'I loved our life on the farm. Especially when you kids were little. It was a simple life and we didn't have much but there were a lot of us to keep each other company.' Helen Mendt
Helen Gertrude (Bush) Mendt, Age 92 from rural Cleghorn, IA died on May 16, 2017 at her home of natural causes. Helen was born on March 6, 1925 to Wilfred (Bill) and Louise Bush of rural Cleghorn, IA and was a sister to Wilmer Bush and Lela (Bush) Rose.
Helen was one of the last generations to attend Iowa's one-room schools and walked, rode horses and caught buggy rides with cousins and friends to get there. She attended Cleghorn High School and Wilson High School in Cherokee, graduating there in 1942. On April 4, 1945 Helen married Emil O. Mendt in Trinidad, Colorado, a union that produced ten children and spanned 47 years until Emil's death. On June 16, 2000 she and Walter Anderson married and were together for 10 years until Walter's death.
Helen was no stranger to work; she was a switchboard operator and waitress after high school, worked at Pratt & Whitney aircraft during WWII, farmed with her husband Emil, worked nights at Gregg Nursing Home and had a 20 year career at Cherokee Mental Health Institute as a supervisor. Helen taught religious education classes at Maryhill parish and upon retiring was active in Catholic Daughters of the America's, the L. A. Wescott VFW Auxiliary 2253, and paying weekly visits to residents in area nursing homes. Helen loved rural Iowa and spent the majority of her life in the Maryhill and Cleghorn area close to her many relatives and friends. She traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe. Helen had a special devotion to Mary, mother of Jesus and visited Medjugorje in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia on three occasions. Helen also loved to host large family functions, garden, sew, quilt and spoil her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Helen was known for her kindness, her smile, her love of family and friends and for her famous shrug and grin when asked something she didn't want to answer. She enjoyed telling stories of growing up on the family farm during the great depression, and spent many visits recalling events from those times, usually bringing her guests to smiles and laughter.
Helen is survived by her ten children Cynthia (Bob) Haselhoff of Aurelia, Patricia (Jim) Quinn of Spencer, Susan (Mick) Bakker of Cherokee, Marilyn Trout of Miramar Beach, FL, Maria (Jeff) Bowen of Aurelia, Guy (Kathy) Mendt of Windsor, CO, Heidi (Mark) Anderson of Marion, IA, Bernadette (Mike) Sandhoefner of Omaha, Denise Mendt of Cherokee, and Laura (Ron) Benefiel of Kansas City, MO, her 19 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Helen is predeceased by husbands Emil O. Mendt 1992 and Walter Anderson 2010, her bother Wilmer Bush 1973, her sister Lela (Bush) Rose 2009 and her parents Louise 1976 and Wilfred 1950.
The family will distribute memorial donations to the Carmelite Monastery of Sioux City, IA and the Cherokee Regional Medical Center Hospice program.
A heartfelt thank you to the staff at Cherokee Regional Medical Center's Hospice program and Home Health Care program for the wonderful care given to Helen and to the friends of the family, especially Tim Pitts for the love, friendship and help you have provided Helen all these many years.
Helen had a favorite sentiment she shared with her adult children that is reflected in this poem by Sara Stowell
'...Words have not been written
That could say what's in my heart.You are always on my mind,
Even though we're far apart.
If I could have one dream,
If stars could make my wish come true,
I'd have you here with me,
And spend forever loving you.
When you're looking at the moon,
What do you see - are you thinking of me?
Can you see me looking back?
Looking at you - do you see me too...
When you're looking at the moon?'
Helen Mendt - Faith - Love - Family
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 19, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee.
Father Dan Guenther
Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. Thursday with the family present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. There will be a Catholic Daughters Rosary at 4:00 p.m. Thursday and a 7:00 p.m. Prayer service Thursday at the funeral home.
Maryhill Visitation Cemetery
Rural Cherokee, Iowa