James Oliver Helbling, age 82, of Prospect passed away Monday evening, July 20, 2020, after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He passed at his residence with his family by his side.
Born May 31, 1938 in Pittsburgh, he was the son of the late Otto L. and Ida G. Hahn Helbling and was raised in Ben Avon Borough.
He proudly served in the US Army in the early 1960’s, both in the United States and abroad.
He acquired a love of golfing in his teens, and while in the Army, he managed an Army golf course in Berlin, Germany. After his discharge, he continued his career on the fairways, working for over 60 years at several golf courses, primarily at Shannopin Country Club, where he served as the Grounds Keeper Superintendent until his retirement in 2000. Retirement was not for him -- he missed work too much -- and he quickly took a post-retirement job at Fox Run Golf Course, where he worked until his health required him to retire again at the age of 79.
He is survived by his wife Donna L. Crompton Helbling; his children Christian (Jill) Helbling of Franklin Park, Damian (Tara) Helbling of Ithaca, NY, and Natalee Conway of Grove City; his grandchildren Colin Helbling, Celia Helbling, and Hailey Conway; his siblings Paul (Gloria) Helbling of Verona, Madonna Joan “MP” Helbling of Zelienople, Artie Helbling of Lynchburg, VA, John (Janet) Helbling of Zelienople; his nephew David (Carla) Helbling of Beaver; and many dozens of other nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers Louis, Emil, William, Robert, Thomas, and Regis Helbling, and his sister Virginia Jankowski.
Due to covid19 restrictions, the family is planning a private interment at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies with military honors.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Edward L Raisley Funeral Home, 387 Main Street, Prospect.
The family has suggested that memorial contributions may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation at www.arborday.org or the Portersville Food Pantry, PO Box 102, Portersville, PA 16051.
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