top banner

Obituary Listings

Helen Van Steenhuyse

September 16, 1925 June 1, 2016
Helen Van Steenhuyse
There are condolences waiting approval on Helen's Tribute wall
Obituary for Helen Van Steenhuyse

Vinton—Helen Van Steenhuyse, 90, died peacefully Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at Deerfield Retirement Community in Urbandale, IA. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 6, 2016 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Vinton with Rev. Ardel Barta as celebrant. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home in Vinton with a Scripture Service at 6:30 p.m.. There will also be visitation from 9:30 until Mass time at the church on Monday. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.


Helen Cecilia Walsh was born September 16, 1925 in Williamsburg, IA, the daughter of Michael Francis and Kathryn M. Kelly Walsh. She grew up on a farm between Parnell and Millersburg and was very proud of her Parnell heritage. She went to country grade school and graduated from Williamsburg High School. She attended Marycrest College and graduated from the University of Iowa with a business degree.


On August 27, 1947 she married Ray Van Steenhuyse in Williamsburg. The couple moved to a farm near Mt. Auburn in 1949 and Helen was an active partner in the farming operation. Ray and Helen moved off the farm to Vinton in 1969. Helen was a strong supporter and promoter of the Vinton community and served on numerous civic boards. She was active in Cedar #5 Club, New Century Club, Vinton Women’s Club where she was named Vinton Woman of the Year in 1977, AAUW, Minor Chord and HG Chapter PEO. She and Ray enjoyed golfing and were longtime members of the Vinton Country Club where Helen once was ladies club champion.


She was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church, serving on many boards and in Altar & Rosary Society. She was also a church organist for many years. Helen started playing the organ at the Parnell church when she was nine years old and continued to be a church organist for more than sixty years. Helen was a devoted Vinton School Board member for nineteen years. She was also involved at the state and national level and was elected president of the Iowa Association of School Boards in 1984-85. In the early 80s, president Reagan appointed Helen to a national education commission to make recommendations on improving education after the publication of A Nation At Risk. She was particularly proud of that.


Helen enjoyed walking, playing the piano and traveling. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed couples bridge with Ray and DLB Bridge Club with the girls. She and Kathie Ervin introduced the game to a new generation of players in 1975 and those groups are still going strong. She and Ray loved to entertain family and friends. They enjoyed wintering in Arizona for many years with their “Arizona family.” Helen loved flower gardening and being outdoors in the summertime. However, her greatest joy was her family. She loved hosting family dinners and celebrations. Whether freezing bushels of sweet corn in the summer or baking cookies with the grandkids during the winter holidays, Grandma Helen’s kitchen was always a busy place.


She is survived by her five children, Frank (Kathy) Van Steenhuyse, Vinton, Tom (Jim Edwards) Stonehouse, Palm Springs, CA, Dan (Nancy) Van Steenhuyse, Vinton, Mary McLaury, Falls Church, VA and Amy (Kurt) Lau, Clive, IA; ten grandchildren, Todd (Jenn Auler) Van Steenhuyse, Champaign, IL, Kate Van Steenhuyse (Ryan) Gates, Wichita KS, Mark Van Steenhuyse, Wichita, KS, Ann Van Steenhuyse, Schaumburg, IL, Tyler (Tessa) Van Steenhuyse, Urbandale, IA, Laura (Joe) Van Stinn, Tallahassee, FL, Jessica Harding, Alexandria, VA, Michael Lau, Washington DC, Tommy Lau, Iowa City and Elizabeth Lau, Clive; seven great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ray, in 2011; brother and sister-in-law, John and Jeanne Walsh, and sister and brother-in-law, Rita and Bill Barron.


 Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 6, 2016 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Vinton with Rev. Ardel Barta as celebrant.  Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5,  at Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home in Vinton with a Scripture Service at 6:30 p.m..  There will also be visitation from 9:30 until Mass time at the church on Monday.  Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

Albums

Create new album
 
Subscribe To Obituaries


alt

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
Loading...