Lyle Helfer


March 2, 1920 - April 25, 2010

Lyle David Helfer, 90, of Fort Smith, died under Hospice Care with St. Edward Mercy Medical Center.

Mr. Helfer was born March 2, 1920, in Wilder, Idaho, to Charles Homer and Nina Marie Pierce Helfer. In 1924 he moved with his parents, and aunt and uncle and grandparents in a three covered-wagon caravan from Wilder to Washington state, eventually settling in Goldendale in 1938. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in February 1942 and served 3 1/2 years during World War II including 30 months in the Pacific. He was a radio operator for a forward observer team in the Aleutian Islands, Kwajalein, Leyte in the Philippines and on Okinawa. After his discharge, he received an appointment from Washington state Gov. Langley to the Washington state Public Service Commission, which regulated state transportation.

He married Marcia Kyle in Walla Walla on July 1, 1956. In August 1956 he went to work for the Interstate Commerce Commission and retired in 1980 as the ICC state supervisor for Utah. He was domiciled in Spokane, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee and Salt Lake City. He and his wife returned to the Walla Walla Valley.

Mr. Helfer was a member of the Walla Walla Elks Lodge #287, American Legion, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the Milton-Freewater Golf Club, R.S.V.P., and Walla Walla Pioneer and Historical Society. He was an honorable man who, during his lifetime, reached out and helped many people.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia of the home; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and surrogate daughter, Francine Locati. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Donna Lylene Helfer; a son, Gary Lyle Helfer; a foster son, Larry Lynn Price; two sisters, Erma Jean Fleming and Charlotte Holland; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private memorial will be held at a later date and cremation is under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home of Fort Smith and Herring-Groseclose in Walla Walla.

Memorials may be made to the River Valley Regional Food Bank, P.O. Box 4069, Fort Smith, AR 72914

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