In Memory of Helen J Durston

Helen J Durston
Helen J Durston
Born: December 11, 1928
Died: March 1, 2018
Age: 89
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Helen J Durston
December 11, 1928 - March 1, 2018
From: Albert City (formerly of Battle Creek), IA

Helen J. Durston, age 89, of Albert City, Iowa formerly of Battle Creek, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the Pleasant View Nursing Home, of Albert City, Iowa.

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek, Iowa. Reverend Kevin J. Freese will officiate; with Committal Services following in the Mt Hope Cemetery, of Battle Creek, Iowa. A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek, Iowa. The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Battle Creek, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

Helen J. Durston, 89, passed away Thursday, March 1, 2018 at Pleasant View Nursing Home in Albert City, Iowa after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Helen Joyce (Treiber) Durston, the daughter of George and Louise (Babbe) Treiber, was born on December 11, 1928, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa.  Helen grew up in the Danbury and Sioux City, Iowa area, where she attended Catholic School in Danbury and Central School in Sioux City. During her high school years, Helen's love for photography grew when she worked for Kemp Photography in Danbury, Iowa. She graduated from the Danbury Public School with the class of 1946.  After graduation she went on to further her education at the Business School of Omaha and worked for Mutual of Omaha Insurance until 1948. 

On June 22, 1949, Helen was united in marriage to Everett Durston at the First Presbyterian Church in Battle Creek, Iowa.  The couple made their home on their farm south of Battle Creek and were blessed with three children Douglas, Gaylene and Neil.  Helen was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who loved her family dearly and enjoyed her time on the farm.  Helen made sure the coffee pot was always on, along with cookies and cake for those that would stop by for business and friendly chatter.

Helen loved listening to music, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, collecting dolls, photography, sewing and of course shopping.  She taught Sunday school, vacation bible school, was a member of the Presbyterian Women as well as helped with the Lions Club meals, funeral dinners and the annual turkey supper.  She was a longtime member of the Battle Creek Women’s Club, a member of the I.O.O.F. Rebecca’s, a Cub Scout den mother and active in the Ida County Historical Society.  Helen and Barb Bennett spent a lot of time on the restoration of the governor’s mansion Terrace Hill in Des Moines as well as helping sew the inaugural ball dresses for the dolls in the showcase located there.  She was also the activity director at the Willow Dale Nursing Home for many years. 

Helen and Everett were able to enjoy several trips to old Mexico and took their RV south to Texas in the winters.  They enjoyed moments with Marv and Betty Albers on trips to Las Vegas and helping them out at Duke & Mins.  Other fond memories were fishing trips to Canada with Henry and Dawn Brueck.  The hardest and saddest time for Helen was when she lost the love of her life after a sudden medical accident in May of 1996. 

Helen also loved to spend time with her grandchildren making sure they were at their various events, were in every Battle Creek 4th of July parade and using their manors.  She often loaded as many grandchildren as she could into her big blue suburban and headed off to Cenla Campground to spend weekends in the summers.  Her family would vote her most creative and artistic mom in the whole world.   

Helen is survived by her three children Douglas (Mary) Durston of Battle Creek, IA, Gaylene (Jerry) Nixon of Albert City, IA, Neil Durston of Battle Creek, IA;  grandchildren Wade Mummert, Dixie Wingate, Dusty Durston, Douglas Durston, Deanna (Cody) Hasty, Desirae Durston, Dylan Durston, Chadwick (Jessica) Nixon, Contessa (Travis) Barnes, Clinton (Alison) Nixon, Ian (Chelsey) Durston, Dane Durston and Sara (Joseph) Abrego; a special niece Cheryl Eddie; 20 great-grandchildren; extended family and friends.  

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Everett Durston; her parents George and Louise Treiber; her mother-in-law Evelyn Daisy; brother-in-law Warren Durston; and several other special brother and sister in-laws. 


10:30 am, Wednesday,
March 7, 2018

First Presbyterian Church
Battle Creek, Iowa


Reverend Kevin J. Freese



Wade Mummert
Chadwick Nixon
Douglas Durston II
Clinton Nixon
Ian Durston
Dane Durston
Dylan Durston

Honorary Pallbearers:

Dixie Wingate 
Contessa Barnes
Dusty Durston
Sara Abrego
Deanna Hasty
Desirae Durston


5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

First Presbyterian Church
Battle Creek, Iowa


Dixie Brueck, Organist & Vocalist
Mary Jo Watson, Pianist
Pastor John Mayer, Violinist

Music Selections:
"The Old Rugged Cross"
"You Are My Sunshine"
"The Lord's Prayer"


Mount Hope Cemetery
Battle Creek, Iowa


Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 12:58 PM
“Doug, Gaylene,, Neil and all,
I never got close to your mom to know her well. I know my mom thought she was wonderful and admired her, so I did, too. She was a fixture at every event of our little town! I'm so glad to know about her work at Terrance Hill and the gowns of the dolls! What a legacy! May you be comforted by your memories and knowing she is free!
- Connie Rogge McCrary
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 9:01 AM
“We are so sorry to read about Helen's death. We enjoyed so much our visits with her and your family in IA and here in SD.”
- Sarah Mittelstedt
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 9:01 AM
“Our condolences to Doug and the entire Durston extended family. Brings back childhood memories of visits from Uncle Ern and Aunt Daisy and trips to Battle Creek for family visits. We missed you at the Stillman reunion July 2017 and look forward to seeing some of you at the next reunion.
Del and Cheri Gran
Roswell, GA”
- Del Gran
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 9:01 AM
“I am sorry for Helens Passing,She was a very nice lady who had such a great laugh..She was a good friend to my mother and a Great Lady..”
- Robert bjorholm
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 9:01 AM
“Gaylene - we extend our sympathy to you and your family for your mother's loss. We know her memory will be treasured by you forever. ”
- Betty and Steve Ehlers
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 9:10 AM
“This lady was my neighbor lady for many years. A great lady. She even made clothes for me.”
- Cindy Peters
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 9:10 AM
“I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother.I always remember her as such a fun and positive person . ”
- Wanda Procaccini
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 9:10 AM
“Blessings and condolences to the family.”
- Lois Bachman and Marvelyn Bjorholm
Monday, March 5, 2018 at 12:01 PM
“Thinking of you all I. This time of loss!! Hugs!”
- Tracy & shannon Barnes and girls
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