William A. HELSELL|
William A. Helsell, age 88, passed away at home of natural causes on December 20, 2012. He was born November 18, 1924 in Seattle, and grew up on Hunts Point in Bellevue. He graduated from Lakeside School in 1942 as class Valedictorian. After one year at Princeton University his long-held interest in flying led him to enlist in the U.S. Navy pilot training program. World War II ended before he finished flight school and earned his wings as a Naval Aviator. After his active duty Naval service, he served in the Naval Reserve and returned to active duty during the Korean War and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In 1946 Bill resumed his undergraduate education at the University of Washington. In 1948 he married Barbara Ferris and entered the U.W. Law School, receiving his degree in 1950. His 43-year career as an attorney included service in the office of the U.S. Attorney, and many years as a trial lawyer and partner in the firm of Helell, Paul, Fetterman, Todd and Hokanson, from which he retired in 1994. He received many awards for outstanding service in the legal profession and elsewhere.
Bill was an avid skier in his younger days, participating on the Lakeside School ski jumping team and taking many ski trips with his family. He also loved sailing and sailboat racing. His love of flying led him to purchase and fly a 1937 Staggerwing Beech and a 1940 Gull-wing Stinson, which are now in the Port Townsend Aero Museum.
Bill was committed to the welfare of his community. In addition to supporting numerous organizations and programs in the Northwest, he served on the Boards of Directors of Seattle Preparatory School and the Museum of Flight, and was a member of the University of Washington Futures Committee.
Bill's wife Barbara passed away in 1963. One year later Bill married Virginia Satterberg Pigott. They were married 29 years, raising their six children and afterwards enjoying tennis and world travel together. One year after Virginia's passing in 1994, Bill married Vivian Powell, adding her two children and their children to his family. Vivian and Bill traveled extensively and enjoyed many events with family and friends until Vivian's passing in 2009.
Bill is survived by his brothers Jack and Bob Helsell; the eight children
of his three marriages: Judy Pigott, Katherine Helsell Lazarus, Mary Pigott, Peter Helsell, Frank Helsell, Michael Pigott, Bradley Powell, and Pamela Powell Weston; 22 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and his dear friend
and companion Zoe Ann Cashman.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held at 3:00 PM on Friday, January 11th at the Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way, Seattle. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Museum of Flight, Seattle Children's Hospital or the Lakeside School.
Published in The Seattle Times from Dec. 23 to Dec. 31, 2012