much.

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3 thoughts on “Helen Ernestine ‘Erny’ Teachout”

  1. Cynthia Ostermiller

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and especially to Alzheimer’s Disease. My Mom, Dorothy (Lehman) Ostermiller and Erny were such good friends over the years. Mom always had funny stories to tell us about Erny and Mom, and Mom’s sisters during their early years. Seems they were always getting up to some kind of mischief and had a lot of fun growing up together. My Mom also has Alzheimer’s and her memories are pretty much gone at this point, but when we mention the names of people she grew up with, especially Erny and Mom’s sisters her face always lights up. She may not be able to speak very well, but there’s still a glimmer of laughter in her eyes with the thoughts of those early years.

    My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. I didn’t know your Mother well, but I know she had a great sense of humor and she made my Mom laugh a lot, and that tells me everything I need to know. Blessings to you and your family.


    Cynthia Ostermiller

  2. Although I worked with Erny many years ago at Billings Clinic, I have so many fond memories. She was a spunky and fun gal but you didnt want to get her German dander up! She was our pseudu Mom… like when she kept trying to fix me up with her nephew who I never did meet until he unbeknownst married my best friend. Prayers to your family.

  3. Jill, I am so sorry for your loss. These seem like the toughest days, but those are done. You’ve been through the worst, and you survived. Prayers and Blessings to you.

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