BLOOMFIELD — Helen Belle Houk, 97, of Bloomfield, died Oct. 6, 2013, at Davis County Hospital Long Term Care.
She was born Dec. 1, 1915, in Parker, S.D., to Joseph W. and Maggie N. Bly Wells. When she was 5 years old, her mother passed away, and Helen was brought to Davis County to live with an aunt and uncle, Forest and Perle Butcher, near Drakesville for three years.
Helen attended the Buttontown School before moving to Mahaska County, where she attended the Consolidated School at Cedar. She rode to school in a horse-drawn school bus. Later, she moved back to Davis County, attending rural schools and graduating from Bloomfield High School with the class of 1933 and later from Bloomfield Junior College. Helen then taught in a number of rural schools in the county.
On March 25, 1944, Helen was united in marriage with Marion Houk at the minister’s home in Bloomfield. They established their home on a farm 12 miles northeast of Bloomfield. Two children were born to bless this couple, Carolyn and Doran. The family attended worship services at the Bloomfield Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In 1970, they moved to Bloomfield. Helen was asked to be custodian of the Bloomfield Christian Church, of which she was a member. This was a position she held for 20 years. She has said that was one of the joys of her life. She and Marion worked together as a labor of love for their church.
Helen loved the church and her Christ who established it. She was found many times reading and studying God’s word and in her humble way trying to live it. She has said “There is no other place I would rather go than to church.” Her favorite Bible verse was Psalms 122:1. “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Helen worked in the Christian Women’s Fellowship and was a group leader for many years. She enjoyed sewing for the church: comforters, lap robes and baby quilts. In January 1998, she was chosen as the Honored Lay Person in conjunction with the International C.W.F. Quadrennial Assembly in honor of the way she lived out the purpose of Disciple Women and provide a witness of action and love to others in the Spirit of Gospel.
She is survived by a daughter, Carolyn (Richard) Walker of Ottumwa; son, Doran (Vicki Wardlow) Houk of Bloomfield; a grandson, Damian (Jennifer Fahan) of Grimes; two granddaughters, Erin (Paul) Harrington of Bloomfield and Dana Piper of Mesa, Ariz.; five grandchildren, Alexis and Andrew Harrington, Avery Houk, Hunter and Rylie Piper; sister-in-law, Georgia Wells of Ottumwa; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband on July 30, 1993; and half brother, Joe Dean Wells of Nov. 22, 2009.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Wagler Funeral Home in Bloomfield; Pastor Jack Knox and Rev. Jim Wakelin officiating. Burial will be at the IOOF Cemetery in Bloomfield.
Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. today with the family present to greet friends from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
A memorial has been established to the Bloomfield Christian Church Scholarship Fund.
Online condolences may be directed to www.waglerfuneralhome.com.