John Mark Helsley was born on August 13, 1936, son of the late Rev. Lawrence and Vernie Helsley, died at his home surrounded by his loving family on July 13, 2012.
He was survived by his wife of 57 years, Winnie Rickard Helsley, and his beloved children, Michael S. Helsley, Sr., and wife, Sandy; and Brenda Helsley Bladen, both of Edinburg, VA and Mark Douglas Helsley of Woodstock, VA.
He adored his grandchildren, Tina Deavers, Billy Cook, Mike Helsley, Jr., Wayne, Jonathan and Alex Bladen, Lori Hoffman, Katie Helsley and Brooke Barrick-Helsley and six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
John came from a family of twelve brothers and sisters, Ira Helsley, Lawrence Helsley, Jr., Tommy Helsley, Helen Reedy and Gerlene Lutz, all of Woodstock. He was preceded in death by Herbert Helsley, Letha Dellinger, Virginia Day, Charles Helsley , Lucinda Mauck and Herman Helsley.
He faithfully attended St. Luke Brethren Church and loved singing in their choir. The youngsters and old alike gravitated to him at the back pew because of his jolly personality, sense of humor and kind spirit. He never missed a opportunity to show his affection to them or welcome a newcomer. John “never met a stranger” no matter where he was.
As a young man, he worked at Keller’s Mill and then later worked at Aileen, Inc. in Edinburg as a mechanic for 23 years and at Muhlenberg Ford for 10 years. He spent periods of time working for Helsley Construction, which was owned by his son, Mike, and Helsley Builders, owned by his brother, Tommy.
John’s favorite “job” was keeping busy in his full-service garage at home which was always available to family members and friends, especially his grandchildren, who relied on him to keep all their vehicles in tip-top shape! The bill was always, “35 cents,” no matter how big the job was!
John Mark was a wonderful husband, excellent father and grandfather. Nothing made him happier than being surrounded by his family who loved him. He often said, “My family IS my heartbeat.“ John lived his life using every chance he had to be a witness for Christ. He loved to joke and kid around but he was very serious about his Lord and Savior and loved to witness that to others. He was a devout Christian and let God’s love shine through him to everyone he met.
His service will be held on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Dellinger Funeral Home in Woodstock, VA. The family will receive friends on Monday, July 16, 2012 at 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., also at Dellinger Funeral Home. Pastors Howard Lutz and Freddie Helsley will officiate the funeral with the burial to be at the Columbia Furnace Cemetery in Edinburg, VA. Honorary Pallbearers will be Steve Helsley, Randy Helsley, Alvin Cook and Meredith Sine. Pallbearers will be Michael Helsley, Jr., Wayne Bladen, Lloyd Shirkey, Jim Racey, Tom Cooley and Ronnie Rau. In lieu of flowers, contributions would be welcomed at St. Luke Brethren Church Building Fund, c/o Rhonda Rau, 3250 Back Road, Woodstock, VA, 22664, and The Gideons International, P.O. Box 755, Woodstock, VA 22664.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” Romans 1:16