Thomas "Tom" Marshall Helsley Jr.

November 3, 1955May 3, 2021

The story of Thomas Marshall Helsley Jr. is complicated. And beautiful. Born Nov. 3, 1955, in Harrisburg, Pa., to Thomas Sr. and Sarah, Tommy anxiously joined the family cross-country trek to Oklahoma when dad transferred to Tinker Air Force Base in 1965. He grew of age in the 1970s, for better and worse, dug the music of the time, often amid glowing walls under the coolest black light in Del City, bringing the posters of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and others to life for himself and an interesting cast of characters that remained close for decades. Tom graduated from Del City High, immediately went to work and grinded away at a variety of jobs until he finally landed at Tinker in 1982, eventually following dad. Tom was a worker. A proud and loyal worker who always took his job seriously. And he spent 39 years on base, climbing the ranks, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, climbing the ranks even more, finishing his career in the Material Lead position for the Production Support Section. His friends and co-workers at Tinker proclaimed Tom a “great supervisor, manager and friend.” Tom enjoyed some fun, too, regularly hosting friends poolside in his backyard, grilling and smoking meats and offering frosty beverages with the blues blaring from his speakers. He loved the Steelers and the Pokes and the Fighting Irish, to the point he’d rip off a text to “fire the coordinator,” or even the head coach, only to reach out when one of the teams pulled out a victory to say, “Great win, huh?” Tom never had children, but cherished his nieces, Sarah and Jillian, the daughters of his younger brother John and his wife Roberta, surely earning a spot in the Uncle Hall of Fame. He was a devoted friend, too, especially around the holidays, when he’d work a path around town delivering goodies, especially his famous cheese logs – a hit at any party. Flawed, like all of us, Tom endured his up and downs along the way. But he always loved others and served others, particularly in their time of need. Near the end, Tom reconciled with Jesus, proclaiming it “the best day of my life.” With that, the old altar boy moved closer to an eternal life of joy with his Savior. Tom died, May 3, 2021. He was preceded in death by parents Thomas Sr. and Sarah and older brother Charles Paul; survived by John, Roberta, Sarah, Jillian and a host of friends. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 1107 Felix Place, Midwest City, OK, 73110. May Tom rejoice in the light of the Lord.

In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to, a cause Tom supported and felt strongly about.


  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Thomas "Tom" Marshall Helsley Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mary Beth Paulk

May 13, 2021

Tom was great guy! He always had a smile! Sometimes, he had to be tough, but it was to ensure the job got done.

We worked together for many years. I always considered him a friend and a big part of my Tinker family. I know he will be missed by all of us. Fly high Tom!

Mary Esther Hutchison

May 12, 2021

Tom was a great guy, he had a beautiful smile, a cool laugh, and the best albums. He would call some Saturday's and we would go to the Farmers Market to buy plants to put around his pool. Tom was a "cool dude" and was fun to hang out with. I'll cherish those memories forever! I love you Tom, you'll be forever in my heart.

Candice Hutchison

May 12, 2021

I've known Tom all of my life, he was a great friend to my family, and an especially wonderful best friend to my dad. He was the type of person you could count on no matter what no questions asked. I will agree those cheese logs were amazing, and he could cook like nobody's business. I will never forget that infectious laugh that was definitely one of a kind! Hubby you are already missed alot! Love you Always! Fly high!

Sandy Windsor

May 11, 2021

Heaven truly received an angel that will continue to watch over so many from above. I worked with him at Tinker as he taught me about retail supply management. He was so patient, kind, never met a stranger and always had a smile on his face. He was everyone’s friend and I will miss him. My condolences to his family as we lost someone special.

Judy English

May 10, 2021

Tom was such a sweet man, a true friend, he will be missed by those who knew and loved him. Heaven has gained a new star and the night sky will be a little brighter because of Tom.

Mollie Coker

May 9, 2021

Tom, you will be sorely missed. I deeply appreciate being able to confide in you. You were always understanding and compassionate when I needed a shoulder. Thank you for being such a great, hands-on supervisor and for always standing up for your employees. Go rest high on that moumtain. So grateful you're with Jesus.

Kim Singleton

May 8, 2021

Tom Helsley was a man that everyone called FRIEND, someone I both liked and loved, who could be as stubborn as anyone I've known and who was there for me personally and my family during some of the hardest times in my life. My Mom adored Tom and his generosity was gracious. I will miss him but believe heaven has a new angel that I hope they still call Hubby.

David Spencer aka Daugherty

May 8, 2021

Tom was a Good Dude, I Never heard anyone say a bad thing about Tom. Will see u soon brother.

Brian Linley Sr

May 8, 2021

Tom was such a great civil servant at Tinker AFB. What a great mentor to so many over the years. Thank you Tom for your compassion you would show everyday towards others.
A special thank you for mentoring my son’s earlier in their careers and showing them the way forward. Love ya man.
R.I.P. my friend...

Pat M

May 7, 2021

Going to miss you buddy. You were always there with a smile and a handshake. Meant a lot at the time and even more now. RIP my friend