Helen Gertrude Leu, one of seven children of Nellie Jane (Wright) and William Whiting Wheeler, was born on March 7, 1919 at her parents' farm southeast of Glenwood, Iowa. She attended Little Brick Country School near her home and graduated from Glenwood High School in 1936. Helen attended Peru State Teachers College at Peru, Nebraska and then taught for eight years at the country schools of Little Brick, Reasoner and Old Pacific near Glenwood.
In 1944, Helen attended Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated in 1948. She accepted a nursing position at Nebraska Methodist Hospital and also cared for her nephew who was confined to an iron-lung machine in Omaha. She later worked at the Children's Clinic for area pediatricians.
Helen and Bruno Adolph Leu were married on September 25, 1953 at St. John's Lutheran Church at rural Hastings, Iowa. The couple made their home in rural Hastings where Bruno farmed and Helen was the Nursing Director for the Nishna Cottage Nursing Home in Malvern, Iowa.
When their marriage was blessed with the birth of their son, Lawrence William in 1956, Helen left nursing to become a full time mother and farm wife. Helen and Bruno were active members of St. John's Lutheran Church where Helen had served as president of Ladies Aid and Bruno held offices and helped with the janitorial duties. They were also active in the community, where Helen was a Cub Scout Den Leader and Bruno, an assistant scoutmaster. Helen was a member and officer of the Malvern Band Parents and volunteered her nursing skills at the local American Red Cross Blood Bank. The family enjoyed traveling and Helen and Bruno eventually reached all 48 states and later enjoyed spending several winters in Arizona.
Bruno retired from farming in 1981, and he and Helen moved to Glenwood, Iowa where Bruno worked as the maintenance person for their housing complex. They became members of Trinity Lutheran Church and Helen joined Dorcas Circle.
In May of 2008, Helen and Bruno moved to Duff's Friendship Villa in Nebraska City, Nebraska. They had been there only a few days when Bruno passed away on May 23, 2008, at the age of 90 years. They had been blessed with 54 years of marriage.
Helen continued to live in Nebraska City. She passed away on March 4, 2011 at the age of 91 years, 11 months and 27 days. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Bruno; brothers, Charles Wheeler and wife Helen, and William "Bert" Wheeler; sisters, Jessie Wheeler, Beulah Inman and husband Herman, and Thelma McClurkin and husband Ernest "Mac"; and brother-in-law August Pontow.
Helen is survived by her son Lawrence Leu and wife Dawn of Nebraska City, NE; grandchildren, Bryan Leu of Nebraska City, Brittany Leu of Omaha, NE, Whittney Kelley of Lincoln, NE, and Savannah Kelley of Nebraska City; sister Phyllis Pontow of Hastings, IA; sister-in-law Margaret "Peggy" Wheeler of Tabor, IA; nieces and nephews; many other relatives and friends.
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