April 25, 1925 - April 05, 2012
Fred Helton, long time Riverview resident, teacher and counselor for Riverview Community Schools, passed away in the early morning hours on April 5, 2012.
Mr. Helton was born on April 25, 1925, in Saylor, Kentucky, the fourth of eight children of Daniel and Rachel Helton. His parents were subsistence farmers in one of the poorest areas in one of the poorest regions of America. His father was killed in 1932, leaving his mother widowed and pregnant, with the oldest child just thirteen years old.
The financial poverty of the family was more than offset by its strength of character and bedrock values. At the time, public schools in that remote area of Appalachia only went up to the sixth grade. Through his family’s bartering and his labor for the school, he attended the Red Bird Mission School in Beverly, Kentucky from seventh through twelfth grade, graduating in 1943. He became the first college graduate from the region when he graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois in 1949, by which time he was married and the father of a baby boy.
After graduating from college, he began a career in education, spending a few years teaching in Plato Center and Carrelton, Illinois and Milan, Michigan, before moving to Riverview, Michigan in 1953. He taught science at Riverview High School from 1953 through 1973 and was a guidance counselor at Seitz Junior High in Riverview from 1973 to 1980. Over the years he obtained his Masters Degree in Education from Northern Illinois University, a Specialist Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University as well as completing programs in geology (Iowa State), physics (Purdue), meteorology (Northern Illinois) and surveying (EMU). He retired from teaching and returned to his native Kentucky in 1980, where he developed residential property and rental units. Back in his beloved Kentucky hills, he designed and built a large home on the top of his own mountain next to the small lake that he created by damming up a creek that ran down the hillside.
Mr. Helton married Harriett Biederman of Jefferson Wisconsin on January 1, 1947. They had four children, Larry (1948), Dan (1950), Sally (1952), and Bob (1954). Harriett passed away in 1964. He married Margaret Dees Metcalf of Harlan, Kentucky in 1982.
Mr. Helton was a devoted son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle and husband. He remained active in the Methodist Church throughout his life. He was preceded in death by six of his seven siblings, Ernest, Lawrence, Denver, Grant, Earl, and Emily.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret, his brother Daniel, of Martinsville, Indiana, his four children Dr. Lawrence (Marie) Helton of Medford, Oregon, Daniel (Debbie) of Riverview, Michigan, Sally (Raul Fuentes) of Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Robert (Cathy) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, two step-daughters Joy (Gary) Cupp and Kathy (Chuck) Bianchi, eight grandchildren (Rachel, Chris, Elizabeth, Michael, Steven, Joy, Emily and James), six step-grandchildren (Matthew, Allison, Michael, Eric, Aimee, Jason (dec.) and Brooks and three great-grandsons (Daniel, Charlie and Teddy).
Services will be at 10:30 AM Monday at the First United Methodist Church, Pineville, with Rev. Ron Suntken and Rev. Albert Hughes.
He will be interred in his beloved Kentucky soil at the Fred Helton Cemetery at Calvin. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, Steven, James, Emily, Joy and Rachel Helton, Jim Gerometta and Albert Hughes. Honorary pallbearer will be Jerry Carver.
The family will receive friends from 5 until 8 PM Sunday at the Arnett & Steele Funeral Home, Pineville, which is honored to serve the Helton Family.
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