Helen Sawyer

April 15, 1931 - February 18, 2018

Helen Sawyer, 86, of Winterset died Sunday, February 18, 2018, at West Bridge Care and Rehab in Winterset.

A Rosary will begin at 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 23, at Ochiltree Funeral Service where a visitation will follow until 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, February 24, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Winterset with burial to follow in the Winterset Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Friends of the Winterset Public Library and online condolences may be left at ochiltree.com.

Helen Marie Lekin, daughter of William and Celestia (Belger) Lekin, was born April 15, 1931, in Parnell, Iowa. She grew up in Iowa City and graduated from St. Mary’s in 1948. She went on to receive a degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa and attended the University of Minnesota where she pursued her Masters. Her marriage to Robert William Sawyer took place on August 7, 1954, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Iowa City. Mr. Sawyer died May 21, 1994, and Helen later married Bobby Vawter.

Helen was a devout Catholic attending Mass daily for over 60 years. She was a member at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Winterset and was active in the Democratic Party.

She loved to travel and was especially fond of time spent in Florida where she could often be found walking along the beach. She was an avid reader especially of mystery novels, having read every novel by Agatha Christy. She also enjoyed attending plays, watching the View, but above all else she loved time spent with her family and friends.

She is survived by husband, Bobby Vawter of St. Paul, MN; children, William ‘Bill’ (Barbie) Sawyer of Montgomery, AL, Jack (Wendy) Sawyer of Winterset, Mary Ellen (Cliff) Kowalski of Park Ridge, IL, and Thomas (Deirdre) Sawyer of Washington, DC; 17 grandchildren, Michael Sawyer, Lauren (Charles) Ghee, Emily (Drew) Bentley, John (Cindy) Sawyer, Shelby White, Kendra (Adam) Alexander, Natasha (Eric) Schaller, Madison Eliason, Jackson Sawyer, Jacklyn Kowalski, Courtney Kowalski, Kevin Kowalski, Ally Kowalski, Brendan Sawyer, Kevin Sawyer, Sean Sawyer and Eileen Sawyer and 7 great-grandchildren, Charlotte Bentley, Margaret Ghee, Gavin Eliason, Dixon Alexander, Breckin Alexander, Reese Schaller and Charlotte Schaller; extended family and a host of friends.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, William and Celestia; her first husband, Robert William Sawyer; siblings, Vincent (Irene) Lekin, Regina (Lester) Parizek, Reta Lekin, and Loretta (Rich) Wilson.