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Helen J. Schaeffer


Helen J. Schaeffer, 94, of Decorah, Iowa, passed away Sunday evening, June 7, 2020, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah.
A private family graveside service will be held at Hillside Cemetery in Ossian, Iowa.
Helen "Sandy" Schaeffer was born Nov. 2, 1925, at the Sand Farm near Ossian, Iowa, the daughter of Sylvia (Forde) Sand and Nanfred Sand.
She had a deep love for the Sand Farm and willingly participated in the outdoor work: milking, driving the tractor and harvesting crops.
She attended the Ossian Public School and graduated in 1943. After completing a certificate for teacher's training at Luther College, she was proud to have the first kindergarten class at Ossian. She continued summer school and received her B.A. from Luther in 1961.
Helen taught other grades at Linn-Mar Community Schools in Marion. She met and married a fellow teacher, Wm. Dean Schaeffer.
They were active members of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection until retiring in 1992. They moved to Decorah and became active members of Decorah Lutheran Church. Helen enjoyed writing hymns and poetry.
Sandy is survived by her children, Teresa (Scott) Swenson, Iowa City, Timothy (Kimberly) Schaeffer, Otho, and Jeffery (Patti) Schaeffer, Anamosa; her grandchildren, Kristine Swenson (Zachary) McBeth and Finley, Jacob (Jessica) Swenson, Erin Schaeffer, Jeffery Jr. (Nielie) Schaeffer and children, Nicholas Schaeffer; and special friends, Arlene and Daryl Lang and children.
She also is survived by her sisters and brother, Marjorie (Thomas) Golden, Janet Pinch, Jacob Sand of Henderson, Nev., and Sylvia Elaine Evans (Robert) of Indianola, Iowa.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Dean; parents; sister, Shirley Brainard; and four brothers, Robert, Gregory, Richard and Nanfred Jr.
The family would like to give special thanks to the hospice care at Aase Haugen Home, and her nephews and their wives, Alan and Cara Sand, Kevin and Leslie Sand and Dan and Carole Sand, for their many kindnesses to her. Also special thanks to her Decorah family at the Magpie Coffeehouse and, of course, the Hometown Taxi guys for all their help!
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Decorah Lutheran Church Youth Ministry, 309 Winnebago St., Decorah, IA 52101 or Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice, 901 Montgomery St., Decorah, IA 52101.
Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family.
Online condolences may be made at www.fjelstul.com.
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