Helen Swanson, age 89, of Ayrshire, Iowa passed away on April 22, 2018. Helen Maxine Main Swanson was born October 20, 1928 on a farm in eastern Iowa near Troy Mills in Linn County. She was the daughter of Richard and Minnie (Patterson) Main. Helen was the only girl with four brothers: Gerald, Harold, Bernard and Norman.
Helen graduated from high school in Troy Mills, Iowa in 1946. After graduation, she attended college at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa where she received her bachelor’s degree in teaching and coaching certificate in 1950. Helen taught school as a Home Economics teacher and coached basketball and softball for 15 plus years at various schools in Iowa, including Lone Rock, Greenville-Rossie, Marathon, Linn Grove, Curlew, and lastly in Ayrshire.
On June 12, 1955, Helen was united in marriage to Dale Swanson at the Christian Church in Troy Mills, Iowa. Dale and Helen were married for 61 earthly years but forever in her heart. Together, they were blessed with five children: Wendy, Carolyn, Mary Jo, Barb, and Paul.
Helen and Dale farmed together for over sixty years in Logan Township where she was active in the farming operation helping in the field, milking cows and keeping the books. For many years Helen was a 4-H Leader and a township clerk for 20 years. She enjoyed Loganette Club and many card clubs. Helen was a member of the United Methodist Church in Ayrshire until its closing, and then became a member of the Community United Methodist Church of Gillett Grove.
Genealogy and family stories was one of Helen’s passions. She researched several generations and recorded stories about family vacations, holidays and special occasions. One of Helen's great accomplishments in the past few years was to author the Logan Township Book. She wanted to be sure that descendants would be able to read about local history. For two years she collected stories about the history of Logan Township and family stories. The final book ended up being 140 pages of history and memories about the township.
Helen enjoyed teaching others, whether it be her children, grandchildren or students at school. Visits to Grandma Helen’s house often included a cooking or sewing lesson along with playing games. She was always up for an adventure that usually included going somewhere.
Family was important part of her life and loved spending time with them. She enjoyed attending her children’s and grandchildren’s activities. Dale and Helen liked to stop by and visit with their kids and grandchildren. If a visit wasn’t possible, they always made sure to call and check on their friends and family.
Helen and Dale taught their children to believe in themselves, and that they could do anything they wanted if they worked hard at it. She always told us we should kiss our spouses every day and never go to bed mad.
Those left to cherish her memory are children: Carolyn (John) Sheridan of Greenville, Iowa; Mary Jo (Brett) Smith of Dickens, Iowa; Barb (Robert) Williams of Roland, Iowa; Paul (Janna) Swanson of Ayrshire, Iowa; grandchildren: Melissa (Bryan) Kestle, Nicci (Matt) Padilla, Erik (Tara) Sheridan, Euvonne (Cole) Hickey, Madella (Christopher) Deffer, Andrew Smith (Leslie Wille), Spencer and Gabe Williams, Jorja and Esme Swanson; great-grandchildren: Evelyn Sheridan, Harrison Kestle, Luke, Barrett, Crew Padilla; son-in-law: Tom Mazer; brother: Bernard Main; sisters-in-law Myrt Swanson and Arlene Main; brother-in-law Gene Swanson; extended family and friends.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Dale; daughter, Wendy Mazer; parents; brothers, Harold, Gerald, Norman; and two infant siblings.
10:00 a.m., Saturday
April 28, 2018
Community United Methodist Church
Gillett Grove, Iowa