Looking for a particular obituary?

Obits submitted to The Gazette are published online and in the newspaper the next day.

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

Helen Sommer


Helen E. Sommer, 95, formerly of Marion, Iowa, passed away on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, in Madison, Wis., on her 74th wedding anniversary. The family will greet friends from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marion. Funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church conducted by the Rev. Dennis Johnson. Graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
Helen was born June 20, 1923, in Olin, Iowa, the daughter of Louis and Martha (Feddersen) Luedeman. She graduated from Olin High School and then served as a draftsman in Chicago during World War II. On Sept. 28, 1944, in Olin, Helen was united in marriage to the Rev. Arnold E. Sommer. He passed away on Nov. 14, 2001. Helen served as a pastor's wife in Olin, Alvord, Tama, Bellevue and Correctionville, Iowa, before retiring to Marion. She was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.
Helen was well known for her positive outlook on life. She was proud to be a minister's wife, and her faith was very important to her. However, her greatest love of all was her family. When something good happened to anyone, she would exclaim, "Oh Happy Day." So to her family and friends, she was known as the "Happy Day Grandma."
She is survived by her three children, Steven (Dr. Sandra) Sommer of Richmond, Va., Pamela (Dr. David) Thompson of Niantic, Conn., and Barbara (Jon) Townley of Waunakee, Wis.; six grandchildren, Mark (Courtney) Sommer, Valerie (Daren) Williams, Kimberly (Neils) Pennings, Christopher Thompson, Michelle (Kris) Herring and Eric (Emily) Townley; and nine great-grandchildren, Riley, Jocelyn, Luke, Max, Wesley, Schuyler, Barend, Sommer and Bryce.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and one sister, Norma Cooper.
A memorial fund has been established in Helen's memory.
Please share a memory of Helen at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.