Raymond Elwood Helsley
January 23, 1924 – March 15, 2021
Raymond Elwood Helsley, 97, of Waynesboro, VA, passed away unexpectedly at Shenandoah Nursing Facility on Monday, March 15, 2021. He was born on January 23, 1924, to Robert Raymond and Bessie Irene Estep Helsley of Mt. Jackson, VA. A graduate of Triplett High School, he later attended Dunsmore Business College in Staunton, VA.
Ray married Vivian Marlene Funkhouser, also of Mt. Jackson, VA, on March 24, 1951. They would have been married 70 years this month. Ray is survived by his three daughters and sons-in-law: Patricia Jean Helsley Kelly (Bill); Karen Lee Helsley Harrop (John); and Mary Louise Helsley St. John; along with their children, William Burney Kelly, Elisabeth Chandise Kelly, David John Harrop, Caroline Lee Harrop, Joel Hunter St. John (Stacey), Jordan Helsley St. John (Christy), and a great grandson, Caleb, as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Vivian Marlene Funkhouser Helsley; as well as all his siblings: Virginia Irene Helsley Showns, Gladys May Helsley Funkhouser, Nina Evelyn Helsley Estep, Margie Marie Helsley Cook, Robert Fred Helsley, and Richard Lee Helsley.
After high school Ray went into the military, serving in the Third Army with the 11th Armored and 63rd Infantry Divisions in Europe. After leaving the service as a Tech Sergeant, he moved back to the Valley and attended school in Staunton, as well as Ben Franklin Business School in Baltimore, MD. He worked for the U.S. Post Office in the northern Virginia area until the 1960’s when he moved his family to Waynesboro, VA, to work with an insurance company. He later worked at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, VA, from which he retired in 1984 due to a disability.
Ray was a writer and a life-long student. He filled many notebooks with his writings and note-taking. He enjoyed doing things with his hands, and he often tried new things, such as making yogurt and wine. Most importantly, he loved being with family and friends, often going to great lengths to celebrate family occasions. With a sharp memory, he was a true raconteur who enjoyed making people laugh. In later years, he became a devout follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and faithfully attended Waynesboro Bible Chapel. He became an elder and faithfully supported the church until the end.
Family visitation and a funeral service will both be held on Friday, April 2 at Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes, with the visitation at 1 p.m. and the service at 2 p.m. Mr. Joshua A. Shelor of Ferrum, VA will be conducting the service, with burial immediately following at Riverview Cemetery. Pallbearers include Dr. Bill Kelly, Mr. William Kelly, Mr. John Harrop, Mr. David Harrop, Mr. Joel St. John, and Mr. Jordan St. John.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Disabled Veterans of War. As a veteran of WW2, Raymond would want to welcome any veterans to attend.
Those wishing, may share a memory or an online condolence by visiting www.reynoldshamrickfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements entrusted to the Waynesboro Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes.
Friday, April 2, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021