Mary Helen Leigh

February 24, 1929 — March 23, 2021

Helen Leigh, 92 of Algona, died Tuesday, March 23, at Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. A funeral Mass was held Saturday, March 27, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona with Father Edward M. Girres and Reverend Mr. William Black officiating. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Algona. Memorials may be directed to St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Helen’s memory. Cards may be sent to the Helen Leigh Family in care of Oakcrest Funeral Services, P.O. Box 186, Algona, IA 50511.

Mary Helen (Elsbecker) Leigh was born Feb. 24, 1929, on a farm near Lone Rock, to Albert and Anna (Werdel) Elsbecker. She graduated from St. John’s High School in Bancroft in 1946. After high school she worked as a telephone operator at the Lone Rock Telephone Company. Later she worked for family at Crown Cleaners in Bancroft. After that she worked at Security State Bank, Algona, when Mr. C.B. Murtagh was there. 

Upon his return from service in Korea, she married Marvin Leigh on Feb. 6, 1954, at St. John the Baptist Church in Bancroft. Together they were blessed with seven children: Richard, Georgia, David, Douglas, Laura, Christopher and Scott.

They farmed and had dairy cows, pigs, chickens and the work that went with them. She candled eggs and sold them to grocery stores, restaurants and individuals. After the children were older, she was the cook at the Algona Livestock Auction and Exchange on days when sales took place. In 1985 she began work as a CNA at Good Samaritan and continued there for 15 plus years, most of them in the special care unit. She retired from the Sale Barn and Good Samaritan in 2001. 

She loved being outside and enjoyed always having a big garden and fruit trees. She did a lot of canning and enjoyed the strawberries, cherries and apples. One of her great joys in life was playing cards with family and friends.

Helen was a member of St. Cecelia’s Church and enjoyed being a volunteer for church events. She was a member of the Union Township Mothers and Daughters Club and a sewing club. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin and infant son, Albert; her brother, Donald Elsbecker, sister, Estelle (Elsbecker) Kadow, brother, Dennis Elsbecker, sister, Georgia Elsbecker and brother, John Elsbecker. 

She is survived by seven children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Children: Richard (Connie) of Pasco, Wash.; Georgia of Iowa City; David of Marion; Douglas (Veatress) of Eagan, Minn.; Laura Atkisson of Omaha, Neb.; Christopher (Mary) of Dubuque; and Scott (Krista) of Fort Dodge. Grandchildren: Rick Leigh of Kennewick, Wash.; William (Annie) Atkisson of Omaha, Neb.; Mitchell Atkisson of Omaha, Neb.; Leigha Atkisson of Omaha, Neb.; Ryan (Katie) Leigh of Omaha, Neb.; Veronica Leigh of Omaha, Neb.; Elizabeth Leigh of St. Louis, Mo.; Eric Leigh of Ithaca, N.Y.; Robert Leigh of Omaha, Neb.; Gretta Leigh of Ames; and Daniel Leigh of Ames. Great-grandchildren: Charlotte Wright and Jacob Atkisson. Helen is also survived by many dear nieces, nephews and godchildren and by Julie (Elbert) Leigh of Richland, Wash.. She has been blessed with many good neighbors and friends.

Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made to







Kossuth County Advance

14 E. Nebraska St.

Algona, IA 50511  

Phone: (515) 295-3535

Fax: (515) 295-7217

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