On Saturday, March 11, 2023, surrounded by her family, Kathy Lyn Helsley lost her valiant battle with metastatic breast cancer.
Kathy was born on April 24, 1955, in Chicago, the second child and first daughter, to Keith and Margaret Fitzpatrick.
Kathy was raised in Boyne City, attended Boyne City schools and graduated as Valedictorian for the class of 1973. Following high school, she spent one year at Central Michigan University before she moved to Florida. It was on her way back home from Florida where she met Joseph Helsley in Ohio. They fell in love, and he followed her to Boyne City where they were married on August 20, 1977. They had their first child the following year and 3 more followed within the next 9 years. Kathy was born to be a mother, doting on her children and supporting them in everything they did throughout their lives. She loved the outdoors and spent many summers at the beach, the campground, and in the gardens with her family.
Kathy went to work for Dr. Richard Mansfield in 1977 and continued to work at his physician’s office until it closed. Once his dream of opening a free clinic became a reality, Kathy jumped on board to help open it and become the director of the Boyne Area Free Clinic. Through her work at the clinic, she was able to help many people throughout the Northern Michigan communities and beyond. A truly selfless person, she would bend over backwards to do anything for anyone who needed help. In addition to her service to the community, she was also a wonderful friend to many. She was the one that we all turned to for an ear to listen or when we needed advice. She truly was the rock to so many of those in her life.
Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, Keith and Margaret Fitzpatrick, and her husband Joe, who passed away less than a year ago on May 30, 2022.
Kathy is survived by her children: Melissa (Matt) Tanner, Joseph Ryan (Kayla Massey) Helsley, Lindsay (Brian) Helsley-Bator, and Caleb (Debbie Hoover) Helsley; her grandchildren: (who were also the light of her life) Isabella, Andromeda, Kevin, Joseph Ryan Jr., Gabriella, Aurora, Arya, Elijah, Brecken and Kaison; as well as her siblings: Keith (Lisa) Fitzpatrick, Karin (Michael) Beveridge, Kevin (Sheri) Fitzpatrick, and Kyle (Stacy) Fitzpatrick. She is also survived by brothers-in-law Robert (Marlene) Helsley, David (Linda) Helsley, Allen “Rick” (Teri) Walters and Rich Robinson and sisters-in-law Pat England, Carol (Tom) Isenberg, Debbie (Bob) Gardner and Kim (Ken) Shaffer, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held following visitation at 1:00 p.m. with a luncheon to follow in the fellowship hall.
Donations in Kathy’s memory may be made to the Boyne Area Free Clinic.
Arrangements are in the care of Stackus Funeral Home.
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