DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Patricia “Patti” Ann (Helle) Bell, 74, of Dyersville, Iowa passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 18th, 2021 at home surrounded by family with her beautiful Christmas tree sparkling in the background after a courageous battle with Pancreatic Cancer.
Services will be held at St. Francis Xavier Basilica, Dyersville, IA on Wednesday, November 24th at 10:30am followed by burial in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. Rev. Rev. Michael Schueller presiding with Deacon Roger Riesberg assisting. Family and friends may call on Tuesday, November 23rd from 2:30pm-7:30pm and Wednesday, November 24th from 7:30am-10:00am at Kramer Funeral Home. On Tuesday, at 3:45pm a Eulogy with be shared followed by a rosary in remembrance of Patti lead by the Catholic Daughters of America Court St Rose #350 and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Patricia was born on October 2nd, 1947 in Dubuque, IA, the oldest of seven children born to Vernon and Mildred (Lammers) Helle. Patti started school at Oneida for 1st-2nd grade, then transferred to St. Joseph Catholic School in Farley, Iowa from elementary school through her graduation from high school in 1965.
Patti attended Dubuque Beauty Academy graduating in May of 1966. She then opened the Farley Beauty Salon through 1969 and ensured local ladies had the most stylish hair do’s in the area.
Patti met her sweetheart, David Clarence Bell at an event in Dyersville. Patti married Dave on September 16th, 1967 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Farley, Iowa. Together they farmed southwest of Dyersville for 11 years and were blessed with four daughters. Patti was the “First Lady” of the Iowa Jaycees when Dave served as State President.
In 1977, Patti began a successful 35-year career with Home Interiors and Gifts as a Unit Director. Her creativity and passion for decorating turned houses into homes across the tri-states.
Upon retiring from farming in 1978, they moved to Farley for 6 months and then to Dyersville. Patti opened the Kids World Clothing Store in Dyersville for 8 years. During that time, she served as the President of the Dyersville Business Committee.
In 1986, Dave and Patti purchased Spec-Cast. Patti assisted Dave with trade shows and also managed the Toy Collector Club store.
Patti found great joy in volunteering. She was instrumental in starting the Dyersville Hospital Gift shop as a member of the Hospital Auxiliary. She was a leader of “Fight the Fat” for the Dyersville Community, Vice President of the Dyersville Federated Women’s Club, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Red Hat Society, Investment Club and several Coffee Clubs.
Affectionately called “Grandma Blondie” by her seven grandchildren she was known for never missing one of their important events including all seven births, Camp Blondie, her famous chocolate chip pancakes, 1x1’s with each grandchild, taking LOTS of pictures, Peppermint Patti and Wake up Sleeping Beauty. In the last couple of years, Patti even became a dog lover, enjoying her Grand-dogs, LuLu and Farley.
In 2005, Patti and Dave bought their winter home in Gilbert, AZ. They enjoyed spending time in the sunshine and hosting family and friends for extended stays.
Patti loved to travel and see the sights of the world with Dave and family having visited most of the United States and many other countries. Patti’s favorite place to visit was Walt Disney World, especially the “It’s a Small World ride”.
Patti was a caring woman with strong faith. She believed firmly in the power of prayer and always carried her palm cross close to her heart, ready for any emergency. She was the Grand Regent and an active member of the Catholic Daughters of America Court St. Rose #350 for over 50 years.
Family was very important to Patti. She became the matriarch of the Helle Family after her parents passed. For 40+ years, she was the leader and ensured the family traditions lived on. She cherished researching her family history and pictures. She spearheaded a “Helle Family Roots Tour” to Germany in 2012.
Patti and her 3 girlfriends (Elaine, Diane and Louann) were known as the Golden Girls. Patti and Dave were members of the same Card Club for over 50 years.
Patti was the “Bell of the Ball” and life of every party. Her attention to detail and ability to make everyone feel special and important was unbelievable. She was always the first to call, send a card and visit those in need. This came full circle during the last 4 months as cards and visitors flooded our home to support her. Thank you!
Her favorite holiday was Christmas. She picked every gift with a purpose, there was always a story or tip to go with it, and a beautiful handmade bow on top.
She spent almost every Friday night at the Ritz and Sunday breakfasts at the Family Restaurant in downtown Dyersville. She loved going for a convertible ride with Dave and her siblings.
Patti, our mom and grandma, taught us things many wished their mom had taught them. From the importance of faith and family, how to decorate and host the best parties, being a leader in our communities, to wearing a red dress. In her honor, we would love to see her family and friends wearing something “Red” on Wednesday.
Those left to cherish her memories are her husband Dave of 54 years; daughters, Amy (Pat) Calvert of Urbandale, IA; Carmen Bell and Molly Bell both of Chandler, AZ; Emily (Paul) Scranton of Bettendorf; her seven grandchildren, Zachary, Jacob, Nicholas and Lily Calvert and Elizabeth (Ellie), David, and Ben Scranton.
Also surviving are Patti’s six brothers and sisters: Marty (Kathy) Helle of Dubuque, IA; Ron (Judeane) Helle of Dubuque, IA; Donna (Gary) Burds of Peosta, IA; Doris (Wayne) Ries of Dubuque, IA; Tom (Gail) Helle of Dyersville, IA, and Lori (Tim) Kramer of Dubuque, IA along with sixteen Helle nieces and nephews. In-laws: Bob (Joyce) Bell of Florida; Janet Bell of Glastonbury, CT; Joyce Rooney of Annapolis, MD; Jane Schmitz of Pittsburgh, PA; and Ken (Michelle) Bell of Dyersville along with eight Bell nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death, by her parents, Vernon and Mildred Helle; In-laws, James and Helen Bell; Nephew Jeremy Helle; Brother-in-law Dick Schmitz.
The family would like to thank Dr. Engleman, Dr. Lakshman, and the caring staff at the Mercy One Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic along with Hospice of Dubuque for their excellent care. In addition, the Golden Girls for praying with mom daily, Cookie Scherrman, Father Quint, and Deacon Riesburg for sharing their amazing spiritual gifts with our family.
Memorials in Patti’s honor will be given to St. Francis Xavier Parish, Beckman High School and Hospice of Dubuque.
Online condolences can be left at www.kramerfuneral.com.