Helmer Wallan: A community pillar has passed away
Communities are built upon the backs, hands, inspiration and sweat and tears of people, are they not?
The community of Madras recently lost a man who certainly placed more than his share of bricks in helping to build this community.
Helmer Wallan was a local merchant, politician and government servant, church leader, athletic supporter and Little League baseball leader, realtor, business advocate, civic club member, key fair board member for years, and, oh yeah, a family man, too. Helmer passed away Aug. 25 at the age of 94.
That gentlemen led a full life, and Central Oregon and the Madras community can be very thankful that he chose to spend it here. If all of us spent about an eighth of the time, sweat and energy Mr. Wallan invested into this town, we'd be busy bumping into each other trying to do good, and we'd have one hell of a community.
His first wife who passed before him, Bette, said that probably no one had served on more unpaid boards as Helmer did. That's funny, and probably at least close to the truth. It's also a wonderful, powerful testament to the man.
The term Greatest Generation has, unfortunately, become somewhat of a cliche. That's too bad. It's a perfect moniker for those who who grew up in the Depression, won World War II, then came home and forged a nation almost unimaginable at the time of their birth. Helmer Wallan was a great example of that Greatest Generation.
May he rest in peace, but then again, I don't know if resting fits Mr. Wallan's style.
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