Leslie Walker Helton

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Leslie Walker "Les" Helton, 70, of Chapel Hill, died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in Columbia.

Mr. Helton was born in Bedford County and was a son of the late John Vinson and Ruth Taylor Helton. He was a member of Fosterville Baptist Church in Rutherford County.

Mr. Helton started his career in law enforcement in 1964 as a patrolman for the City of Shelbyville Police Department. In 1967, he became State Trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, from which he retired as a Sergeant in 1990 after 23 years of service. Shortly after his retirement, Les was elected as Sheriff of Marshall County, a position he held from 1990 until 2010. During his tenure in law enforcement, Mr. Helton received numerous awards and was highly decorated for his service, including being awarded the High Sheriff Award on three different occasions. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the City of Lewisburg for his bravery in the line of duty. He served as president of the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association and was a member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol Retired Officers Association.

In the 1960s, Mr. Helton began coaching Little League and in 1983, he, along with his wife Jean, started girls Little League softball in Marshall County. In addition to coaching, Les was also an avid horseman and loved spending time with his family and his horses.

Mr. Helton is survived by his wife, Emma Jean Helton of Chapel Hill; daughter, Tracie Helton (Dale) Oechsel of Chapel Hill; sister, Robbie Helton McGee of Shelbyville; brothers, Roger Helton of Shelbyville and Carl Helton of Calera, Ala,; and special friends, Edith and R.L. Wiles, and Billy Frank Jett.

Funeral services were conducted Sunday, Dec. 21, from the chapel of Lawrence Funeral Home with Rev. Phil Sheppard and Mr. Wayne Coomes officiating. Burial followed in Simpson Cemetery in the Rover Community of Bedford County.

Active pallbearers were Mike Jett, Chris Jett, Toby Strasser, Ray Russell, Charlie Nichols, Norman Dalton, Andy Henson and Lee Cothran.

Officers and members of the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, City of Lewisburg Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Town of Chapel Hill Police Department, and members of the Tennessee Sheriffs' Association served as honorary pallbearers.

Lawrence Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Chapel Hill, in charge of arrangements.