Wendel Eugene Helm was born May 6, 1950 in Chandler, Oklahoma to J.M. Helm and Naoma (Dollison) Langwell. He passed away December 28, 2020 at the age of 70.
Wendel grew up in Chandler where he graduated with the Chandler High School Class of 1968. He played football and baseball throughout his school years, aspired to be a professional baseball player, and was even scouted by the Cincinnati Reds. After high school, Wendel married his high school girlfriend, Betty Bowen of Chandler, Oklahoma and attended Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma for two years on a baseball scholarship. Wendel and his brother, David, then joined the Marine Corp and went to boot camp together. Wendel advanced quickly becoming part of the 2nd Recon battalion out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, an elite unit of the Marines. As a Marine, he served a tour in Vietnam, and was awarded the highest level badge of Expert Marksman with a service rifle and was a golden glove boxer. He carried his passion for boxing into his civilian life as he continued to fight professionally and was also a close friend and sparring partner to World Champion and Oklahoma City great, Sean O’Grady. He started a boxing club in the Ponca City area and coached/mentored local youth. Over the years, he attended numerous boxing events and was able to meet many legendary greats including Mohamed Ali, George Foreman, and others. He enjoyed gardening, traveling, animals, history trivia, cruising the Lincoln County “red dirt roads” and was a lifelong fan of the Kansas City Chiefs, watching Sunday football with his sister Pam Pratt, and other friends and family.
Wendel graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Education from Central State University. He earned his degree with an emphasis in history but instead became a life-long history buff. He retired from Conoco in Ponca City in 1994 following 21 years of dedicated service.
Wendel married Janice (Fleharty) Helm in 1984 and were happily married and she was at his side at his time of death. Wendel was preceded in death by his father, J.M. Helm; brothers, Gary Austin, Bill Austin, Jimmy Helm, Ricky Helm, and Bob Helm. Survivors include his wife, Janice Helm of the home; mother, Naoma Langwell; children, Wendy Clark of Tulsa, Kim McGlasson of Chandler, Lacy Helm of Tulsa, John Helm of Tulsa, Tristan Helm and wife Melanie of Ft Worth; (16) grandchildren; a loving amount of great-grandchildren; siblings, David Helm and wife Kathy of Stroud, Carol Maier and husband Farrell of Edmond, Ben Helm and wife Sharon of Drumright, Brenda Rich of Chandler, Marie Boggs and husband Boyd of Sparks, Pam Pratt of Chandler; along with a host of other family and friends.
The family is requesting that face coverings be worn at all times while inside the funeral home. Masks will be required for entry.
A visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 1, 2021 and a funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 2, 2021 at the Lehman Funeral Home Chapel with interment following in the Oak Park Cemetery in Chandler. Arrangements are under the direction of Lehman Funeral Home of Wellston.
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