Obituary of Helen L. Sturdevant
Helen Lorene Clevenger Sturdevant died on June 22, 2023 at the age of 99. She passed away peacefully in her favorite chair, listening to big band music, after dinner and a movie at her assisted living facility in Centennial, Colorado.
Helen was born on August 7, 1923, in Prairie Township, Keokuk County, Iowa, and grew up on farms in the area. She met her future husband, Bruce Sturdevant, in her 4th grade classroom. Later they got a “talking to” by a 7th grade teacher for holding hands and playing footsie. Helen was Valedictorian of her Thornburg High School graduating class. After graduation she completed her education at a secretarial school in Chicago, Illinois, and got her first job as a secretary at General Motors in Chicago. She was later secretary in Des Moines for the State Representative from Keokuk County.
On April 17, 1943, Bruce and Helen were married in Lansing, Michigan, where Bruce was in cadet training. Helen traveled with Bruce during his time in the service, generally working as a waitress to pay for her room and board. Later, after Bruce completed his education, they moved to Muscatine, Iowa, with their young children, and Helen continued her life as a busy mom. She was very active in the Methodist Church and was recognized for her work with the Civic Music organization. She was a talented seamstress, making many of her own clothes, as well as clothes for her daughters, and later for her granddaughters and great-grandchildren. She was also an excellent cook. At Christmas she baked dozens of beautifully decorated sweet rolls and sugar cookies, plus boxes of shortbread, fudge, divinity, and other treats for her friends and others who had served the family in any way. In 1969 the family moved to Colorado, where she continued her primary job – taking care of Bruce. No one had more perfectly ironed shirts or pressed suits than he had. She continued to sew, and she was also active in the Methodist Church, P.E.O., the Embroiderers’ Guild, and book club.
Helen loved Bruce, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, of course, but she also loved people in general. She enjoyed reading to elementary school children, doing so into her 90’s. She loved horses, dogs, and birds, and working in her iris beds, which she said was much more fun than housework! She loved to read, especially mysteries, and continued reading to the end. She made friends wherever she went, and despite numerous tragedies in her life, was able to have a positive outlook and a positive impact on those around her. Helen loved life.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Bruce; her siblings Frank Clevenger, Vivian Clevenger Strasser, and Charles Clevenger; and three daughters, Carmene and Camille Sturdevant and Celeste Sturdevant Reed. She is survived by daughters Christine Sturdevant Brink and husband Robert and Constell (Connie) Sturdevant Steinhaus and husband Eric, as well as 5 granddaughters, 4 great-grandchildren, and a host of friends.
A Celebration of Helen’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, July 29, at New Hope Presbyterian Church, 3737 New Hope Way, Castle Rock, CO 80109. While we are saddened by her passing, the family requests you join us as Helen lived—with joy. We look forward to sharing memories of her together at the reception following the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider giving a donation in memory of Helen to one of the following organizations. Please designate your donation as a memorial to Helen L. Sturdevant and request that Connie or Christine be notified of your gift.
Douglas County Libraries Foundation
100 S. Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104
World Wildlife Fund Online: http://support.worldwildlife.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=main_onetime&s_src=AWE2312OQ18618A07092TX
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