Helen M. Courtney, age 96

Helen M. Courtney, age 96 of Hamburg, Iowa, passed away Saturday evening, June 5, 2021.  She was born on March 1, 1925, to Oscar D. and Leta H. (Leckenby) Holman in Holt County, Missouri.  

Helen was united in marriage to Ernest W. Chase who preceded her in death in 1945 when he was killed in action at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.  She later married Delbert U. Courtney and he also preceded her in death in 1991.

Helen worked for many years at the former Interstate Nurseries in Hamburg.  She later worked for and retired from Region V Services in Nebraska City where she was a houseparent to the disabled.

Helen was always hard working.  For most of her life, Helen worked outside the home, and at the end of the day she was usually busy with numerous chores or interests.  Helen was very compassionate, often taking meals or other practical help to those in need. She loved quilting and flowers.  She also loved reading and writing.  

During the last few years of her life, Helen enjoyed making small cloth teddy bears, which she started because great-grandson Sam wanted something to give to his preschool class.  

With the help of her daughter-in-law Lorey who assembled the bodies, Helen created “Sammy Bears” and made about two thousand bears that were given out to women/children’s homeless shelter, the entire Hamburg grade school after the flood of 2019, nursing home residents, random children she met, police department, fire/rescue, and a ministry of doctors who volunteer surgical services in Africa.  

At the time of her death, Helen was working on about 100 bears to be sent with David Owen for distribution to a ministry in Africa in January.

Helen loved the Lord and especially wanted her children to know that.  

Helen’s greatest earthly love was her family.  

She is survived by her children:  Karen Ware of Mooresville, Missouri, Kathy Swanson (Lon) of Warsaw, Missouri, Dean Courtney (Lorey) of Sidney, Iowa, Melissa Winters (Jim) of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Kelley Randolph (Jimmie) of Hamburg, Iowa; grandchildren David & Briday Ware, Matthew & Nancy Ware, Cynthia & Mike Hale, Adam Gibson & Chris Lewis-Gibson, Michelle Swanson & Christopher LeRette, Brandy Pruitt-Souza, Anthony Pruitt, Clinton Winters, Melody Winters, Grace Winters, Olivia Winters, Courtney Sloop & Christopher Dos Santos and Alan Shirley;  12 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren, other family and friends.

 In addition to her husbands, she was preceded in death by great-grandsons Isaac Gibson and Chase Ware, son-in-law Wayne Ware, a sister Ruth Briley, three brothers:  Don, Bill and Robert Holman, and her parents Oscar and Leta Holman.

The family will greet friends on Saturday (June 12) from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Rash-Gude Funeral Home in Hamburg.  Graveside funeral services only will be held Saturday (June 12) at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Olive Cemetery.   

 In lieu of flowers, Helen would like memorials made to To God’s Glory Ministry, 71415 220th Street, Colo, Iowa, 50056.

Rash-Gude Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  

Condolences may be left at www.gudefuneralhomes.com.

Posted online on June 09, 2021