Helen P “Skippy” Bell Atherton, 93, of Cedar Rapids, passed away on June 16, 2019.
Skippy was born in Des Moines, IA on November 12, 1925, to Ida B and Hans Pauli. She attended Des Moines Schools, and graduated from Roosevelt High School. She then attended Iowa State for three years in textiles. There she met John W (Jack) Bell and they married July 23, 1946. She and Jack raised their family in Cedar Rapids, but also enjoyed McGregor, and built two homes on the Mississippi. They enjoyed many years of boating until Jack’s death. Jack died September 26, 1998. Skippy married Jim Atherton on September 20, 2008. They were married three years before Jim’s death in December 2011.
Skippy was so proud of her Danish heritage and enjoyed several trips to Denmark. When the King of Denmark came to Des Moines, a young Skippy presented him a bouquet and her family showed the King the town.
Her many organizations include Pi Beta Phi Sorority, Junior League, Cedar Rapids Country Club, Westminster Presbyterian Church and Questeps Club.
She loved gardening and her hasta plants are in many gardens across town. She sewed many costumes for Playtime Poppy for years. She also loved decorating and refinishing furniture. Skippy loved people and parties, and she enjoyed her many last years at Cottage Grove Place. Everyone she met was a potential friend. She was a generous, thoughtful, and loving mother who will be missed.
Skippy is survived by her three children, Dana (Dr. John) McManus of Tucson, AZ, Jim (Jo Ann) of Iowa City, and John (Beth Ware) of McGregor; two grandchildren, Heather McManus of Phoenix and Luke McManus of Tucson. Skippy is also survived by her great-granddaughter Ellie Jacobs of Phoenix. She was preceded in death by her parents, first husband of 52 years Jack, second husband Jim Atherton, brother Peter and sister Karen.
A memorial visitation, where family will greet guests, will begin at 1:00 pm on Saturday June 22, 2019 with a Celebration of Life to follow at 2:00 pm at the Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories, 4200 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids. Private family burial will take place at Springville City Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Cottage Grove Place, or Westminster Presbyterian Church in Skippy’s honor.