The Ottumwa Courier


December 23, 2013

Helen Doak

MT. PLEASANT — Helen Lucille Doak, 97, of Washington, died Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, at Arbor Court in Mt. Pleasant following a short illness.

Helen was born Dec. 15, 1916, in rural Batavia, the daughter of Fannie (Davis) and Glenn Willhoit. She attended school at Farson High School. On March 9, 1940, she was united in marriage to Walter E. Doak.

In her youth, Helen was the first female to show the overall grand champion beef entry in the 1934 Iowa State Fair, also winning reserve overall grand champion honors at the International Livestock Show in Chicago. Helen was a member of the United Methodist Church in Washington. She was an active member of the Washington Golf and Country Club, where she was the first woman on the Country Club Board. She was involved with Masonic organizations and the Daughters of the Nile, various Fortnightly groups and Community Chest. She held every office and was on every committee of the T.T.T. organization. She was also the first woman on the county compensation board. Helen enjoyed playing cards, cooking and caring for her family and friends.

She is survived by granddaughter, Debra Canby and husband Tony of Mt. Pleasant; grandson, Bryan Doak and wife Brenda of Yuma, Ariz.; grandson, Chad Doak and wife Shelley of Mt. Pleasant; grandson, Raymond Doak of Stronghurst, Ill.; and nine great-grandchildren.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Walter, in 1986; one son, Gary Doak; and brothers, Max, Carl, Warren and Glenn Willhoit.

Celebration of life services will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Washington; with Pastor Jim Stiles officiating. Interment will take place at the Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington.

Memorials have been established for Shriners Hospitals for Children and T.T.T. Society Washington Chapter DL.

Online condolences may be sent for Helen’s family at

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