Helen E. Millett, 95, West Branch
Obituaries · March 23, 2017

Helen E. Millett, 95, of West Branch passed away peacefully on March 17, 2017, surrounded by her family at Crestview Care Center in West Branch, Iowa.

A memorial visitation will be held 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, 2017, at the Henderson Barker Funeral Home in West Branch. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 10 a.m. at the West Branch Friends Church. Memorials can be designated to the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) or the West Branch Friends Church. Online condolences may be made to the family at

Helen Elizabeth (Maxwell) Millett was born on May 5, 1921, in Earlham, Iowa, to Charles and Mildred (Haworth) Maxwell. Helen graduated from Earlham High School in 1939 and William Penn College in 1943. She met her husband, Roscoe Millett, during her college years, and they were married in 1945. Thus began a 71-year love story that made a powerful impression on all who came to know them. Their descendants continue to be inspired by this lifetime testimony to love. Helen taught high school home economics for three years and coached the Adel High School girlsí basketball team before beginning her life as a farm wife.

Helen was a woman of many interests and talents. She was a skilled musician, serving as the church organist at the West Branch Friends Church for over six decades. During those years she played for countless weddings, funerals, and accompanied many young people at music contests. She began teaching piano in the 1960ís in their farm home and continued her teaching until age 88. She was beloved by her students, many of whom continued to include her in their life events.

Helen was also a skilled seamstress. Her beautiful work survives her in the form of the many quilts she made for family members and friends, clothes she made for herself in the 30ís and 40ís which are still being worn by a granddaughter, and clothes she made for her husband and other family members. Because of her skills in handwork, Helen was commissioned by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum to embroider the presidential seal on a set of velvet drapes to hang in the Museum. After being displayed in West Branch for a number of years, the drapes were later hung at the Roosevelt Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.

Helen was an active and faithful member of the West Branch Friends Church and the United Society of Friends Women. For many years, she enjoyed membership in the Tipton chapter of AAUW. Helen established a local 4-H chapter and served as leader for many years. She enjoyed playing bridge monthly with a group of friends who met together for decades. Her close-knit circle of five high school friends maintained a round robin letter for more than 70 years.

Helen and Roscoe loved to travel. There were many trips within the continental United States, and longer ones to Hawaii, Spain, Norway, Germany, Kenya, Samoa, and the United Kingdom. Helenís love for travel and interest in other cultures lives on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as does her gift of music, and her skills in the needle arts.

She leaves behind her beloved husband of 71 years, Roscoe; her sister, Louise Beede (Richmond, Ind.); her daughters: Elaine Wedeking of Des Moines, Gwen Senio of West Branch, and Marilyn (Mark) Alvarez of Tallahassee, Fla.; grandchildren: Tony (Erin) Senio of West Branch, Malia Senio of Tampa, Fla., Eric (Stacey) Alvarez of West Branch, Henry (Kimberly) Alvarez of Deland, Fla., Suzanne Wedeking of Portugal, and Ben Wedeking of Iowa City; son-in-law Bill Wedeking of Des Moines; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, brother Bob Maxwell, and son-in-law Niko Senio.

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