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Michael Leo Helling
March 11, 1951 ~ July 1, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Michael Leo Helling, 72, of Chehalis, Washington, passed away July 1, 2023. He was born on March 11, 1951, to Leo and Velma Helling in Independence, Missouri, where he lived until 1958, when the family moved to Centralia. Mike resided both in Centralia and Chehalis since that time. Mike graduated from Centralia High School in 1969 and earned an associate’s degree from Centralia College. He attended Western Washington University followed by the University of Washington where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. Mike worked in warehouse distribution in Chehalis for over 40 years, including at Yard Birds, the Circuit City distribution center and the Fred Meyer distribution center, where he retired in 2018. Kind, considerate, compassionate, caring, heart of gold, a gentle soul are just some of the words that people who knew Mike used to describe him. He loved his family and friends and would do anything to serve and support them. In addition to being a tremendous brother, he formed several lifelong friendships, including his best friend over the past decade, Jill Daly. Mike was committed to God and rarely missed attending Sunday services. He also participated in the church choir throughout much of his adult life. In addition, he spent parts of three decades acting and directing community theater at the Evergreen Playhouse in Centralia. Mike enjoyed listening to music, reading, watching old TV shows and movies, and keeping up on current events. He loved American and world history and was considered “the family historian,” given his vast knowledge of family history from listening to elders as a child, continuing on throughout his life. His recollection of relatives, events and exact dates were amazing to behold. Mike is survived by his mother, Velma; his three brothers, Dennis (Janette), Ken (Kari) and Don (Sonia). In addition, he leaves behind several nieces and nephews and his ex-wife Heather Morang, with whom he remained friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Leo, in 2019. A funeral mass will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chehalis. It will be preceded by a Catholic holy rosary prayer service at noon. A reception with light refreshments will immediately follow the mass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church or the Lewis County Animal Shelter