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Helen Downey

Helen E. Downey, 93, of Pierson, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars, Iowa.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 3, 2018 at Meadow Star Methodist Church in rural Pierson, Iowa.  Burial was at Grand Meadow Cemetery in rural Washta, Iowa.

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Helen was born April 26, 1925 on a farm south of Cleghorn, Iowa to Robert and Ruth (Mitchell) Ferris. She was the eldest of seven children.

Helen graduated from Aurelia High School in 1943 and went on to Buena Vista College. She earned her teaching certificate and taught in Afton and Tilden Townships for four years.

Helen married William Downey on June 1, 1948 at her parent’s home in Grand Meadow Township. They farmed and raised stock cows/calves for over 50 years in the Grand Meadow area. Together, they raised five children.

Throughout the years, Helen enjoyed her children’s 4-H activities, baking, reading, and finding teachable moments. Helen was an avid gardener until the age of 89.

She was a member of Meadow Star United Methodist Church and was very fond of her church family.

Helen cared deeply about everyone. She was and always will be an enduring light in our lives.

Helen is survived by her children: Chuck of Blakesburg; Mary (John) Dixson of Newell, SD; John of Pierson; Jean (Jeff) Addison of Pierson; and Kathryn Bauermeister of Sioux City; six grandchildren: Josh (Alli) Dixson, Jennifer Downey, Abby (Nick) Ritze, Jesse Addison, Jillian Addison and Saylor Bauermeister; four great-grandchildren: Emily, Blake, Hailey Helen, and Finn; sisters Peggy Wilberding and Wilma Grauer; and brother Eugene Ferris and Margaret Steward.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bill, in 1999; a brother, John Ferris; sisters Mildred Bainbridge, and Leone Crane; sisters-in-law Dorothy Ferris and Jeannine Ferris; and brothers-in-law Dale Crane, Ray Wilberding, Dale Grauer and Vernon Bainbridge.

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