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Helen Hetzel Newton

Helen Hetzel Newton was born May 30, 1927, to Charles A. and Grace Bastow Hetzel of Mount Ayr, IA, the eldest of their three daughters. She was reared and educated in Mount Ayr and graduated from Mount Ayr High School as valedictorian of the Class of 1945. She also received a BS degree in home economics from Iowa State University in Ames, IA, where she was elected to Phi Kappa Phi and several other scholastic honor societies.

Helen was married on September 1, 1946, to Melvin Frasier Newton of Diagonal, IA. They made their first home on a farm in Ringgold County and became parents of two sons and a daughter, Ted, Dan and Kay. In 1957, they moved to Newton, IA, where they have since made their home, most recently at Wesley Park Centre. Helen was primarily a homemaker and a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was very proud of her family and enjoyed their times of reunion.

Helen’s work experience included four years as a Maytag home economist and fifteen years as owner and interior designer in her business, Newton Interiors. Helen had a lifelong interest in all aspects of home design—architecture, interiors and landscape—which led her to design and have built two family homes in Newton, one of which was open for the benefit of Skiff Hospital in 1991. She was an accomplished artist and seamstress and enjoyed classical music. In her early years, she participated with a number of small groups as a vocalist or a flutist and played the organ and piano at her church. With her husband, Helen traveled extensively in the United States, Canada and many other countries but always loved Iowa most. She was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Newton, and Chapter AO, P.E.O. Her favorite social activity was playing bridge.

Helen was predeceased by her husband in 2011, after 65 years of marriage, and her son, Dan, in 2021. Her surviving family consists of Ted and Joan Newton, of Carlsbad, CA; Mary Newton, of Grimes, IA; Kay and David Peterson of Gainesville, VA; Lori and Kurt Koschnitzke and their children, Max and Mara, of New Canaan, CT; Kyle and Melissa Newton and their children, Kayla, Ryan and Troy, of Carlsbad, CA; Juli and Ray Vasilas, of Carlsbad, CA; Sarah and B. J. Newcomb and their children, Logan and Libby, of Grimes; Brian Newton, of San Diego, CA; and Kevin Newton, of Grimes. Helen is also survived by a sister, Mary Kay Youngkin, of St. Louis, MO and two nieces.

Death came peacefully to Helen on June 13, 2023 at MercyOne in Newton. She was 96.

We will celebrate Helen’s life on Friday afternoon, July 21 in the Garden Room at Park Centre. A short memorial service will begin at 2:00 p.m., followed by time for visiting and treats with the family.

Burial will be held at a later date at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.

Memorials in Helen’s name can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Newton, the Newton P. E.O. Scholarship Fund or the Centre for Arts and Artists. Memorials can be brought to the service or sent to the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory in Newton

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