Helsel, Janet Sue, 57, beloved mother, daughter, sister and friend, died Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 after a short illness. Janet was born May 22, 1955 in Wichita, Kansas. She graduated from the University of Kansas and earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Washburn University Law School. Janet practiced law in Wichita for 30 years, focusing on family and juvenile law. She was a third-generation Helsel in Wichita law, a heritage that goes back 90 years. Janet was an aggressive advocate for her clients, and built a loyal clientele. She cared about them, and they cared about her, often bringing her little gifts or mementoes. Janet was renowned among family and friends for an irreverent sense of humor that she wielded like a maestro, often leaving her audience in tears from her antics. A serious attorney at work, in private she never lost her childlike delight in making people laugh by any means necessary. She was also an avid reader and filled her spare moments tucked behind a book. Janet's greatest love and proudest accomplishment was her son, Ben Farrell, 24. Although she won't be here to see him on the rest of his journey, Jan has put him on the path toward being a mature, intelligent and sensitive man who will doubtlessly flourish in life thanks to the loving foundation his parents gave him. In addition to her son, Janet is survived by her mother, Dorothy; brother Michael; sister Peggy Santoro (Joe); nieces and nephew Sara, Anna and Sam; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She is preceded in death by her father, Judge Robert C. Helsel. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16 at First Presbyterian Church, 525 N. Broadway, Wichita. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Wichita Children's Home, 810 N. Holyoke St., Wichita, KS 67208. Downing & Lahey Mortuary East. www.dlwichita.com
Published in The Wichita Eagle from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2013
Downing & Lahey Mortuary, Inc.
6555 EAST CENTRAL WICHITA, KS 67206-1924