Helen Buchanan

GRUNDY CENTER — Helen Arlyne Buchanan, of Grundy Center, passed away May 30, 2024.

A celebration of Arlyne’s life is planned for summer, with details to follow.

Born Helen Arlyne Newcomb in Butte, Montana, Arlyne was the older daughter of Joseph Myles Newcomb and Helen (Rodgers) Newcomb. She spent the first 19 years of her life in Butte, where she grew up loving the surrounding Rocky Mountains and outdoor activities like camping and horseback riding. Her younger sister, Lynne, and her many aunts (and a few uncles) played important roles in Arlyne’s early life.

Following graduation from Butte High in 1952, Arlyne moved to Waterloo to join her father Myles, who had established Newcomb’s Black Hawk Kennels south of the city. There she met a newly minted veterinarian, Dr. Don Buchanan. The two were an instant match and they were married on Dec. 28, 1952. The promptly moved to Grundy Center where they took over the veterinary practice of Dr. CC Lawrence and began integrating into the vibrant community there, where they would spend the rest of their lives together.

In their home at 808 K Avenue in Grundy and later at Oakdale Farm north of town, Arlyne and Don raised five children – Tom, Kathy (Hidder), Gerry, Jeanne and Sue (Betzer). Being a mother was the centerpiece of Arlyne’s life, but she was also involved in many community activities including Women’s Club, P.E.O, Book Club and service as home room mom many times over. She worked for several years in the Grundy County Recorder’s Office and applied her love for flowers and gardening at her flower shop, Blossoms and Things. Arlyne and Don were longtime members of the United Methodist Church and had many long and deep friendships there.

As her children grew up, Arlyne transitioned to what was perhaps her favorite role in life – that of “Grandma Arlyne.” She was famous family-wide for her chocolate chip cookies and delivered them in person to her kids and grandkids scattered across the U.S. She and Don also did a bit of international travel to Ireland, where she successfully sought out the history of her Irish ancestors. In her later years, Arlyne was a regular member of the “Coffee Group” at the Natural Grind, where she both learned and shared the latest goings on around the town. Her friends there were like family when she was faced with the loss of her beloved husband, Don.

Arlyne was preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her sister, Lynne Jensen of Waterloo, her stepsister Vicki Honer of Roanoke Virginia, her five children named above, 16 grandchildren and 12e great-grand-children. 

Donations can be made in Arlyne’s name to the United Methodist Church in Grundy Center.


The Grundy Register

601 G. Avenue - P.O. Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
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