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Matthew Helf

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Matthew Helf Obituary
Helf, Matthew

Matthew Michael Helf, 44, of Ardmore PA, passed away unexpectedly at home on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Matt was born on May 20, 1968, at Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, MS, to Michael D. Helf and Kathleen P. (McDonald) Helf. He was a graduate of Oshkosh West High School class of 1986. He proudly served in the United States Navy from April 1987 - June 1993, where he earned numerous awards and recognitions, including: Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Ribbon, South West Asia Service Medal, Coast Guard Joint Service Commendation, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Battle Group "ECHO", Sailor Of The Month, Letter Of Commendation [VADMZLATOPER], Surface Warfare Pin. Matt continued on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology from U.C.S.D at Warren College. He also earned his Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Micro Biology. Matt married Karen Rebecca Phenix on October 24, 1992, at Granada Hills in Los Angeles CA. He started his career as a volunteer intern at Telios Pharmaceuticals. From there, he moved to the Immune Response Corporation to assist in the development of a cancer vaccine, he then moved into the molecular realm of his career at Althea Technologies. There, he was able to help design an assay that allowed researchers to assess the purity of their gene therapy vectors, and therefore, make these treatments safer for the patients receiving them. This research resulted in the co-authoring of a research paper, which was published in BioTechniques in March 1999, three months before his graduation. Matt then moved onto Digital Gene Technologies, where he designed a quantitative RT-PCR program to speed up the process of gene discovery, which in turn, helped academic collaborators produce data much faster. Matt would have gone on to list his greatest accomplishment as his five beautiful children. Prior to living in Ardmore, Matt also resided in Oshkosh WI, Pensacola FL, Idaho Falls ID, San Diego CA, and Escondido CA. He was an avid reader, loved music and was a true Packer fan through and through. His greatest attributes were his ability to be counselor to all who knew him and his infectious sense of humor. Matt leaves behind his mother, Kathleen P. McDonald; father, Michael D. (Holly) Helf; siblings, Christopher W. (Michelle) Helf, Shannon M. Drexler (Helf); three nieces; one nephew all of Oshkosh WI; as well as many very special aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, William L. (Bill, the "Old Pro") and Dorthy M. McDonald, and Harry G. and Donna M. Helf.

Visitation: Thursday, December 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Stretch Funeral Home, 236 E. Eagle Road, Havertown PA 19083, (610) 446-1075. Funeral: Friday, December 14 at 11 a.m. at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, 830 Highland Road, Newtown PA 18940, (215) 504-5610. Matt will be buried with full Military honors. A memorial service will be held Saturday, December 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Community Church, 2351 Ryf Road, Oshkosh WI 54904.

He's got your back.

We are caring parents,

Our Son has gone to


Our minds are filled

with worries,

That we've never known


Every day we try to keep

Our thoughts from

turning black,

We may be scared,

but we are praying,

Our Son has got

your back.

Published in Oshkosh Northwestern from Dec. 14 to Dec. 16, 2012
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