Helen Lucille Ford Lauber, 512 North Third Street, Clear Lake, died Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 at Oakwood Care Center, just two days before her 92nd birthday, in a defiant effort to die young.
A celebration of her life was held Friday at the Clear Lake United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Diana Hoover officiating. Burial will be at the Clear Lake Cemetery at a later date. Memorials preferred to the Clear Lake United Methodist Church.
Helen was born on Nov. 23, 1919 in Coon Rapids, Iowa, daughter of Carl Vincent Ford and Bonnie Bernice Bowman Ford. The family moved to Storm Lake, Iowa in 1921, where Helen and her sisters, Julia Maxine Ford Julius, and Louise Bonita Ford Todd attended school and did a lot of other, more entertaining things. Helen graduated from Storm Lake High School in 1937, attended Buena Vista College in Storm Lake for two years, and received her baccalaureate degree from Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in Cedar Falls in 1942, with a physical education major and minors in speech and history. She taught school in Lamont, Ida Grove, and Des Moines, Iowa until 1944.
On June 10, 1943 Helen married her longtime Sunday school classmate and high school sweetheart, Avery John Lauber. Avery was a Navy pilot, serving in the South Pacific. The couple lived in Providence, R.I. and Portsmouth, N.H. during his years of service. After the War they lived in Storm Lake, Des Moines and Iowa Falls, Iowa. They moved to 800 North 12th Street, Clear Lake in 1953. The family cat died during the move. In January 1963 they moved to Helen’s “dream house” at 512 North 3rd Street, where she lived until a week before her death.
Helen and Avery were the parents of five children, Bonnie Ellen Lauber-Westover and her husband, Allan, of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Susan Lynne Lauber Clark and her husband, Jim, of St. Paul, Minn., John Ford Lauber and Elizabeth Lincoln of Minneapolis, Minn., Elizabeth Anne Lauber Hoskyn and her husband, Jim, of Richfield, Minn. and her Brazilian exchange student daughter, Agnes Soares da Silva of Washington, D.C.
Helen has eight grandchildren, Jason Clark and his wife, Jena, Jennifer Clark, Aaron Clark and his wife, Jill, Jonas Westover, Nathaniel Westover and his wife, Michela, Sarah Lauber, Christopher Hoskyn, and Hannah Lauber.
She also has ten great-grandchildren, Johanna Clark, Benjamin Murray, Abbe Murray, Eva Clark, Lauren Clark, Chloe Clark, Sebastian Clark, Cassandra Clark, Isaiah Clark, and Scarlett Clark.
Helen and Avery loved camping and traveling to Alaska and Nova Scotia in their mini-Winnie. They spent many great weeks in Hawaii and on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Helen was a Methodist from babyhood, especially active in the Clear Lake United Methodist Church. She loved her Ruth Circle, Bible studies, and church events and church friends. She was a reader, bridge player, dog lover, devoted Iowa Hawkeye fan, and loved a good ride around Clear Lake. She loved classical music and played violin and piano. She was a proud wife, mom, grandmother and great-grandmother, and made the world’s best potato salad. Most of all she loved spending time on her back porch with family and friends.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Avery John Lauber; grandson, James Avery Hoskyn; great-grandson, Clark William Murray; her parents; and her sisters.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.