Obituary of Malindi Jane Helm Wallander
Malindi Jane Helm Wallander was born April 8, 1971 in Coos Bay, Oregon. She died peacefully in her home in Eugene, on December 6, 2022. She is survived by a loving family that included her husband John Wallander, her parents, Mike and Chris Helm, brother Ben Helm, (Kim Ford), sister Polly Nelson, (Scott Nelson), brother Luke Helm (Bevin Helm), nieces, Lily, Lizzy, Kadence, nephews, Leeland and Chase and many cousins.
Malindi was born with Down Syndrome. She overcame many limitations through dogged perseverance and unflagging optimism. She had the good luck to arrive at the public school house at the same time that Public Law 94-142, The Education for All Children Act, took effect, dictating that all children be educated in the least restrictive environment.That meant that Malindi would go to school like all other kids. Malindi attended several elementary schools, then found a home at Roosevelt Middle School, where a friendly, supportive faculty welcomed her. She went on to South Eugene High School, graduating in 1990, receiving two $500 scholarships along with her High School Diploma. Malindi took classes at Lane Community College and worked a variety of jobs, including in child care and nursing homes and nine years as an office assistant in the Lane County District Attorney’s Office. More recently, during the COVID epidemic, she assisted in a medical facility.
Malindi married the love of her life, John Wallander in 1999. They shared a loving, meaningful life. Together they were active members of their church, they bowled, played bocchi ball, enjoyed date nights and family gatherings.
Malindi competed in many sports in Special Olympics, excelling in gymnastics. In 1991 Malindi was chosen to represent the USA at the International Special Olympic Games in Minneapolis.
Malindi was a life time member of the local YMCA where she regularly joined the aqua swim classes. Malindi led a full, active and adventuresome life radiating love wherever she went and to whomever she met. She touched many lives with her gentle smile and her positive attitude. She was a role model of acceptance and the ripples of her life spread far and wide. She was a beautiful soul.
Memorial Service to be held at Westside Baptist Church on Saturday, January 28th at 11:00AM. Celebration of Life at Mike and Chris's house on Sunday, January 29th from 3:00 to 5:00PM.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Malindi Wallander, please visit Tribute Store