Helen Ann (Gruetzmacher) Schartz passed away Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, after a long battle with breast cancer.
Helen was born May 10, 1963, in Wausau, Wis., the second child of Joan Mildred Kronenwetter and Robert George Gruetzmacher. She graduated from Sun Prairie High School in 1981. She went on to complete a bachelor of arts in psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. At Knox, she was active in Phi Mu fraternity, serving as Sigma Chapter president. Helen would go on to complete a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a JD from the University of Iowa, focusing on interpersonal violence and disability issues, respectively. From 1992 to 1998, Helen was an assistant professor at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., returning to the University of Iowa to pursue a law degree. After graduating from law school, she became the director of research at the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center, part of the University of Iowa's College of Law, where she conducted research and policy work to improve the employment and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in their communities.
Helen married her best friend and love of her life, Kevin Schartz, on Aug. 27, 1988, at St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church in Iowa City. They were married for 29 years and were blessed with a daughter, Emily, and a son, Avery. She would say that the most important things in her life were her husband, children and family. In addition to her employment at the University of Iowa, she was an active member of the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City, caregiver for her mother, homeschool parent of Emily and Avery, and avid Green Bay Packer fan.
Helen is survived by her husband, Kevin; and children, Emily and Avery; her mother, Joan Gruetzmacher, Coralville; and father, Robert Gruetzmacher, Sun Prairie, Wis.; her brother and family, George, Jill and Garrett Gruetzmacher, Sun Prairie; a paternal aunt, Dorothy Radke, Merrill, Wis.; sisters-in-law and families, Pam, Gerry, Blake, Mitchell, Nicholas and Harper Paden, Roeland Park, Kan., and Shelley, Ken and Logan Hays, Manhattan, Kan.; mother-in-law, Donna Schartz, Roeland Park, Kan.; as well as extended family and friends.
Helen was preceded in death by father-in-law, Edmund Peter Schartz.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Newman Catholic Student Center with Father Ed Fitzpatrick officiating. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Newman Center, where a vigil service will be held at 7:30 p.m. The family will also greet friends from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday. Burial will be Saturday at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery in Mosinee, Wis.
Memorials may be made to the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics or Knox College in Galesburg.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.