Creston News Advertiser
Creston, Union County, Iowa
May 5, 2009
NOTICE of DEATH
Helen KINNEY SPENCER, 89, of Mount Ayr, died May 4, 2009, at her home.
The body has been donated to University of Iowa College of Medicine for scientific purposes. A memorial service will be
held at a later date. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home, 205 W. Monroe Street, Mount Ayr is in charge of arrangements.
HELEN MARIE HENDERSON KINNEY SPENCER
Helen Marie HENDERSON was born January 21, 1920 to Julia (MARINER) and Fred HENDERSON, on a farm south of Tingley and died
May 4, 2009 in her home at Mount Ayr. She grew up in the Tingley area and went to school there, graduating in 1938. These
times were hard ones. Having lost her father at an early age, it was very difficult for a mother of three to meet the
demands of feeding and caring for a family. Brother Earl and Helen did many extras to help out including paper routes,
baby sitting, helping in their mother's restaurant on Main Street and running errands or checking on the neighbors.
Sister Hester Bea stayed in the home to care for an elderly grandmother MARINER.
During times like these people in smaller communities helped one another, sharing what they had and working together to
make life better for everyone. This set a pattern for Helen's life. Helen was there to help whenever anyone needed her.
On December 10, 1938, Helen married Clark KINNEY in Bethany, MO. They farmed south of Mount Ayr and later in the Tingley
area until Clark's health failed in 1957. To this union two children were born; Sharon Kay and Allan Earl. Together Helen
and Clark worked hard, taking care of the farm, raising turkeys, plus cattle and hogs. Like all farm operations there was
never a dull moment. Clark was a firm believer that everyone deserves a chance in life, so many young men came to work for
awhile and stayed until they were ready to leave, possessing a little better attitude and desire to pass on the tradition
of helping others.
During the years of Clark's failing health, Helen worked in the kitchen of Clearview Nursing Home, Shamrock Cafe, and
Lefty's. After Clark died, she chose to stay in Mount Ayr close to family and friends.
In 1966, she married Owen SPENCER. Owen's two step-sons, Phil and David JARVIS, and her one son Allan "Bud", all
teenagers, presented another challenge but Helen proved to be able to handle it well. She shared her love for others
with them as well as the two older step-daughters Mary & husband Jack FETTY and Kay & husband Marvin PRATT. Later she
was richly rewarded with 10 step-grandchildren and 5 step-great-grandchildren.
Helen was well known for her cooking talent, canning, flowers, and her love for music and dancing. We all have a favorite
recipe of hers.
While in the Tingley area, Helen was a member of T Club and a couples "500" card club. She was a member of the Tingley
Christian Church. While in the Mount Ayr area, Helen was a part of Embers while Owen was a volunteer fireman. In recent
years she spent much of her time reading when unable to walk or get out by herself. Diminishing eyesight was beginning
to end that pleasure. With assistance from public health she was able to remain in her apartment on Polk Street, even
after being diagnosed with cancer, until her death on May 4th. We were awed by her determination and strength to
overcome all obstacles and her unique ability to meet any new challenge. She will be sadly missed by her family and
Left to mourn her memory are her daughter Sharon (Duane) GLICK of Mount Ayr; step daughters Mary (Jack) FETTY of Des
Moines and Kay (Marvin) PRATT of Sun Lakes, AZ; step-sons Phil (Jeanie) JARVIS of Billings, MT and David JARVIS of Glade
Park, CO; grandchildren Kevin (Fiance Debbie MEANS) GLICK of Creston, Renante (Chris) ILLG of Cainsville, MO, Cassie
(Ron JORGANSON) KINNEY of Ankeny, and Elizabeth (John) STAOO of Spirit Lake, IA; six great-grandchildren Tena, Cody,
Cole, Soyer, Brekk, and Maryn; and one great-great-grandchild Brandon; sister Hester Bea CORNETT of Bedford, New
Hampshire; brother Earl HENDERSON of San Jacinto, California; sister-in-law Lucille PIERCE of Mesa, AZ; three nieces
Dixie GABLE, Ronda (Kevin) URBANCZYKE, and Dianna (Maurice) BLAIS; one nephew Dennis HENDERSON; plus a host of cousins.
Helen was preceded in death by her two husbands; father Fred HENDERSON, mother Julia HENDERSON; son Allan "Bud" KINNEY;
great grandson James Duane GLICK; and a granddaughter Kristeen GLICK.
A memorial has been established for her at the Ringgold County Group Home.
HELEN KINNEY SPENCER
Mrs. SPENCER has donated her body to the University of Iowa College of Medicine for scientific purposes. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
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