Helen Emma (White) Coulson

April 8, 1925 ~ March 10, 2021 (age 95)


Helen Emma (White) Coulson was born April 8, 1925, to Thomas Othello and Olga Anna Elnora Elizabeth (Carlson) White in a little log home NE of Russell 

     Helen was the 3rd born of 8 children. Her siblings: Dr. Thomas Caryl 1921 (Catherine), Jenny (died at birth 1923), Dean Carlson 1927 (Leah), Dale Benjamin 1928, Lucille Elizabeth White Funk 1931 (Murray). Born to Ida Victoria Carlson & Thomas Othello; Janet Patricia White Clark 1939 (Larry), David Addison White 1941 (Shirley).

     Helen’s first memories were growing up in Cedar township of Lucas County, with her family home at the top of big Cedar Hill with the Cedar “Crick” flowing near the bottom of the hill. They walked 1.5 miles to Cedar Grove #5 Country school, also known as “Dickerville”, 9 miles East of Chariton, and was nicknamed from the dickering of prices at a nearby store. She attended Cedar Grove

kindergarten through 8th grade. She would often cut through the timber, picking bouquets of daisies and sweet williams. When winter came, often with deep snows too deep to forge through, their father would hook up the horse and sleigh to take them to school.

     Helen’s mother, Olga, passed away, (8.5.1931), one day after giving birth. Helen was 6, it was  during the time of the Great Depression. It was a heart breaking time. A difficult decision was made for the baby to live with Thomas’ brother Shelby White and his wife, Lena. They had no children and they raised Lucille as their own. During the difficult adjusting year, Helen and her brothers often stayed with her Swedish immigrant grandparents, Emma Gustava (Erickson) and John Agustova Carlson in the Lucas Co area. Her father, Thomas, married Ida Victoria Carlson on June 29, 1933, (Olga & Ida’s fathers were brothers: John Carlson &  Claus David Carlson).

     As was her loving and compassionate nature, Helen doted on and mothered her brothers and little sister Janet, who lovingly called her “Honey” through the years.

     Helen loved learning and reading, (her favorite subject), and read voraciously throughout her life. She attended Chariton High School her sophomore year and stayed with her maternal grandparents. The other 3 years of high school were at Russell where she Graduated in 1943 with a teaching certificate. She then attended a 6 week coarse at Simpson Summer College during the summer.

     At 18, in the fall 1943-44,Helen taught at Franklin (“Good”) 6 miles East of Chariton, in Lincoln Township.  Franklin school closed so Helen then transferred to Oxford,   on the road toward Williamson, and taught for 2 years (1944 –1946). She then taught at Cedar Grove - Dickerville, 1946-1947. She attended another 6 week coarse at Simpson College the summer 1947.  Helen taught at Red Rock Dunwreath school north of Knoxville in 1947-1949. She stayed with Daisy &  Delbert Barr, who she grew to love and admire, as they did her, bonding a life time friendship. In the 80’s, Helen took some night classes in Chariton through Indian Hills and Drake.

      One hot summer day in 1948, while attending teachers meetings in Knoxville, Helen took a break.  Jim Cooper, a friend of Helen’, drove past her with his friend, Floyd Coulson. Jim stopped and introduced Helen to Floyd.  Helen took a 6 week course at Simpson College that summer as Floyd and she began dating.  Helen married Floyd Loal Coulson, son of Jesse and Maude (Cook) Coulson on April 16, 1949 at the EUB Church in Chariton, Iowa. Officiating was Pastor Clifford Carter.

     To this marriage were born Steven Floyd / 1949, Stewart Thomas / 1953, and Shari Helen / 1955.  In 1958 Helen and Floyd moved with their family from their little Knoxville home on Conway Street to a farm near her family, NE of Russell with a dilapidated old “fixer-upper” farm house. A place they would call home forever. Together they worked hard on the farm. She with gardening, baking, sewing, cooking and caring for her family all while the old farm home was being remodeled and rebuilt by Floyd among the honey bees and terrible mess. It became a beautiful home set on the edge of the timber with rolling hills and a “crick” nearby.  A home where a multitude of memories were made and are cherished. Where a menagerie of pets would find homes. Where lessons in the stars and skies were taught and moonlit walks were taken. Where she taught her children to love all creation and honor the Creator of all.  You could always find her at the end of the day, knelt by her bed in prayer. Our mother’s prayers have followed us all of our lives. 

     Helen was blessed by being able to live on the farm until she moved to Homestead Assisted Living in Jan 2018, after a debilitating fall and remained there until she peacefully passed away.

     Helen accepted Jesus as her Savior at a young age and later was baptized at the Russell Baptist Church as a young girl (freshman), by Rev. Archie Beals. Helen was a faithful member of Bethel Evangelical United Brethren/United Methodist  Church, throughout her life. Bethel Church was where Floyd, Helen and their children worshipped together through the years. Helen served in many roles as Youth Fellowship leader, Sunday school teacher, VBS leader, Ladies Aid / Women’s Society President, Delegate to conferences, and officer of the Board, until the closing of Bethel Church in 2006. Bethel remained dear to her heart. She treasured her memories in that little country church where her family and church family spent precious time.

      Helen worked for a short period of time sewing at Gross Galesburg Pants Factory in Chariton. Helen belonged to Ladies American Legion Auxiliary, Chariton Women’s Club and Lucas Co Retired Teachers. She was very involved as a parent with all her kids activities, Parent Teacher Association, Music/Band, Athletic Boosters, and was a substitute teacher in the school system.

    1968, their 18 yr old son, Steven, was killed in an automobile accident on his way to play in a basketball tournament. Although she pressed on and held strong onto her faith in Jesus Christ, she would never overcome the grief of losing him.

    Giving was also her nature, giving of herself and giving what she had.  She was a devoted care giver and always helped her parents, especially during their times of greatest need. Her brother, Dale, who was more like a son, was always an intricate part of her life, she doted on him and enjoyed having him join her family for vacations, outings, holidays, birthdays and daily visits. Helen also looked forward to her sister, Janet's, regular visits and calls

     Helen loved her children, 6 grandchildren & 17 great-grandchildren with all her heart. Her grandchildren lovingly called her “Nana”. As they grew and had families of their own and settled in many different states across the country, she anticipated and treasured visits from them. She was a strong presence in both her immediate and extended family, always making an effort to send cards and notes and attended events and reunions as long as her health permitted. She instilled compassion, love and a “can do” attitude in her children and, even in her most difficult times, tried to share a positive outlook with her hope and trust in Christ.

     Helen enjoyed playing the piano and did so mostly by ear before her hands became crippled with arthritis. She instilled the love of music in her children and encouraged and taught them to sing and play instruments. She enjoyed looking at pictures, making scrapbooks, crocheting, watching birds and wildlife from her window where she sat each day at home. She had a passion for learning. She had a special touch of  beauty, style, fashion, and creativity. Her artistic penmanship was an example of her style and beauty as were her written words. She had a sharp mind and keen memory along with a good sense of humor. She had a stubbornness and would generally speak what was on her mind and could argue a crooked line straight. She was a fierce defender of her faith, her family, and the Republican Party. She loved growing her flowers and learning all about them. She became a part of the world of computers later in her life and was an avid Facebook member, surfing the web and emailing.  She was a correspondent for the Chariton Newspaper writing the “Bethel News” for over 30 years. God Called Helen to her Heavenly home on: March 10th, 2021

 To carry on their family legacy are her Children; Stewart (Nina) Coulson of Charles City, IA, Shari (David) DeBok of Russell, IA , Grand and Great Grandchildren; Gayla, (Jason) Posch, Addisyn, Jordyn of Olathe, KS ; Ryan (Courtney) DeBok, Claire, Lincoln, Kate, Madeline, Zach, Iris of Paola, KS ; Charles (Aly) DeBok and Madden & Dylan of Ft Worth, TX;  Adam (Michelle) Coulson Delaney, Rowan of Highland Ranch, CO; Andy (Morgan) Coulson Crosby, Cami, Mila of Brooklyn Park, MN; Sherri Meza, Gwen, Maui of Charles City, IA; Brother; David White, Sisters; Janet Clark, and Lucille Funk of Chariton. Nieces, Nephews, Cousins & Friends. Preceding her in death:  Husband, Floyd (2011) of 61 years, her 18 year old Son Steven (1968), Parents: Olga (1931), Thomas (1971) and Ida (1969),  Brothers: Dr Thomas Caryl (2000), Dean (2012), and Dale (2020), Brothers and sisters in laws, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews. 

Well Done, Good And Faithful Servant  Matthew 25:23

Service Date:  Sunday, March 14. 2021    Time 2:00pm

     Place:  Fielding Funeral Home

Each day was to her a miracle, fresh from her Father’s hand:

She bore with patience every grief she could not understand.

The tears of others were her own, their joy of hers a part.

The lonely never were alone, close to her tender heart.

No more along life’s rugged road her tender feet must roam

For she who made of home a heaven wakes to find heaven a home.

(From Helen’s mother,  Olga White’s,  Obituary 1931)


Find Us Faithful

We're pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road,
And those who've gone before us line the way.
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary,
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace.
O may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

Let us run the race not only for the prize, but as those Who've gone before us. let us leave to those behind us,
The heritage of faithfulness passed on thru Godly lives. After all our hopes and dreams have come

And gone, and our children sift thru all we've left behind, May the clues that they discover,

And the mem'ries they uncover,

Become the light that leads them,

To the road we each must find.

O may all who come behind us find us faithful



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Emma (White) Coulson, please visit our floral store.


March 14, 2021

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Fielding Funeral Home
227 S Grand
Chariton , Iowa 50049

Funeral Service
March 14, 2021

2:00 PM
Fielding Funeral Home
227 S Grand
Chariton , Iowa 50049

Interment following funeral service
March 14, 2021

Bethel Cemetery

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