Helen M. (Wickham) McClain

Helen M. (Wickham) McClain

Helen M. (Wickham) McClain, age 94, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully at 4:38 a.m., on Friday, October 9, 2020, at home with her loving family at her side. To celebrate Helen’s life, family and friends may visit from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, October 11, 2020, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. Due to the COVID-19 concerns all who attend will be required to wear a face covering. To honor Helen’s life, funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, October 12, 2020, at St. Raphael’s Cathedral, 231 Bluff Street, with Rev. Greg E. Bahl officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Helen was born on May 21, 1926, in Dubuque, Iowa, daughter of James W. and Roseline C. (Delaney) Wickham.

Helen was a proud life long resident of Dubuque where she graduated from IC Academy, Class of 1944. She was united in marriage to Francis McClain, on October 10, 1959, at St. Raphael’s Cathedral. They were married for 33 years, and blessed with 4 children together, before Francis passed away on January 15, 1993. Helen was no stranger to hard work. She started out as a waitress at Grady’s downtown Dubuque, the Hotel Julien, and was lastly employed in the food service department with the Dubuque Community Schools for 10 years until her well earned retirement. She was a member of St. Raphael’s Cathedral and the YWCA. Helen had a lifelong passion for politics, culminating in 2008 with her induction to the Dubuque County Democratic Hall of Fame. She was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Denver that same year. Helen was a very social person and always on the go. She enjoyed traveling and bicycle riding, and said her 70’s were the best years of her life. Spending time with her family was always at the top of Helen’s list. She truly cherished her time with them, and tried to make it out to every activity to cheer them on. We are saddened at losing our amazing mom, grandma, sister and beloved aunt to all her nieces and nephews, but know that she is now at peace, free from the health challenges of the past few years. Helen is reunited in Heaven with all of her loved ones who have gone on before her.

Those left to cherish Helen’s memory include

her children,
Teresa (William) McClain-Cullen,
Jean (Joseph) Hartel,
Frank McClain
and Tim (Maria Araeipour) McClain, all of Dubuque;

her 5 grandchildren,
Hope Cullen, Patrick Cullen, Helen Hartel, Mary Hartel and Ella Hartel;

and her brother,
and Thomas (Brenda) Wickham, all of Dubuque.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Francis McClain; 2 sisters, Sr. Rosemary Wickham, OSF and Sr. Jeanne Wickham, OSF; a brother, James (Genevieve) Wickham; and a step-grandson, Alex Araeipour.

Helen’s family would like to thank all of the staff and nurses of Hospice of Dubuque and all of her caregivers for the outstanding care they have provided not only to Helen, but to the entire family.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among her favorite charities and may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Helen McClain Family.

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Visitation

Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
October 11th, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Funeral service

St. Raphael's Cathedral
231 Bluff Street, Dubuque, Iowa
October 12th, 2020 at 11:00 AM

4 condolences for Helen M. (Wickham) McClain
  1. Rory Merritt says:

    Teresa and family, my sympathy for your loss. Your Mom was a special lady.

  2. Anne Roth says:

    I always enjoyed visiting Helen when I worked with her for Physical Therapy! So many great stories!

    She will be missed!

  3. Lisa Breitbach Guimond says:

    McClain family, heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Helen was one of a kind and a joy to be around. Everyone in my family held her in highest regards. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  4. Regina Greene says:

    Funny, understanding, caring, giving, insightful, practical, loving, all with her smile. No matter the situation she would make it through. Positive person. Fabulous athlete. Always with you in your heart. Always missed. My forever friend. Just devastated. Until we meet again…Regina Darlene Greene (Gavin)

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