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Helen Hubbell

Posted June 03, 2014 in Des Moines West, Obituaries

January 7, 1924 – June 1, 2014

Helen Hubbell

Helen Hubbell

Helen Hubbell, wife of James W. Hubbell, Jr., died peacefully in her sleep at home Sunday morning, June 1. She was 90.

Helen was born on January 7, 1924 in Marshall, Missouri, the only child of Shelton and Ada Houx. She was raised in Evanston, Illinois where she graduated from New Trier High School and then attended Northwestern University where she majored in English and Drama.

Helen met Jim Hubbell while he was a navy pilot during WW II. Their whirlwind courtship consisted of three dates before they were married on June 8, 1946, and their love affair continued for 62 years until his death in 2009.

Like Jim, Helen served the community through a variety of civic groups and gave generously to a number of philanthropic organizations. Her involvement includes the Des Moines Child Guidance Center, the Raccoon Valley Pony Club and the Community Chest of Des Moines. She was a past member of the Junior League, Colonial Dames, the Des Moines Founders Garden Club and Proteus. She was an avid reader and enjoyed a lively round of political discourse. She loved children – particularly her grandchildren who called her “Gigi” and whom she loved unconditionally – as well as animals, flowers, books, watching golf on TV, horse racing and Big 10 football. She loved to needlepoint as all ten of her grandchildren can attest.

Helen had a keen sense of humor and a razor sharp mind and was a grand dame in every sense of the word. She loved cooking for her ever-growing family and planning parties for special events. She is survived by her four children: Jim (Ellen), Harriet “Rusty”, Fred (Charlotte) and Michael (Debbie); 10 grandchildren: Hayley Burner (Mark), Sarah Hoff (Jeremy), Jay Hubbell (Beth van Dyke), Emily Ingham (Don), Lauren Mulholland (Brian), Andrew Hubbell (Kristen), Cooper Hubbell (Alexandra), Meredith Hubbell (Andrew Stahl), Alex Hubbell and Eric Hubbell, and six great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by all.

The family is grateful to her caregivers, especially Cathy Castro, who helped her over the last three years and to Wally who assisted her in so many ways.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blank Park Zoo or the Animal Rescue League. Friends are welcome to join the family for a “Celebration of Life” luncheon at the Wakonda Club from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 7. A private family interment will be held at Woodland Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared at


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Dunn’s Chapel
2121 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312

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