Helen Gordon

  • Born: January 25, 1936
  • Died: November 29, 2015
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family

Helen Jean Gordon, 79, a lifelong resident of Iowa City, died Sunday, November 29, 2015 at her daughter, Mary Beth Gordon Kokjohn's home in Clinton, surrounded by her loving family.

Funeral Services will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, December 3, 2015 at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home, Iowa City with Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle officiating. Visitation will be after 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will be at St. Joseph's Cemetery Friday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Helen was born January, 25, 1936 in Iowa City, the daughter of Jack and Virginia Yanaush. She graduated from Iowa City High School in 1954. Helen married Robert E. Gordon June 9, 1956 at St. Mary's Catholic Church Iowa City. Robert passed away November 24, 1980.

Helen worked at Northwestern Bell and Oral B before she became a mother and raised her two children, Steve and Mary Beth with her husband, "Bob." Together they gave their children numerous outdoor experiences including tent camping throughout the US, picnic potlucks at the Housel farm, gardening, and made homemade popsicles for all the neighbors to enjoy.
Following her husband's death, she began to create a wonderful life for herself. She reentered the workforce by becoming a cashier in the Business Office at the University of Iowa for 18 years. Soon she became an avid Hawkeye fan, and eventually followed all sports, but especially the Hawks and St Louis Cardinals. She continued her passion of the US and overseas travel through the Friends of Hills Bank and Trust, took bus trips to play the slot machines at area casinos, and enjoyed her long conversations with her best friend, Nancy Petersen.

A very special thank you to Bill and Jenny Anciaux and Doug and Sandy Vollstedt who made it possible for her to stay in her home until this past year when she moved to Legacy Assisted Living.

Helen is survived by her mother, Virginia Vae Yanaush; son Steve M. Gordon and his children, Avery and Aria; a daughter Mary Beth Kokjohn and her children, Rebecca, Christina, and Jacquelyn; and great -grandson, Owen, Rebecca's son; a nephew Todd A. (Karla) Smith and their children Megan, Jared (Kelsey), Kathryn, Kailyn, and a niece Heather L. (Dana) Holeman.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert E. Gordon; father, Jack Yanaush; her sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Le Smith; and son-in-law, Bruce W. Kokjohn.

Memorials in Helen's name may be directed to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital c/o University of Iowa Foundation, and Mercy Hospice of Clinton, Iowa.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Steve and Mary Beth, so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. The memories are flooding my mind from Plum Street. I remember your Mom and Dad caring for my brother Mike and I when our little sister, Laurie, was born. We loved playing with your Dad's beagles, especially Smokey. Your mom kept us stoked with cookies while your Dad helped us make gifts for our parents in his wood shop. I could go on, but not here.
Please know I will never forget your parents. They were wonderful to all the neighborhood kids.
Jim Croker

Posted by Jim Croker - Iowa City, IA - Friend   December 01, 2015

Steve, Mary Beth,and Family,
I am sorry to hear of your Mother's passing, I worked with her in the Cashiers office at the U of Ia. until she retired. Many wonderful memories of such a great lady! You are so blessed!May peace be with you.

Posted by David Lair - Coralville, IA   December 01, 2015

Helen was my class mate , class of 1954. Leland was my firt cousin her brother in law. She sure did a lot with her life. I so enjoyed reading her obituary. I sent to our member of class to send out to all. My condolences

Posted by Marilyn Jensen - Coralville, IA - classmate   December 01, 2015

Helen was a second mother to me and the rest of us Kennedys. She and Bob brought us along on fishing trips, camping trips and all other kinds of fun activities. I chuckle every time I think back on the Red Lake trip when she and Mary Beth were interrupted by a hungry bear while picking wild blueberries! Good times.

We spent as much time over at her place as we did at home during the summers growing up on Woodridge.

Regrettably, I will not be able to make it back for the funeral. Heaven just added another angel. She will be missed.

My heartfelt condolences to the family.

Posted by Joe Kennedy - Woodinville, WA - Friend   December 01, 2015

Dear Steve, Mary Beth, and Family,
Prayers to you. We will never forget your Mom!
May you have some comfort knowing that she is now in God's gentle hands.
Take care.
Celeste and Dave

Posted by Celeste and Dave Vincent - Iowa City, IA - Friends   November 30, 2015

Her Popsicles were legendary! As were her chocolate chip cookies and pancakes. Such a wonderful cook! So many great memories of Helen. Rest in peace.

Posted by Eileen Patterson - Nevada, IA - Friend   November 30, 2015

Family Album