Mary Helen Almanza

Mary “Helen” Armijo Almanza, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, returned to her heavenly home on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022.  She passed away peacefully at her home in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by her family.  She was 80 years old.

Helen was born Aug. 20, 1941, to Malaquais and Maria Consuelo Gonzales Armijo in Billings, Montana.  She later moved with her family to Toppenish, Washington, where she attended elementary and high school.  It was in Toppenish where she met her future husband, John F. Almanza.  They moved to Burley, Idaho, to be with John’s family and were married there in 1961, for all time and eternity. They made their home in Burley, raised their four children there, and enjoyed nearly 61 years together.

Helen was a lifelong and an active member of the Catholic Church and her community.  She was a parishioner at St. Thérèse the Little Flower Catholic Church for 50 years, where she enjoyed serving in the Altar Society and as Eucharistic minister.  She was honored and named Catholic Woman of the Year for the State of Idaho in 1976.  She dedicated her free time to volunteer work in the Burley community and received many accolades and awards.  Helen loved caring for and improving the lives of children; spending many years as a literacy advocate, elementary school aide, daycare owner, and foster parent.  Helen was a beautiful person inside and out and was very loved by her family and friends.  She will be forever missed.

Helen is survived by her husband, John; all four of her children, Linda Almanza Kresl (Steve), Connie Almanza Mitchell (Mike Decker), Tina Almanza Rose (Dexter), and John Almanza (Kelley); one brother, Edward Armijo (Juanita); nine grandchildren, Kiley Mitchell, Chelsea Mitchell, Brionna Rose, Magdalena Kresl, Taylor Mitchell (Maddie), Augustine Almanza, Juanito Kresl, Giovanna Almanza, Asher Almanza, and Westin Rose; two great-grandsons, Simon Mitchell and Porter Mitchell; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Malaquais and Mary; and a brother, Nieves Armijo Lopez, all of which are now surely enjoying a family reunion.

The funeral Mass was offered for the repose of her soul at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at St. Thérèse the Little Flower Catholic Church, located at 1601 Oakley Ave., in Burley, with the Rev. Father Eladio Vieyra as celebrant.  Right of committal and burial followed at Pleasant View Cemetery in Burley.  A reception followed immediately at St. Thérèse the Little Flower parish hall.

Friends and family were received from 5 until 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at St. Thérèse the Little Flower Catholic Church in Burley, with the recitation of the holy rosary beginning at 6 p.m.

A webcast of the service will be available and maintained at

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home of Burley.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.