Helen DeGraaf

Obituary of Helen Rae DeGraaf

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    Helen Rae VanderBerg was born August 29, 1928 in Spencer, Iowa to Albert and Catherine (Rozeboom) VanderBerg. When just a young girl, the family moved to Orange City, Iowa where she spent her childhood. 

    Following high school, Helen attended Northwestern College in Orange City, obtaining a 2-year teaching degree. Her first job was in Rock Valley, Iowa with 30 kindergarteners!

    On July 14, 1950, Helen was united in marriage to Aud DeGraaf at Orange City. The new couple relocated to Calumet, Iowa where Aud taught and coached for three years. Their next move took them to Hartley, Iowa where Helen was called upon as a substitute teacher, as well as caring for her growing family. While in her 50s, she returned to college and earned her Library Science degree. She was then employed with the Hartley school system as the Elementary School Librarian, a position she enjoyed until her retirement.

    Helen served as the Trinity United Church of Christ organist for many years. She also loved to travel, was an excellent baseball score keeper, an avid reader, wonderful knitter, a lover of tulips, the sun, or anything blue. 

    On Friday, October 2, 2020, Helen passed away at the Community Memorial Nursing Home in Hartley. She once again joins her parents; and her beloved Aud. 

    Left to cherish her memory are her daughters: Ann (Randal) Wubbels of Holland, Nebraska, Sue (Tom) Holmes and Mary (Kevin) Wilson all of Sioux Falls, South Dakota;  five grandchildren: Aaron, Jarrod, Lucas, Rachel and Sydney; and nine great-grandchildren: Austin, Tanner, Wyatt, Savannah, Jordan, Lainey, Hadlee, Kinley and Porter; her sister, Toni (VanderBerg) Tyndall; and brother, Paul (Cindy) VanderBerg.


Services are pending with the

Hartley Funeral Home in Hartley, IA.

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