Helene L. Dawson, 94 of Henry passed away at 6:10 PM Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Heartland Health Care Center, Henry.
Mrs. Dawson was born September 7, 1922 in Bradford, IL to Robert A. and Edith M. (Petersen) Wolfe.
Helen attended school in Bradford before leaving to work in Peoria where she met her husband Harold Ray Dawson in 1942. Their story was special in that their courtship was only three days long before driving to Missouri to be married by a Justice of the Peace in Palmyra. Harold’s cousin Eugene Smith was on board for the trip, both of whom were set to depart for their enlistment in the United States Navy. Harold and Helene celebrated 56 years of marriage before Harold passed away in 1999.
Over the course of Harold’s six year deployment, Helene supported the war effort while also moving from coast to coast to be with her husband as he summoned her with his arrival on shore. In San Francisco, she was a teletype operator and on the east coast she held employment in both furniture and airplane factories, having been a riveter at one time. Helene had a fascination with Harold’s war ship, the U.S.S. Independence, which she spoke often. Her claim to fame was an article written by Phil Luciano of the Peoria Journal Star titled “Love of Man and Ship”.
After Harold was discharged for his six years of Navy service, they both settled on a farm west of Henry to raise two children. Finally, they settled in to their long-standing and beloved home in Henry in 1969. Helene enjoyed collecting antiques and going to auctions and was very proud of their home.
Helene is survived by her children, Thomas Dawson of California, Linda (Tony) Decker of Roanoke and adopted granddaughter, Chaela (Brian) Dentinger of Sparland; grandchildren, Rebbecca Crider of Varna, Jennifer (Rick) Hearn of Peoria and Brenda Dawson; great grandchildren, Paige, Jacob, Christina, Tahlya, Tyler, Ricky, Jayden, Madyson and Conner; and a great great grandson, Gage.
Preceding her in death were her parents, husband, brother, Alfred D. Wolfe, and sisters, Pat (Walt) Ledbetter, Marian (Wayne) McDowell and Virginia Pelker.
Her funeral services will be 11:00 AM Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Calvert & Johnson Memorial Home, “Downtown Chapel”, Henry, with Fr. Frank Dunaway officiating. Burial will follow in Henry Cemetery, Henry. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 AM Thursday prior to services at the memorial home.
Donations can be made to the A.R.K. in Lacon as Helene was an avid lover of animals, especially cats.