Helen Marie (Thumma) Smith, 88, of Tipton, entered her heavenly home on Thursday, February 23, 2023, while at the Hallmark Care Center in Mt. Vernon, IA.
Visitation will be at Fry Funeral Home, Tipton, from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 2, 2023.
On Friday, March 3, 2023, the Tipton Bible Church will host a funeral service at 10:00 am. Immediately after the service, Helen will be laid to rest in the Clarence City Cemetery, Clarence, IA, and a luncheon will follow.
In remembrance of Helen, a memorial fund has been established and will be shared between the Tipton Bible Church and the Tipton Christian Academy.
Cards and memorials may be mailed to 323 West Second Street, Tipton, IA 52772.
Online condolences may be shared at www.fryfuneralhome.com.
Helen, daughter of George Albert and Luella Alice (Burkholder) Thumma, was born on Sunday, December 30, 1934, in rural Stanwood, IA. She was a graduate of Tipton High School’s Class of 1953. During high school she was a guard on Tipton’s six-on-six girls basketball team.
On July 25, 1954, Helen married her one and only sweetheart, Richard Homer Smith, at the Tipton Bible Church. She was also a founding member of the Tipton Bible Church. She was a self-taught piano player and began playing for church services at the age of 16. For several years she taught algebra and shorthand as well as working as a teacher’s aide at the Tipton Christian Academy. For 46 years Helen worked as a correspondent and wrote feature articles for the Quad City Times and Cedar Rapids Gazette newspapers. She also worked for about 10 years for Tipton Chiropractic and Health. Besides playing the piano, Helen enjoyed all gardening, flower arranging, and canning and freezing food she grew in her garden. But she most loved time spent with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was happy to be able to attend the high school graduations of all 20 of her grandchildren. In recent years she enjoyed attending concerts and sporting events for great-grandchildren.
Helen is survived by her husband of 68 years, Richard of Tipton; children, Debbie (Jim) Schneider of Tipton, Cheryl (Jeff) Little of Tipton, Tim (Bonnie) Smith of Hilliard, OH, Mary (Wes) Little of Tipton, Martha Shellman of Angier, NC, Joel (Denise) Smith of Tipton, and Jonathan (Kerri) Smith of Tipton; 19 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Betty Thumma and Janet (Bert) Thomson; brother-in-law, Lee (Carol) Smith and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Hazel and Jean Thumma; brothers, Merle (Mary) Thumma, Glenn (Laura Lee) Thumma, Melvin (Rosetta) Thumma, Harold (Norma) Thumma, Dale (Frances) Thumma, and Robert Thumma; son-in-law, Paul Shellman; grandson, Jacob Shellman; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Smith and Elaine Smith; and brothers-in-law, Wayne (Gloria) Smith and Dean (Jeannie) Smith.