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Helen Marie Chamberlain

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo -


January 21, 1926 - January 12, 2024


A funeral service for Helen Chamberlain, 97, of Algona, will be held 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, at First Presbyterian Church in Algona. The service will be livestreamed on the Oakcrest Facebook page. Burial will take place at East Lawn Cemetery in Algona. Military rites will be conducted by American Legion Hagg-Turner Post #90 and V.F.W. Howard D. Omdahl Post #2541. A visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at Oakcrest Funeral Services in Algona.

Helen Marie, daughter of Harry and Lilly (Jensen) Christensen, was born Jan. 21, 1926, on the family’s farm near Livermore. She graduated from Lu Verne High School in 1944, then attended Iowa Methodist Hospital where she obtained her degree in nursing in 1947. 

Helen embarked on her nursing career, working at several hospitals over the years, including the old Kossuth County Hospital, St. Ann’s, and Kossuth Regional Health Center. She worked primarily in the obstetrics department, retiring in 1987. Helen also served in the Women’s Army Corps as a nurse cadet for three years.

Helen was united in marriage to Merle Ellis Chamberlain on Oct.  19, 1947, at the Irvington Presbyterian Church in Irvington. Together they raised seven children.

Helen enjoyed crafts, embroidery and especially quilting. She was a member of the Irvington Presbyterian Church Quilters Guild and the Prairie Quilters Guild. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Irvington. Helen was also a life-long member of the church choir and played piano for church services. She was recognized as a life member and was a continuous member of the V.F.W. Auxiliary for 73 years.

Helen died Jan. 12 at the Hancock County Hospital in Britt. She was 97. Survivors include her children: Terry (Sheryl) Chamberlain of Emmetsburg, Ray (Sharon) Chamberlain of Grand Rapids, Mich., Ronald Chamberlain of Algona, Laurie (Greg) Wolters of Dallas, Texas, Carol Gridley of Algona, Don Chamberlain of Algona and Paul (Paige) Chamberlain of Des Moines; 12 grandchildren: Bradley, Brenda, Calum, Tait, Tristan, Ceenan, Joshua, Charity, Heather, Noah, Danielle and Kari; and many great-grandchildren. Helen was preceded in death by her parents Harry and Lilly, husband Merle in 1988, grandson Daniel Chamberlain, sister Grace Guderian and daughter-in-law Terry Jean Chamberlain.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Irvington Presbyterian Church Quilters Guild at 503 210th St., Whittemore, IA 50598 or the Algona V.F.W. Post 2541 at 414 E State St., Algona, IA 50511.

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