June 2, 2005

(9/17/1923 – 5/25/2005)

Helen Ivalee Swindler of Downing, MO, daughter of Dee and Leah (Jones) Kratzer, was born September 17, 1923, in northern Schuyler County, MO and passed away on May 25, 2005, at her home surrounded by her family and friends at the age of 81.

She was united in marriage to Clyde “Jim” Swindler on January 24, 1941, and to this union three children were born, Sandra, Steve and Pam.

Surviving are her children, Sandra Redding of Downing, MO, Steve Swindler and wife, Penny of Downing, MO and Pam Lusher and husband, Selby of Green Castle, MO; 10 grandchildren, Randy Redding and wife, Pam of Baring, MO, Lynn Redding of Jefferson City, MO, Shella White of Downing, MO, Cindy Hayes and husband, Paul of Jefferson City, MO, Kim Beeler and husband, John of Downing, MO, Heather Western and husband, Kevin of Queen City, MO, Leah Baker of Downing, MO, Ember Baker of Downing, MO, Matt Baumgardner of Downing, MO, and Kaylee and Latara Lusher of Green Castle, MO; 12 great-grandchildren, Josh White, Ashley Redding, Chelsea Redding, Dillon Redding, Logan Shively, Jaron Shively, Dalton Shively, Austin Beeler, Elizabeth Western, Leighton Western, Austin Redding and Cheyenne Baumgardner; two great-great-grandchildren, Chance White and Taren White and a dear friend and cousin, Jan Eiceman and husband, Dick of Myerstown, PA.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her dear husband, Jim on October 21, 1999; one brother, Oswald Kratzer; three sisters, Betty Kratzer, Audra Lamb and Mary Rayburn.

Helen loved cooking and spending time with her family, which included 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. For many years, she and Jim worked together at the Downing Stockyards, which they owned and operated for many years. She was instrumental in the formation and continuation of the Appreciation Days Celebration in Downing, even offering her kitchen to prepare the food for the food stand. Over the years, she has served as a member of the Schuyler County Library Board, the Schuyler County Extension Council and the Schuyler County Tourism Board. She went through training and became one of the first EMT’s serving Schuyler County. She was a member of Barker Church and a life member of the Wallace W. Gillespie VFW Post 4958. She baked and decorated cakes for many weddings and birthdays. In later years, she compiled and published her own cookbook.

Funeral services were held May 28, 2005, at the Downing Christian Church in Downing, MO with Dennis Smith, Chaplain of the Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, MO officiating. Music was provided by Twila Mathews, organist and Cole Tippett, soloist. Pallbearers were Dennis Anderson, Ronnie Anderson, Larry Briedwell, Mike Jackson, Frank Jones and Donnie Middleton. Honorary pallbearers were Randy Redding, Joshua White, Dillon Redding, Austin Redding, Paul Hayes, Chance White, Taren White, Logan Shively, Jaron Shively, Dalton Shively, John Beeler, Austin Beeler, Kevin Western, Leighton Western, and Matt Baumgardner. Flower bearers were Lynn Redding, Shella White, Cindy Hayes, Pam Redding, Ashley Redding, Chelsea Redding, Kim Beeler, Heather Western, Elizabeth Western, Ember Baker, Leah Baker, Kaylee Lusher, Latara Lusher, and Cheyenne Baumgardner.

Memorials have been established for Hospice. Burial was in the Downing City Cemetery in Downing, MO. Arrangements were under the direction of the Norman Funeral Home of Downing, MO.

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