Helen C. Brase, 95, of Tripoli, died Thursday, September 8, 2016, at the Oldorf Hospice House in Hiawatha.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Monday, September 12, 2016, at St. John Lutheran Church-Western Douglas, of rural Plainfield with Rev. Kim Thacker officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, September 11th at Rettig Funeral Home in Tripoli, and for one hour preceding services at the church on Monday.
Helen Caroline, daughter of Henry and Ida (Huebner) Buhr, was born December 5, 1920, on the family farm along the Bremer-Fayette county line four and one half miles south of Sumner. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner by Rev. C. J. Mardorf.
She attended the rural school, Dayton #7, one and one half miles northwest of her home, then attended Sumner High School walking or riding her bicycle for about five miles most of the time. She graduated with a Normal Training Diploma in 1937. She sang in the church choir and taught Sunday school until she started teaching in the rural school north and west of Buck Creek, Dayton #6. At that time she made her home during the week at Frank Bohle’s home, living with her parents on weekends and during the summer.
After several years she was married to Erwin Brase of rural Plainfield on February 15, 1942. They lived on the Mary Brase farm in Western Douglas for twenty-five years, where three children were born to them.
In 1952 she was inspired to further her education by neighbors and friends, so she enrolled at Wartburg College and again taught in the rural schools of Bremer County, both in Douglas and Dayton townships. In 1959 she was employed by the Tripoli Community Schools where she taught fifth and sixth grade for a total of twenty-six years. During this time, she was a member of TEA, ISEA, and NEA and helped organize and maintain the elementary school library. Due to their auto accident and her husband’s ensuing illness, they sold the family farm and moved to Tripoli in 1967.
Helen enjoyed being active in the community. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church where she again taught Sunday school. She was a charter member for the Iowa Guild for Infant Survival and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma.
She was a co-curator of the Tripoli County School Museum, a board member and secretary of the Bremer County Historical Society, also a member of the Tripoli Federated Women’s Club. She was active in Senior Citizen activities, especially the Good Time Singers. She did some tutoring, and taught a current events class at the Tripoli Nursing Home. She enjoyed traveling, especially to Europe and Hawaii.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Shari Brase-Smith of Cedar Rapids; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, Erwin, she was preceded in death by two sons, Daryl and Wendell Brase; two grandsons, one great-granddaughter; and three brothers, Arnold, Herb, and ElRoy.