Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


March 13, 2014

Helen Roberts

Helen J. Roberts was born March 6, 1908, in Franklin Township – rural Marion County, the daughter of Thurman Ward and Cora Pauline (Shivvers) Ward.

Her grammar school years were spent at country school and she graduated from Knoxville High School with the Class of 1926. Following graduation, Helen attended State Teachers College. She taught school for three years at the Burr Oak Country School. On Sept. 4, 1929, she was united in marriage to Ralph Roberts on the family farm, near Knoxville. Two sons were born into this marriage: Edmond and Ted. Helen worked for the Collins Hospital for 25 years as the administrator. She retired in 1976.

Throughout her life, Helen was active in 4-H, Farm Bureau, and the Methodist Churches in Pershing, Attica and Knoxville. She was also a member of the Rebekah Lodge, Order of Eastern Star and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Helen loved to help others; and she enjoyed volunteering at Helping Hands and other organizations in the community.

Helen passed away on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Park Lane Village, in Knoxville, at the age of 106 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ralph; and her siblings: Pauline Henning, Marce Ward, Lena Hale and Ted Ward, Sr.

Helen is survived by two sons: Ted Roberts of Knoxville and Edmond (Gloria) Roberts of Prairie Village, Kansas; sister, Frances Caswell of Knoxville; brother, Ira J. Ward of Tampa, Fla.; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A Funeral Service was held at the Bybee & Davis Funeral Home – Knoxville on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, with Pastor Brent Hanna officiating. Musical Selections were played by Geoff Shultz, pianist “How Great Thou Art” and “Beyond the Sunset”. Casket Bearers were John Ward, Ronald Henning, Rich Randol and Mike Ridnouer. Interment was in Lincoln Cemetery – Knoxville. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Zion United Methodist Church or to the Attica United Methodist Church. Online condolences may be left at

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Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

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