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November 19, 2009

(10/6/1928 - 11/13/2009)

Helen Jean Bechtel, 81, of Oskaloosa, died Friday, November 13, 2009, at Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa.

She was born October 6, 1928 in Keokuk County, the daughter of Fred and Edna Alexander Short. She attended school at Delta. Early in her adult life she worked as a nurse aide at the Grinnell Hospital and later at the Mahaska County Hospital in Oskaloosa. She lived in Missouri for many years and returned to Iowa in 1965.

While in Missouri, she was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Memphis, Missouri, and in Oskaloosa, was a member of St. John Lutheran Church for over 43 years.

On March 13, 1966, Helen was united in marriage to Orville D. (Buddy) Bechtel at Nowata, Oklahoma, and Buddy died October 15, 2009.

She was a homemaker and was a deeply loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. Helen liked to play cards, especially pitch and rummy, and delighted in collecting dolls. She took great pride in cooking, and especially loved to make apple pies.

Her family includes her children, Joe (Betty) Rauch of Jay, Oklahoma, Anna (Jim) Breuklander of Oskaloosa, IA, Carroll Rauch, Jr. (Belinda Todd) of Oskaloosa, IA, Danny Bechtel, Cedar Rapids, IA, and Billy Bechtel, Oskaloosa, IA; 20 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Max Bechtel of Burlington, IA; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her husband, Helen was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Gary Rauch; a daughter, Mary Kerr; a grandson, Carl Rauch; brothers, Rex, Garold, Ivan, and Roy Short; and sisters Margurite, Geneneivie, Wilma, and Mary Short, Ruth McDougall, Rosemond Zearfoss; and another infant in infancy.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at St. Johnís Lutheran Church, Oskaloosa, IA, with the Reverend Stephen Lane officiating. Burial was in the Abel Cemetery east of Fremont.

Memorials may be made to St. Johnís Lutheran Church, Oskaloosa.

Copyright © 2001
Memphis Democrat
121 South Main Street
Memphis MO 63555
Phone: 660-465-7016 -- Email:

Copyright © 2001
Memphis Democrat
121 South Main Street
Memphis MO 63555
Phone: 660-465-7016 -- Email: