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William N. Helleso, 72

March 18, 2016
Traer Star-Clipper

William Norman Helleso was born January 13, 1944, to Josephine and Clarence and died March 8, 2016, at the Marshalltown Iowa Veterans' Home. He was raised on the family's farm where he developed a deep love for the farming life. Throughout his school years he helped his father on the farm and worked as a hired hand for several local farmers.

Bill graduated from Garwin High School, as it was called then, and was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. He trained at Fort Leonard Wood and later was stationed in Georgia where he was honorably discharged. Upon returning home he met and married Pam McKelvey and they had two children, Ryan and Michele. He worked at the Iowa Rural Electric Co-op for many years, during which time he met and married his second wife, Carol Fisher, and they had one daughter, Bethany.

After 17 years at the REC he began to farm full time, fulfilling a life long dream. He continued to farm until the untimely death of his Carol in 2004, after which he subleased his land to his neighbor, Dale Langenbau. But that didn't keep him off the tractor! He worked for Dale during planting and harvest seasons for several years and also worked as a local handyman. No matter where he went, he seemed to run into someone he knew and have a chat. The subject of these chats always included a discussion of crops, weather and the latest farming news.

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Following surgery in August 2010, Bill suffered a debilitating stroke at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines and never again was able to return to his farm home. After months of physical therapy he was moved to his son Ryan's home and later to Marshalltown's Iowa Veterans Home.

Bill was one of the most likable guys on the planet. His was a kind and gentle spirit.

Bill is survived by his children, Ryan [Erin] Helleso, Michele Case and Bethany Helleso. Also surviving are his 9 grandchildren. A sister also survives. He was predeceased by his wife, Carol, an infant granddaughter, his parents, his brother, and his sister.

 
 

 

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