Cover photo for Deaconess Helen Young's Obituary
Deaconess Helen Young Profile Photo
1934 Deaconess Helen 2024

Deaconess Helen Young

July 15, 1934 — May 9, 2024

Des Moines

Services are being held at Corinthian Baptist Church on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Visitation will begin at 4 p.m. with the funeral service following at 6 p.m.
Live streaming will be taking place for those who are unavailable to attend on the Henderson's Funeral & Cremation Facebook page.

                                                         "The family of Helen Young request in kind that any and all gifts are directed as follows:
  • Memorials contributions can be directed to:
a record of your donations will be maintained automatically

Helen Young, a cherished woman, devoted wife, loving mother, grandma, and great- “granny/Gigi” departed this earthly life on May 9, 2024. Her life was lived with grace, compassion, kindness, acceptance, faith, and love. Helen demonstrated her zest for living as demonstrated by an unwavering tenacity to conquer the challenges of life without hesitation or complaint. She liked to laugh and tell the same joke about a parrot again and again and again, each time waiting for the listener to laugh as if hearing for the first time. This is just one attribute about Helen that touched the hearts of all those in the privilege of her presence. Her journey and legacy are marked by dedication to family, home, friends, and service to the community.


In the Beginning . . .

Helen McDonald Young was born in Des Moines, Iowa on July 15, 1934, to McQueen and Minnie McDonald.  She learned to speak up for herself at an early age as she was the baby of 7 strong and stoic sisters, and1 laid back brother.  That’s why she often said, “now let ME talk”! Growing up she and 3 of her siblings were known as the “McDonald Sisters”, musical entertainers whose rendition of the song “Three Little Sisters” by the Andrew sisters was a performance requested throughout Des Moines oft times resulting in standing ovations. In high school she continued using her smooth soft alto voice in the chorus, until she graduated from North High School in 1951. 

One of her fondest childhood moments she loved to share was waiting for her father to come home in his hauling truck filled with the various finds he obtained throughout a day.  He would pull up in the back ally to the house, get out and shout “THINGS”!  The entire household would race out to see what goodies were in the truck and plead for something before he could sell it. This is one early example that helped to establish her down to earth persona and unpretentious humble soul.

A slightly unbelievable truth she100% stood by is that from age 18 to about 21+ she was extremely shy!  “I didn’t even know how to talk to boys” she   frequently stated.  Despite that “shyness” somehow Milton C. Young Sr. the love of her life on March 31, 1961. She affectionately called him “Charlie” (and no one knows why)!  During this 57-year marriage they shared an unbreakable bond, fueled by her unwavering love and support for her man.  She shined when he became a Deacon and naturally aligned herself as a Deaconess.


Family, Fun & Fellowship

If you had to find one word to describe Helen Young it would be “FAMILY”. She truly loved her family; those directly related by lineage, marriage, and all others along the way.  Helen emphasized the power and importance of    prayer with her children, family, and friends.

Her proudest achievement was how she unconditionally loved and raised 3 beautiful children -Debbie, Milton Jr., and Lori with her husband. She brought light and warmth into each of their lives. She was their all-time biggest fan and cheerleader.  She relished in their accomplishments. If you knew anything about her you knew she would introduce each child to you over and over and over again! 

The grandkids. Helen was blessed with 7 fabulous grandsons who bought another level of joy to her happy and rich life.  She was right there for each of her grandsons, too. For some, present at the moment of birth or before the umbilical cords fell off. As grandma she developed endearing relationships with these boys who are now awesome men.  She provided comfort, mentoring, baby-sitting services, very soft discipline, spiritual guidance, and wisdom. She taught them values that established their strong characters today. Values like an appreciation of family history, steadfast belief in God, and most of all an example of what love looks and feels like. She loved her sisters dearly, as well as her cousins, and generations of nieces and nephews. Her home and heart were always open to anyone in need. Entertaining in the little 2-bedroom home on 16th street or her large, beautiful home on “High Street”, was one of her favorite things to do.  She created an   atmosphere filled with love and laughter.

She took pride in her administrative, typing, and stenography abilities!  She worked for Julia B. Mayer Community Center. A great benefit here was her kids got to go to summer camp free and she could keep a watchful eye on them! She ended her full-time career working for the federal government at OSHA.  She retired from the workforce at age 50, stating that “early retirement was a marriage benefit”.


Serving God

She confessed her hope in Christ at 12 years of age being baptized at Corinthian Baptist Church. She and her McDonald family have been pillars of the church for decades.  Helen was honored to be a member at Corinthian for over 75 years  doing God’s work.  She sang for with the beloved Inspirational Choir under the direction of Doris Wade and Barbara J. Williams.  Helen revived the Teen Usher Board at Corinthian and led the ministry for about 10 years (another way to keep a watchful eye on her 2 youngest teenage children). She was a Sunday School pianist, read the church announcements, was active with the Prime Timers and served as Deaconess for more than 30 years.  You’ll find a picture of her in the lower level of Corinthian from when she was on the Youth Usher Board.


A Community Servant & Volunteer

Helen was so excited to volunteer and serve on President Obama’s first campaign. Years later, she was happy to volunteer on her own cousin’s Presidential campaign, Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D). She served on the Board of the National Conference of Christians & Jews, volunteered at Mercy and Methodist hospitals, and at Generations. She mentored first-graders in the Des Moines Public Schools and was a member of a group who made a human flag after 9/11 shook our nation.  She was charitable by giving donations to the American Heart Association and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. 

Helen had an array of hobbies and interests from playing Scrabble (and she would “talk smack” if she won), to mastering the piano and later the organ. She delighted in solving puzzles and word games, collecting salt and pepper shakers, gardening, bowling in her younger years, and attending church whenever and wherever with her exuberant husband, Deacon Milton C. Young, Sr.


Her Legacy was Built on Love and Will Endure

We mourn Helen's passing from this world into the next-but celebrate a life well-lived and loved. Preceding her in death parents McQueen and Minnie (Mitchell) McDonald, reunited now with her husband Deacon Milton C. Young Sr., siblings Rosa Hamilton, Katherine Cutwright, Dorothy Manuel, Elizabeth  Taylor, Henrietta Coil, Betty Frazier, Jodie Jerks & Stanley McDonald. Helen was the last of her siblings, the baby of the family.

Left to cherish Helen Young’s memory are her children Deborah (Robert) Davis, Milton (Wilma) Young Jr, and Lori Young; grandsons: Julian N. (Chandler)Uwazie, Milton Collin (Dawn) Young V, Byron Cortez (Beverly) Young, Hamilton Blake Young, Jordan Gregory Willis, Donovan Jakobi Kelly and Darren Cordell (Melissa)Young, a sister-in-law Mary Louise Wilder; great grandchildren Peyton, Kennedy, and Roman Uwazie & Aiden Denham; Tatum, Tariah and Tesni Young; Kayden Adair Kelly;  Camillo Young; Bennett and Bryant Young a host of nieces, nephews , church family and friends


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Deaconess Helen Young, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, May 19, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Starts at 6:00 pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, May 20, 2024

Starts at 9:00 am

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 987

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree