DIXON — Helen Louise (Ankeny) Abts, 97, Dixon, died peacefully June 1, 2022, at the Wakefield Assisted Living Center, Wakefield. Visitation was Sunday at the United Methodist Church, Allen.
The funeral service was June 6 at the United Methodist Church, with Pastor Debra Tompsett-Welch officiating.
The burial was in the Concord Cemetery, Concord.
Arrangements were under the direction of Bressler-Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home, Wakefield.
Helen was born Dec. 5, 1924, in Dixon, the daughter of Chester and Grace (Hall) Ankeny. Helen grew up on the family farm north of Dixon. In early life, Helen had a love for riding horses, but her father didn’t want her to ride the work horses in the evening as they had to work the next day.
They did have neighbors though, that needed their horses exercised which made them some of Helen’s favorite people. She graduated Valedictorian from Dixon High School in 1942, and then finished a two-year teaching certificate from Wayne State College. Helen taught in the Wakefield and Belden schools. It was while she was in Belden, that she met Louie. Helen married Louis Abts April 10, 1949, at the Dixon Methodist Church. They had three sons and two daughters, David, John, Karen, Richard and Cheryl.
Louie and Helen farmed around Belden and Dixon over the years. She was busy caring for children, and animals alike. She did all chores inside and out. She was a devoted wife and mother and helped break ground to have classes in schools to help the handicapped. She and Louie also joined other parents in helping to form work opportunities for the handicapped after their school years. She cared for Louie at home, after he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until he died in 1996.
Helen was an excellent mother to all her children, but her mothering duties didn’t end when her children became adults, Helen cared deeply for Karen, and you would often see Helen taking Karen to as many activities as she could. So much of what she did included attending sporting events of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This included winning Fan of the Year at Wakefield Community School with her daughter, Karen.
Helen’s faith was a cornerstone of her life which guided her to be the kind, loving person she was. She taught Sunday School for years, as well as overseeing the youth group.
Helen was known for her Angel Food cakes, ability to recite poetry from memory, and her beautiful handwriting. Every evening she completed the Omaha World Herald crossword puzzle while watching a sporting event on “mute.” She was an avid Husker fan, through good times and bad.
Helen is survived by her children, David (Marilyn) Abts and John (Nancy) Abts, Laurel; Richard (Denise) Abts, Dixon; and Cheryl (Steve) Greve, Wakefield; 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Grace; husband, Louis; daughter, Karen; grandson, Max Greve; brothers, Ron (Lois) Ankeny and Earl (Marge Armfield) Ankeny; sister, Lois (Dale) Westadt.
Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.