The Times West Virginian


March 20, 2014

Irene Helman

Mary “Irene” B. Straight Helman, 97, formerly of Rivesville, died Tuesday (March 18, 2014) at Fairmont General Hospital after a wonderful and long life.

She was born April 21, 1916, in Wallace, to the late Granville Harrison and Matilda Shaw Baker.

Irene finished her schooling in Harrison County while helping her mother raise her seven siblings following their father’s death. She married her first husband, Wm. Fay Straight, in 1938 and they had three children, Bill, Karen and Bob. Fay passed away in 1971 and Irene then married John P. “Jack” Helman in 1979, and he passed away in 2008.

Irene worked at the Muir Cut Rate Drug Store in Massillon, Ohio, during the war. When she returned to Fairmont, she worked at the G.C. Murphy Co. and later retired from the A& P Tea Co. after 25 years of service. She formed the first Girl Scout troop in Monongah and was very involved in the Boy Scouts of America when both her husbands were troop leaders. Irene attended Grace Lutheran Church in Fairmont and was a member of the Faith Guild.

She is survived by her children, Capt. William D. Straight (USN retired) and his wife Kathleen of Fairfax, Va.; Karen Morris of Rivesville; and Robert K. and his wife Jan Straight of Paige, Texas. Grandchildren include Joel Straight and his wife Camille Ward, Mary Elizabeth-Straight Kiss and her husband Capt. Tom Kiss, USN; Susan Straight, Emily Straight and her husband Rick Wilcox, Tonya and her husband Brian Annino, Daniel and his wife Kristin Morris, and Jennifer LaVance. She is survived by seven great-grandchildren, Riley Ford, Samantha and Charlotte Kiss, Maria Straight, Jackson Annino, Liam and Cavan LaVance, as well as two sisters, Louise Eagle of Akron, Ohio, and Naomi and her husband Bob Ries of Jeromesville, Ohio; and her brother, James and his wife Betty Baker of Hamlet, N.C.

In addition to her parents, Irene was preceded in death by her first husband, Wm. Fay Straight, in 1971; and her second husband, John P. “Jack” Helman, in 2008; her brothers, Frances, Kenneth and Paul Baker; and a sister, Helen Ingraham; as well as her special son-in-law, W. Keith Morris.

The family would like to thank the staff of both the Pierpont Assisted Living and Tygart Centers of Wishing Well Genesis Care for their care and compassion shown to Irene during her residences. They would also like to thank the third floor staff of Fairmont General Hospital for her recent Hospice Care.

The family requests that memorial donations be made to Grace Lutheran Church, Third Street and Gaston Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554.

Friends may visit her family at Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia St., Fairmont, from 4-8 p.m. Friday and from 9-10 a.m. Saturday. The funeral will be held in the funeral home at 10 a.m. Saturday with Pastor Matt Holbert officiating. Interment will follow at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens in Fairmont.

Online condolences may be made at

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