Helen Ione McKnabb (August 18, 2015)

11522S Photo USE ovalFebruary 2, 1911 ~ August 18, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015
11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Shelby United Methodist Church
Shelby, IA
(get directions)

Saturday, August 29, 2015
1:30 PM
Shelby United Methodist Church
Shelby, IA
(get directions)
Burial of ashes will be in the Shelby Cemetery, Shelby, IA

1 Son – Lee (Audrey) McKnabb of Shelby, IA
1 Daughter – Mona (Hal) Holmstrom of Minburn, IA
1 Son-in-law – Glen (Margret) Christoffersen of Pleasanton, CA
1 Brother – Dwight (Margie) Eckel of Tampa, FL
10 Grandchildren
19 Great-grandchildren
2 Step-great-grandchildren
21 Great-great-grandchildren
Nieces & Nephews
Other Relatives & Friends

Helen Ione McKnabb, the daughter of Richard and Mary Elma (Smith) Eckel, was born on February 2, 1911, on a farm west of Shelby, Iowa. She attended school in Shelby, graduating with the class of 1929.

On March 18, 1931, she was united in marriage to Clarence Edward McKnabb at her parents’ home near Shelby. Three children were born to this union. After their marriage, they farmed near Botna, Iowa, for five years before returning to the Shelby area, eventually moving to their farm home northwest of Shelby in 1952. After the death of Clarence on June 12, 1989, in Harlan, Iowa, Helen continued to reside in her own home until May of 2011 when at the age of 100 years, she moved to Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa. In August of 2013, she moved to the Granger Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Granger, Iowa, to be close to her daughter and family. It was there that she died on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, having attained the age of 104 years, 6 months, and 16 days.

Helen was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church in Shelby, as well as being very active in many civic and community organizations throughout the years. She enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening. Helen especially liked bird watching, and in addition to owning many bird books, reported bird migrations to Cornell University in New York.

In addition to her parents and husband, Helen was preceded in death by her siblings, Clyde, Thornton, and Stanley Eckel, and Florence Walters and Edna Pike; her daughter, Bonnie Christoffersen; and an infant grandson, Steven McKnabb. She is survived by her son, Lee and his wife Audrey McKnabb of Shelby and her daughter, Mona and her husband Hal Holmstrom of Minburn, Iowa; a son-in-law, Glen and his wife Margret Christoffersen of Pleasanton, California; 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, two step great-grandchildren; 21 great-great-grandchildren; her brother, Dwight and his wife Margie Eckel of Tampa, Florida; nieces and nephews; and other relatives and many friends.

The memorial service was held on Saturday, August 29, 2015, at the United Methodist Church in Shelby, Iowa, with Pastor Carolyn Hollar and Pastor Orris Drake officiating. Shirley Pattee served as the organist and Gerald Jones was the soloist. Private burial of ashes was held in the Shelby Cemetery, Shelby, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Shelby, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.burmeisterjohannsen.com.

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3 Responses to Helen Ione McKnabb (August 18, 2015)

  1. kaye "calmer" risden says:

    May it comfort you to know so many share in your loss. Your shared happy memories will carry you through the difficult days ahead.
    Thinking of you,
    Kaye “Calmer” Risden

  2. Patti Whannell Fernside says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Helen was such a kind, sweet person. We always thought of her as family. I remember getting to spend the night with Clarence and Helen and how she would set up a card table outside, complete with table cloth and a vase of flowers from her beautiful garden and we would have a tea party. I loved going there and think of both your parents often – so many wonderful memories. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

  3. Dear Lee & Mona,

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother. She was a great friend of mine when she lived on the farm. I would take her to get her hair done, and sometimes we’d go to the grocery store. Sometimes we’d stop at Nelson Farm Supply and she would buy bird feed. She always was concerned that she didn’t pay me enough for the small things that I did for her, but her just being my friend was payment enough. Even though we’d go eat lunch and she’d pay for lunch. She lived a nice long happy life I think, and you should be proud to call her your mother.


    Jeannie Jensen
    Shelby, Iowa 51570

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