Allen "Andy" Anderson Helton Jr.
April 25, 1946 - Feb. 10, 2020
Allen Anderson "Andy" Helton Jr. was born April 25, 1946 in Lincoln, NE, to CWO3 Allen A. Helton and Betty Maxine Bennett Helton, and passed away in Waco with family at his side on February 10, 2020, at the age of 73.
Visitation will begin at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 18, at Lake Shore Funeral Home, 5201 Steinbeck Bend, in Waco, followed by the funeral service at 2:30 p.m. in the funeral home chapel.
Andy grew up in an Air Force family, moving with his father's assignments in Nebraska, Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The family retired to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he finished high school and then joined the Marine Corps. As a Private First Class out of boot camp, Andy achieved his platoon's "High Rifle" award and went on to Advanced Infantry Training. Promoted to Lance Corporal, Andy then went on to train in jungle warfare in Central America before being deployed to Vietnam. Andy was a Recon Marine, Alpha First Force radio operator, assigned with the Korean Marines in the northern highlands. There he sustained injuries, was medically evacuated to South Korea, then to the Great Lakes Naval Hospital, where he spent a year recovering from his injuries, including a deflated lung.
After his rehabilitation, Andy worked jobs as a bartender, ski instructor, installing house gutters, and framing carpenter and roofer. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a business degree, Andy worked in sales for a pharmaceutical company.
Andy traveled to Texas where his parents had relocated and became a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Waco in 1978. He married the love of his life, Dee Sherman in 1985 in Ravenna, NE, and they have lived in Waco since. Andy was a highly respected financial advisor for over 38 years with Merrill Lynch and UBS with many clients in Waco, central Texas, and in many other states.
Andy's interests included scouting (he was an Eagle Scout), baseball and softball, water and snow skiing, white water rafting, backpacking, sky diving, mountain climbing, fly tying and fishing, music, hunting, flying, and Nebraska football. You could not stump him at trivia, though many tried.
Andy was a 32nd degree Mason and was a past Master of the James H. Lockwood lodge in Waco. He was a member of Jack Sparks' Fly Fishing club, Jaycees, and city league softball in Waco.
Andy contracted throat cancer in 2000 but beat the cancer with treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He survived the cancer but the treatment caused life changing medical issues that he battled until his body could no longer sustain him.Andy was preceded in death by his father, CWO3 Allen A. Helton; mother, Betty B. Helton; and sister, Kathleen L. Helton-Lange.He is survived by his wife, Dee Sherman Helton; brother, David Helton of Canyon Lake and his wife, Cindy; brother, Paul Helton of Bates City, MO and his wife, Susan Wittig Helton; nephews, Jason Helton of Denver, CO, and Karl Lange; nieces, Eleonore Lange Dudley and Lori Lange DeLeon; and myriad cousins, mostly in the Groom and Amarillo, TX area.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis "Bert" Curran, Steve Browning, Stanton Bussell, Ron "Magic" Kirkendall, Paul Brannen, and Roger Leisy.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to MD Anderson Head and Neck Clinic in Houston, the Wounded Warrior Project, or Habitat for Humanity.
Thoughts and memories may be shared at www.LakeShoreFH.com.