A funeral service for Dorothy G. (Rankin) Helscher, 96, of Washington, will be held Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Washington with Pastor Ben Blanchard officiating. An open viewing without the family present will be held Wednesday, January 20 from 1- 4 p.m. at the Beatty Funeral Home in Washington. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Thursday at the church. Private family burial will be held at the Keota Cemetery. A memorial fund has been established for Halcyon House and the United Methodist Church. Dorothy Helscher died Friday, January 15, 2016 at Halcyon House in Washington.
Dorothy G. (Rankin) Helscher was born May 10, 1919 in Garner, IA, the daughter of Arthur E. And Mabel (Brinton) Rankin. She graduated from Hampton High School and attended Iowa State University for two years. On January 14, 1940 she was united in marriage to John W. "Bill" Helscher at her home in Hampton. Dorothy taught piano lessons and was the organist at the United Methodist Church for 37 years. In 1984 she graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies. She was a member of the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women, D.A.R., P.E.O. Chapter J, TTT Chapter Y, Fortnightly, and was the Rotary Person of the Year. Dorothy enjoyed music of all kinds, playing bridge, traveling and being with her grandchildren. Dorothy and Bill hosted many foreign students and were foster parents.
Survivors include three children of Washington, and ten granddaugthers: Daughter Mary (Yaro) Chmelar parents of Ann Chmelar, Nancy Bird, Kerry Barrow, Catherine Chmelar, Son Dr. John (Mary Lynn Mathiason) Helscher parents of Jennifer Walsh, Wendy Paiva, Heather Runge, son Robert (Peggy) Helscher, parents of Sarai Logue, Kristen Anderson and Mary Reihner, 24 great grandchildren, one step great granddaughter and a sister, Alice Butler of St. Clair, MI.
Preceding Dorothy in death were her parents and her husband Bill Helscher on May 4, 2001.