James W. Helman
James W. Helman joined the saints in light on Dec. 11, 2019 while surrounded by his family.
Jim had endured a seven-year challenging diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). His journey was puzzling to the medical community who worked diligently to give him quality of life. Jim and his family are extremely grateful for all of the professional diligence and compassion of the medical professionals he encountered.
Jim was born Feb. 26, 1949 to Royal Harvey and Betty Josephine (McQueen) Helman in "big, beautiful downtown Goshen, Indiana." Jim graduated from Goshen High School in 1967, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Goshen College in 1971 and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, in 1975. Ordination within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America took place at Trinity Lutheran Church, Goshen, Indiana, June 22, 1975.
Jim was blessed by the opportunity to be called to three congregations in Michigan within his ministry. He served Redeemer Lutheran Church in Owosso from 1975 to 1984, St. John Lutheran Church in Romeo from 1985 to 1988 and Feast of Lutheran Church in Acme from 1988 to 2014. Jim retired in June of 2014, completing 39 years of faithful service to God and his people.
Throughout Jim's career, he believed and emulated servant leadership. He was a man of faith and great love for his family and the people of God. Jim believed in the priesthood of all believers and worked diligently to help those he served to identify and develop their spiritual gifts in order to more fully serve our Lord.
Challenges, hard work, professionalism, compassion and dedication were no strangers to this man. Jim was an innovative thinker, an avid reader, a tenacious student, an intelligent teacher and a loyal friend to many. Over the years he was a leader and participant in many community-based projects as well as work within the church synod.
Jim is survived by his wife, Sharon (Sherri); their two beautiful daughters, Jennifer (Justin) French and Emily (Tanya) Helman; and their son-in-law, Curt Wilson. Jim and Sherri were blessed with six grandchildren, Caden, Grant and Eli Wilson, Cora French and Cameron and Carter Darling.
The love of family, children and grandchildren had been a joy to Jim, and he will be greatly missed.
Jim is also survived by his sister, Beverly Stringfellow; and his brother, John Helman.
Jim was predeceased by his parents.
Visitation will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. A celebration of Jim's life will take place at 11 a.m., with a visitation one hour prior to the service, on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. A luncheon will be held immediately following the service in the church fellowship hall.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Feast of Victory Lutheran Church, 4400 Mt. Hope Road, Acme, MI 49610; or ACTS Acme Thrift Store and Food Pantry, 8925 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690.
The family gives great thanks to our God and creator for the gift of this man and to all of his extended family, friends and colleagues who love him.
Please share a memory with Jim's family by visiting his tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services is serving the family.
Published on December 13, 2019


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Rev. Walter F. Taylor, Jr.
Dec 26, 2019
I was greatly saddened to read about Jim's death. I always appreciated his presence and witness at synod assemblies and looked forward to seeing him each year. Please accept my condolences and be assured of my prayers of intercession during these weeks, that you may experience the same comfort that Jim gave to so many.
Wally Taylor
Ernest W. and Edith S. Ogram Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies
Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Phil and Marilyn Froiland
Dec 17, 2019
There is no way to tell the extent of our feeling of loss in the death of Jim Helman! What a dear friend and colleague. He spent his internship year from Wartburg Seminary with me at University Lutheran at Iowa State U. in Ames, IA. It was a wonderful year as Jim's creative abilities and marvelous personality were on display daily. We truly enjoyed each other and he and Sherri and Marilyn and I enjoyed many pleasant times together. He is gone way too soon. May his memory be blessed among us all.
Marty and Anna Bisher
Dec 17, 2019
We are so sorry for your loss! The summer of 94 was special in all ways in the building of Feast of Victory. Pastor Jim and his family made being away from home for 3 months a joy and a hard place to leave when it was time.
Jean M McCormick
Dec 16, 2019
Sherri and family, I am so sorry to hear of Jim's death. I know we talked briefly last week. If you ever need a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen, I am there for you.I will support you any way I can. God bless you and your family in a very sorrowful time. Hugs and prayers for you.
Jean McComick
Sharon Graman Rogers
Dec 15, 2019
I remember Jim from high school as one of the nicest and most honorable guys. I pray for all of his family for such a loss.
Brent Larkin
Dec 14, 2019
Sherri, Jenifer & Emily, so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Jim was a great man, kind, compassionate & giving. Everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him was truly blessed.
Jim and Kathy Gray
Dec 14, 2019
We are so sorry for you and your family, Sherri. We continue to hold you up in prayer. Jim offered much comfort and help when out daughter was sick. He was a blessing.
Dec 13, 2019
Jim is a special person along side his wife Sheri they are filled with hope and joy. Thank you for your friendship as I navigated the life of serving our Lord. Your words of wisdom will be remembered.