Jean E. (Helme) Woodward, 95 years old, passed away on June 28, 2016 at the
Golden Living Center Whitewater in St. Charles, MN. Jean was born on October
30, 1920 in Iowa City, Iowa at the home of her maternal grandma to Wellington and
Martha (Schump) Helme. Her father was an employee of the Burroughs Adding
Machine Company and they had frequent moves and in the course of her growing
up, Jean attended at least 13 different public schools. She graduated from Central
High School in Minneapolis, MN. As a girl she enjoyed roller skates, playing
“marbles and jacks” and skipping rope.
Upon high school graduation she worked at a doctor’s office in Minneapolis as a
medical secretary and for a while lived and worked in Portland, Oregon as
secretary to the pastor at First United Methodist Church. Later, she became lead
secretary at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis where she
met her husband Mark Twain Woodward. They were married at Hennepin Church
on June 11, 1955. They settled in Robbinsdale, MN where Mark worked as an
educator and later became Principal of Robbinsdale Junior High School. Jean was
a home-maker and was a very active member of Brunswick United Methodist
Church, the UMC mission group, Order of Eastern Star, League of Women Voters,
Robbinsdale Library Club and a variety of other civic groups. She enjoyed writing
poems and short, devotional pieces. She was a devoted mother to her son, Mark
Alan Woodward and a compassionate care-giver to her husband and mother prior
to their deaths. In 2002, Jean moved to Eyota, MN to live near her son and
grandchildren. In Eyota she was active in mission and ministry at Faith United
Methodist Church where her son is pastor and was involved in various senior
citizens groups.
Jean is survived by her son, Rev. Mark A. (Rev. Deanna) Woodward of Eyota; two
granddaughters, Laura (John) Riess and Amy (Wilson) Cahill of Eyota; two great-
grandchildren, Daniel and Molly; one brother, Richard (Peggy) Helme of
Minneapolis, MN; a brother-in-law, Robert Fernelius of Minneapolis and several
nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband in 1978 and her sister
A celebration of Jean’s life and eternal life will be held at Faith United Methodist
Church in Eyota on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 11:00 am. Visitation will be Friday, 5-
8 pm at Schad & Zabel Funeral Home in Eyota and one hour prior to the service at
the church on Saturday. A graveside committal service will be held at Lakewood
Cemetery in Minneapolis on July 5th. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed
to Eyota Faith United Methodist Building Fund.
Some of Jean’s last words were “Jesus is my Best Friend” The family is grateful for
your prayerful support and kindness.

Schad & Zabel Funeral Home, 115 South Ave. Eyota, MN, 55934, 507-545-2020