Bedford, Texas — Gordon D. Helyer, 79, died Monday, December 26, 2016 at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital of natural causes. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Patricia (Goodwin) Helyer; his daughter, Melissa Helyer Waschka and her husband, John Waschka; and two granddaughters, Kaitlin and Jamie Waschka. Born February 6, 1937 in Bend, OR, the son of Durward Wilson Helyer and Eudora Van Matre Helyer Long, he is pre-deceased by two brothers, Michael and Wilbur, and leaves two sisters, Beverly and Judith and one brother, Leroy. He grew up in Sherman County Oregon and enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 in 1955. He met Patricia Goodwin while serving at Millington Naval Air Station in Memphis, Tennessee, and they married six months later, on November 27, 1957. He attended Vanderbilt University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Math and Physics. He completed Officer Candidate School and served aboard both diesel and nuclear submarines, retiring after 21 years as a Lieutenant Commander and Executive Office of the USSBN John C. Calhoun. Following retirement, he taught Nuclear Engineering at the University of Memphis where he then completed his Masters of Computer Science. He also taught at Tennessee State Technical Institute before establishing his own business in computer consulting in Memphis, Tennessee. He and his wife moved to Bedford, Texas following the birth of their first granddaughter Kaitlin in 1997. While in Bedford he was very active in teaching computers at the Senior Center and the local libraries. His second granddaughter, Jamie, was born in 2000 and he was devoted to both. A funeral service will be held Monday, January 9, 2017 at 1:15pm at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Grand Prairie, Texas with a reception following at Brookfield Eden Estates, in Bedford, Texas. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to a charity of your choice.
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