Helen Elizabeth Phelan

Helen Elizabeth Phelan

Helen Elizabeth Phelan

Iowa City

Helen Elizabeth Phelan of Iowa City died on May 30, 2023, at Briarwood Health Care Center.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 8, at St. Mary’s Church. Family will greet friends for one hour prior to the service. According to her wishes, Helen’s body has been donated to University of Iowa Hospital’s Deeded Body Program.

Helen was born on Nov. 16, 1924, in Mishawaka, Ind., the daughter of John W. and Mary Ola (Buchheit) Schindler. She graduated from Mishawaka High School, attended Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame, Ind., and received a PhB from Marquette University. She married William V. Phelan on Oct. 21, 1950, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of Notre Dame University. Helen and Bill came to Iowa City to make their home when Bill began his practice of law in November 1950.

Helen and Bill were dedicated travelers and enjoyed many trips, both foreign and domestic, including two trips around the world and visiting some 70 countries. They also had a special attachment to Hawaii, spending yearly visits to the Island of Kauai for more than 30 years.

Helen’s particular joy was her family, but she also had great fondness for her many friends, especially the “Bridge” and “Potluck” groups, the “Walkers” and her friends at Melrose Meadows.

Helen was a member of Raphael Club, Chapter HI of P.E.O., President’s Club, University Club, Print and Drawing Study Club, Music Study Club, Craft Guild and Iowa City Foreign Relations Council.

Helen’s volunteer activities included: the Visiting Nurse Association Board, Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout den mother, 4-H group leader, Meals-On-Wheels driver, Old Capitol Museum volunteer, Free-Lunch Program volunteer, Mercy Guild Board, Friends of the University of Iowa Library Board and Friends of the University of Iowa Museum of Art Board.

Helen is survived by her three children, Margaret of Vancouver, Wash., John (Mari) of Cedar Rapids, Mary (Nick D’Isa) of Haslett, Mich.; and her two grandchildren, Clancey (Mendel Kranz) of Chicago, Ill., and Quinn of Brooklyn, N.Y.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother; two sisters; and her husband, Bill, in 2013.

Helen’s family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Butler, Dr. Eberly, and the entire staff at Briarwood Health Care Center for the compassionate care she received these last two years.

Memorial gifts in her name may be made to Mercy Hospital Foundation, Saint Mary’s Church, the University of Iowa Foundation, Hancher Auditorium or the Museum of Art.

Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.lensingfuneral.com.

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