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  Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 25, 2016, Page 16

OBITUARY ~ HELEN MARGARET (REECE) BLUNCK
July 24, 1913 ~ February 20, 2016

Helen Margaret (Reece) Blunck was born July 24, 1913, in Xenia, Illinois, to Martin and Loula (Ernest) Reece. She passed from this life on February 20, 2016, at the age of 102, in Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Helen attended schools in Bedford and Mount Ayr, Iowa. She married Roy Beal and to this union, a daughter, Jean Louise, was born. They later divorced. Helen married Roy Blunck on July 19, 1934 in Grant City, Missouri. Three sons, Robert, William, and Donald and six daughters, Virginia, Loula Sue (died in infancy), Joann, Linda, Nancy, and Judy blessed the family.

Becoming an accomplished homemaker out of necessity during the 1940s, Helen grew and canned their food and made the children’s clothing. She enjoyed learning to decorate, wallpaper, and upholster furniture for their home. She was a chaperone for her girls’ basketball teams and a PTA president. She made beautiful May baskets for her girls to give to neighbors and friends. Helen liked to sketch and paint pictures. She loved to embroider, quilt, and create ceramics.

An excellent cook, her family will always remember her noodles and pies. Her door was always open to everyone, and it seemed she was always home. Helen brought her mother to her home and lovingly cared for her over 13 years until she passed at age 97. In Helen’s later years, she immensely enjoyed traveling out west to visit family.

Helen served as Mayor of Benton, Iowa, for over 30 years. She was active in the Republican Party. She also belonged to the Christian Church and Rebekah Lodge. Again caring for others, Helen was employed at Clearview Nursing Home in Clearfield, Iowa, for over 20 years.

Preceding Helen in death were her parents; her husband Roy; daughter-in-law Audrey (Fruendt) Blunck; her son Robert; daughter Judy Snedeker; daughter-in-law Joann (McGilvrey) Blunck; son-in-law William Rees; grandson-in-law John Kunstman.

Missing her now and forever from our lives are her children, Jean Davenport and husband Duane, Virginia Rees, Joann Trullinger, William Blunck and wife Kathi, Linda Sickels and husband Larry, Nancy Stephens and husband David, Donald Blunck and wife Mary Kathryn; son-in-law Don Snedeker; 26 grandchildren with 17 spouses; 39 great grandchildren; and 12 great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Frances Jeanne (Jean) Underwood of Denver, Colorado, and one nephew, Scott Underwood.

Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements. Services were held Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church in Mount Ayr, Iowa with Rev. Terry Roberts officiating and Nancy Sackett and Debra Larson providing the music.

Casketbearers were Robert Blunck, Jay Rees, John Trullinger, Bill Blunck, Andrew Sickels, Eric Snedeker and Christopher Blunck. Burial is at Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr, Iowa.

A memorial fund has been established to the flower baskets for the Mount Ayr square beautification project.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2016

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 25, 2016, Page 2

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Blunck led a political revolution

To the Editor:

Saturday, February 20 Helen Blunck passed away at the age of 102. She was a good friend to all who knew her and a second mother to many including myself.

In January of 1961, she led a political revolution. She and six other ladies took over the government of Benton. Helen was elected mayor with an all female city council - Wilma Schlapia, Margaret Lane, Dorotha Haley, Iona Groves, Viola Nickles and Lela Campbell.

Benton became the first town in Iowa to have an all woman city government. The ladies inherited a debt of $552 which they erased in 14 months. Furthermore, they balanced the budget, maintained the roads, mowed the weeds and cleaned up old buildings. Their record speaks for itself. Under their leadership, Benton became a clean little town and debt free. Any differences they might have had, they put aside for the good of the community. Unfortunately, we could nver talk them into going to Washington, D.C.

Mary Kathryn Gepner
Mount Ayr

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2016

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