Helen Louise Pautsch

May 29, 1943August 7, 2018
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Helen Dailey Pautsch was born May 29, 1943 to John and Margaret Dailey in Altamont, South Dakota. She attended Lake Alice District 20 School which was a one-room school house located on the corner of her parents property. She attended Clear Lake High School then moved to Aberdeen to attend Presentation College. While at Presentation, she was invited on a blind date to go hunting were she was introduced to Lawrence “Larry” Pautsch from Aberdeen. After graduating from Presentation, she married Larry and the two immediately moved to California. California became their new place of residence but South Dakota was always a big part of who they were and how they raised their family. Helen and Larry were blessed with two daughters: Shawna Lee Pautsch and Sheila Sue Pautsch. Helen built a career as nurse at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Downey, California. While serving as an RN, she enrolled at CSU Long Beach to become one of the first nurse practitioners specializing in spinal cord injury. Helen and her colleagues Margaret Murphy and Debbie Johnson blazed a trail for spinal cord injury nursing at Rancho by establishing a primary care clinic for the disabled. They were truly pioneers in their field. Helen served as an RN or NP for over 40 years at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center. She was beloved by her patients and colleagues. Helen was a survivor and fierce fighter. She beat breast and colon cancer. Unfortunately, in April 2018, she was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer. The cancer was quite advanced and quickly ravaged her body. She fought a courageous battle, but on August 7, 2018 the good Lord came to take her home. She died at her home in Downey, California with her daughters at her side. She was proceed in death by her beloved husband Larry, her parents John & Margaret Dailey, her sisters Kay Dailey Kalhoff, Nora Dailey Grabow, her brother Tom Dailey, her in laws Ed & Lola Pautsch, her sister in laws Judy Dailey, Mona Pautsch King, and her brother in laws Leon King, Don Grabow, and George DeBoer.


  • Visitation Tuesday, August 14, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Tuesday, August 14, 2018
  • Reception Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Helen Louise Pautsch

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Debbie Uhles Tanaka

August 18, 2018

Helen was one of the two Nurse Practioners I saw in the Comar Clinic at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital. For those of us who had spinal cord injuries, it was these two ladies that kept us alive after being discharged from the hospital. There were no other nurses that had this experience and knowledge. Helen took this responsibility as an honor, she was always willing to see us whether it was a scheduled appointment or a frantic distress call, she was there for us. This kind of dedication is rare, but Helen would give you her kind of shy smile and see to it that you were taken care of. We started missing her as soon as she announced she was retiring, what would we do without her. Well, what happened was, we continued to call her to get her expertise even after she was retired.
This sweet lady and amazing nurse will have many jewels in her nursing cap in heaven and there is no one more deserving. I am sorry if I did not tell Helen enough how very much she was appreciated and loved.
Most Fondly, Debbie Uhles Tanaka

evelyn moran

August 16, 2018

I am so thankful to have known Helen and to have sat across from her in the Comaar Clinic. Transcribing her orders was great cause she had such clear
handwriting. She often talked about Larry ! and her 2 girls .... It's like I knew him but he was deceased. Helen was very kind ,I never heard her raise her voice . Her patients loved her and spoke highly of her. I am grateful to have spent time with Helen before she passed. Rest in Peace my friend I will never forget you.

Maribel Rico

August 15, 2018

Helen was such an amazing lady, she was very nice and very dedicated to work. I had the opportunity to work with Helen in the spinal cord injury clinic at Rancho. I enjoyed working with her very much always so kind.