In memory of

Helen Swanson

October 20, 1928 - April 22, 2018
Helen Swanson

Helen Swanson

Born: October 20, 1928
Died: April 22, 2018
Age: 89
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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

5-7:00 p.m., Friday
April 27, 2018
Community United Methodist Church
Gillett Grove, Iowa
Logan Township Cemetery
Dickens, Iowa


Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 9:45 AM
“Swanson family, I have many great memories of your mom, through school in Ayrshire, 4-H and just being family friends. You are in our thoughts and prayers.”
- Rick & Julie (Loomis) Pelechek
Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 12:56 PM
“I had the honor of staying in Helen and her husbands home when their neighbor passed away, my sister Becky Weber. I couldn't have had a more welcome place to be. Their hospitality was greatly appreciated. We are now sending our sincere sympathy to this special lovely lady's entire family.”
- Paul and Ina Rae Shannon
Friday, April 27, 2018 at 12:14 PM
“We loved Helen's smile, laugh, and that twinkle in her eyes. She will be missed greatly by her family and so many friends. So glad that she is now back with Dale and Wendy. Our thoughts are with her family. ”
- Karen and Doug Raper
Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:43 PM
“Dear Swanson Family,
I was saddened to read about Helenís passing. What a GOOD, CARING and INTERESTING person she was! Dale and Helen were so nice to my Mom (Louise Kundel) after Dad died. I have nothing but the fondest memories about them. My thoughts and prayers are with you. 🙏🏻”
- John Kundel
Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:43 PM
“My dear sweet Aunt Helen, I hope you enjoyed your ride through the stars and the universe on your way to heaven. To be greeted by Uncle Dale singing you a song & hugs from Wendy along with the rest of our family. But I really know why went on Sun. You heard that your nephew Gordon was having a big BBQ to celebrate what would of been his 65th Birthday on Sunday and you know how good the food was.
But seriously, I could not have asked for a more loving Aunt then you. You become a 2nd mother not only to me but to all your nieces and nephews. I always knew that no matter what curve life gave me, I could always cone upon to the farm walk in the door, get a big hug & feel your love. Oh, what memories I have carried with me. Learning how to can vegetables, peaches,making apple butter and making my first peach pie. When you knew I was coming to visit you always made jello with bananas in it, always denying "I didn't know you like that" of course I can't forget about the skunk!
But mostly thank you for being my Aunt.
To Carolyn, Mary Jo, Barb & Paul, my deepest sympathy,love and support.
With love, Laurie ”
- Laurie Main-Whightsil
Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:42 PM
“My condolences to the Swanson family. Helen was also my Home Economics teacher at Ayrshire. She and Dale were friends of my family and both will be missed. So sorry for your loss.
- Nancy Hill
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 9:59 AM
“Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you. ”
- Ben and Karen Greene
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 9:59 AM
“I am so sorry to hear of Mrs. Swanson's passing. She was one of my favorite teachers at Greenville - Rossie. It was so nice that she and her husband would join the Class of 64 in some of our latest reunions. Even though she was our teacher, you never felt like she just thought of you as a student. She treated her high school home economics students as fellow human beings sharing some of her own life experiences that would turn out to be quite relevant as I grew into an adult. Bless you, Mrs. Swanson. Judy Joenks Langholz.”
- Judy Langholz
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 9:59 AM
“I am so sorry for you loss. After all our good times together over last summer as her caregiver I considered her more of a friend. We loved to bake together, go for drives, and she even showed me how to iron clothes properly. Itís comforting knowing that she is reunited with Dale who she missed so much. Youíre all in my thoughts and prayers. ”
- Paige Wigen
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 10:43 AM
“My sympathy to the Swanson family in the passing of your mother. She was my Jr High Homme-Ec teacher in Ayrshire. Always enjoyed visiting with her whenever I would meet her. She is at peace. You will all miss her. ”
- Darlene Hankey
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