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James F. 'Jim' Helsel

Funeral for James F. "Jim" Helsel, 89, Lawton, will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at Cameron Baptist Church with the Rev. Mike Teel, pastor, and T.J. Helsel officiating.  

Entombment will be in the Chapel of Peace Mausoleum, Sunset Memorial Gardens under direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home. 

James F. "Jim" Helsel passed away Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at his home in Lawton.  

He was born near Worthington, Pa., on March 11, 1928, to Mike and Lenora Helsel. He graduated from Worthington-West Franklin High School in May 1946 as class Salutatorian. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1946. In June 1948, he received a fleet appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. as a midshipman. He graduated with distinction in June 1952, and was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree and commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.  

Lt. Col. Helsel married Sandra Jane Snyder on Jan. 3, 1958, in Lawton. He served overseas in Korea, Okinawa, Vietnam, France and Germany. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat "V," and the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat "V." He retired from active duty on July 1, 1971. For the next 21 years he was associated with Southwestern Stationary and Bank Supply in various capacities, retiring again on June 1, 1992. He was a member of Cameron Baptist Church for over 46 years and was a longtime Adult Bible Teacher and deacon.  

Survivors include his wife, Sandra of the home; daughter and her husband, Lori and the Rev. Mike Franklin of Fort Smith, Ark.; a son and his wife, T.J. and Kerri Woods Helsel of Gulfport, Miss.; a sister, Ann Claypool of Worthington, Pa.; three grandsons, a granddaughter, one great-grandchild and numerous nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.  

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Thelma Bofinger of Kittanning, Pa.  

Memorial contributions may be made to Cameron Baptist Church Building Fund, 2621 SW C Avenue, Lawton 73505.

An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at

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