Helen Y. Sassaman
November 8, 1926 – September 19, 2018
Helen Y. Sassaman, 91, passed away on Sept. 19, 2018.
She was born Nov. 8, 1926, to Everett V. Christy and Vera P. (Emanuel) in Ottumwa. After graduating from Ottumwa High School in 1944, Helen attended Ottumwa Heights College, majoring in music.
In June 1945, she married first Lt. James R. Sassaman in Hondo, Texas. They moved to Ames that year after Jim was discharged from the service. She worked various jobs to put him through Iowa State University while they lived in an attic apartment in Campus Town with a kerosene stove and a tiny ice box. After graduation, they moved briefly to Many Farms, Arizona, where Jim worked on the Navaho Indian reservation.
They also lived in Oak Park, Ill., before settling back in Ames to start a family.
Helen was a meticulous housekeeper and enjoyed handwork, creating many beautiful pieces of cross stitch, crochet, quilting and sewing which will be passed down through the generations as will her sarcastic, witty sense of humor.
She was also a movie buff and won the Oscar prediction contest at the local theater multiple years — so many times that they altered the rules to let someone else have a chance.
Helen was a member of the First Baptist Church in Ames. She and Jim celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary this summer.
She is survived by her husband, Jim; daughters, Jane Sassaman (Greg Gantner), of Harvard, Ill., and Nancy (Hunter) Lott, of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; and four grandchildren, Oliver (Alexis) Gantner, Willow Gantner, Spencer (Grace) Townley-Lott and Madeline Lott.
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 20, 2018