The Ottumwa Courier

Obituaries

October 14, 2010

Helen Glasson, 82, Ottumwa

OTTUMWA — Helen Louise (Harmon) Glasson, 82, died Oct. 12, 2010, at the Vista Woods Care Center in Ottumwa.

Helen was born March 21, 1928, to George and Ollie (Jones) Harmon. She was raised in Eldon and was a graduate of the 1945 class of Eldon High School. She also attended Parsons College and Iowa State Teachers College, earning a teaching certificate. Helen married Donald Hugh Glasson on June 11, 1950, at the First Baptist Church in Ottumwa. They had three children, Matthew, Laura and Andrew Glasson.

Although Helen lived most of her adult life in Ottumwa, she loved her hometown of Eldon and its history. She advocated for years on behalf of a visitor center at the site of the American Gothic House (her Jones grandparents lived in the house when Grant Wood was in Eldon in 1930 and completed his best known painting). Helen was active in forming the Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (G.A.T.E), worked and helped in the preservation of the McHaffey Opera House and supported all projects that would promote and sustain Eldon. Along with friends Jo Eddy and Sharon Glasgow, Helen wrote about local and family histories of the Eldon area.

Helen was a great lover of nature, particularly mushroom hunting. She enjoyed golfing, sewing, crafting and collecting the many and various parodies of Grant Wood’s American Gothic. This collection became the heart of the initial exhibit for the gallery space in the American Gothic House Center when it opened in 2007. She especially enjoyed card playing and entertaining friends. Helen was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church in Ottumwa.

Helen is survived by her husband, Donald Hugh Glasson of Ottumwa; children, Matt Glasson (and daughter-in-law Cathy) of Coralville, daughter Laura Glasson (and son-in-law Tim Wright) of Ottumwa, and son Andy Glasson (and daughter-in-law Anne) of Hutchinson, Minn. Helen was most proud of her five grandsons and one granddaughter, Greg (and Margaret) Glasson, Eric and Evan Glasson, Nick (and Michelle) Ballard, Maggie and Drew Ballard; and very fond of her great-grandchildren, Braden, Ava and Addison Ballard. Helen is survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Floyd and John Harmon.

A celebration of Helen’s life will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Services will be outdoors on the viewing circle in front of the American Gothic House in Eldon with Pastor David Albert officiating. Cremation was accorded and private family burial will be at another time.

There will be no visitation.

Memorials may be made in her memory to the American Gothic House Center or G.A.T.E. She loved to meet people and was a friend to many – she will be deeply missed and not soon forgotten. Kremer Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements.

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