Helen Cochran Wearin
February 04, 1921 - May 19, 2017
|Birthplace: ||San Juan, Pureto Rico|
|Resided In: || Red Oak, Iowa
| First Congregational United Church of Christ|
| First Congregational Church|
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Helen Cochran Wearin, Red Oak, died peacefully in her sleep on Friday, May 19, 2017 at Red Oak Healthcare Community.
Helen was born February 4, 1921 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, daughter of Alexander R. Cochran and Beatrice (Thomes) Cochran. She and her brothers, Alexander and John, grew up in Central Canůvanas, Puerto Rico where their father managed a sugar mill owned by the Fajardo Sugar Company.
At age 12, Helenís parents sent her to live with her aunts to attend school in Kansas City, Missouri. She returned home during summer vacations every year until 1942, travelling by train to New York and then on to Puerto Rico by steamship. Helen graduated from The Barstow School in Kansas City in 1939 and enrolled at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, majoring in fine and applied art.
During World War II, travel to Puerto Rico was difficult, so in the summer of 1942, Helen planned to visit family and friends across the United States during her vacation. She had met Edward A. Wearin, who suggested she visit his parents in Malvern, Iowa. Ed later told the story that after Helen left Malvern, he received a letter from his father who wrote, ďYou would be crazy not to marry that girl!Ē
Helen graduated with a B.S. from Skidmore in 1943 and returned to her home in Central Canůvanas. Edward Wearin was a naval officer stationed in San Juan and their friendship blossomed. Helen and Edward were married Nov. 20, 1943 in the garden of her family home.
Following the war, Ed completed graduate school, then he and Helen moved back to Iowa to farm. They lived on their farm near Red Oak for 46 years. During that time, they raised four children: Elizabeth (Twink), Edward A., Jr. (Andy), Sarah, and Catherine. They placed a high value on education for their children and all four received fine educations.
Helen was a Cub Scout and 4-H leader, and a member of Chapter HB P.E.O., but devoted most of her volunteer time to the United Church of Christ (UCC) locally and at the state and national levels. She was a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ of Red Oak where she was active in Christian education and served in numerous leadership positions including moderator of the congregation. She served on the Leadership Education Committee and the Board of Directors of the Iowa Conference UCC. In 1975, Helen was the first woman elected Chairperson of the Iowa Conference Board. Helen was a delegate to the General Synod of the UCC several times and was elected to the Executive Council in 1977.
Later in life, Helen and Edward enjoyed visiting Helenís cousins in England and travelling throughout Europe. They made numerous trips until Edís health began to fail. Throughout their marriage, they attended the opera, symphony, and theater regularly.
After 50 years of marriage, Ed died on October 2, 1994. Helen moved to Red Oak where she became involved in Touchstone Arts Council, the Montgomery County History Center, and participated in YMCA activities. Her home in town was a central gathering place for her grandsons and great-nephews, which allowed them to participate in Scouts, sports, music, and theater events without making numerous trips home to the country.
Helen moved to Arlington Place Assisted Living in 2007 and then to Red Oak Healthcare Community in 2012. Her family appreciates the kind and loving attention she received at both facilities.
Helen Wearin was preceded in death by her husband Edward; Elizabethís daughter, beloved baby granddaughter Olive Jessie Salmon; her parents; brothers and sisters-in-law, Alexander and Beryl Cochran of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin and John and Betty Cochran of Tucson, Arizona; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Josiah and Mary Louise Wearin of Hastings; and niece Mary (Wearin) Twombly of Henniker, New Hampshire.
Helenís survivors include her children Elizabeth Wearin of Red Oak; Andy Wearin and his wife Georgeann of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Sarah Smith and her husband Leo of Red Oak; and Catherine Wearin of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Eight grandchildren also survive Helen. They are Elizabethís daughters Abigail Salmon and special friend Will Flowers of Mercer Island, Washington and Isabelle Salmon and special friend Jonny Catchings of Seattle, Washington. Her grandsons are Sarah and Leoís sons Alex Smith, his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Eleanor (Ellie) of Prairie Village, Kansas; Riley Smith, his wife Tracy, and their daughter Andalucia (Lulu) of the Republic of Singapore; and Elliot Smith of Emerson and his special friend Ashleigh Sons of Shenandoah. Also Andy and Georgeannís sons Tucker Sheets, his wife Melissa, and their son David of Hyannis, Nebraska; Coy Sheets, his wife Mikaela, and their daughters Avery and Elsie of Miles City, Montana; and Trey Sheets of Cheyenne, Wyoming. In addition, Helenís family includes Elizabeth's stepchildren and step grandchildren Keira Jamerson and her husband Jason of Everett, Washington; Jessa Salvitti, her husband Michael, and their children Leigha and Jacob of Naples, Italy; and Jacob Marriott, his wife Becky, and their children Keilani, Sadie, Edyn, and Luke of Oak Harbor, Washington. Many other relatives and friends, including Jean Libbey of Grinnell and Denny Dudley of Iowa City, played an important role in Helenís life.
Helenís memorial service will be held at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 608 East Reed Street, Red Oak, Iowa on Tuesday, May 30 at 10:30 AM followed by a luncheon and visitation with the family in the church Fellowship Hall. Private interment of ashes will be held at a later date in the Malvern Cemetery. Memorials may be designated to the First Congregational United Church of Christ or Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.