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Richard L. Helean

Richard L. Helean

Richard L. Helean, 65, of Tampa, Fla.,, died July 2, 2012, at home surrounded by family.

He was born Jan. 13, 1947, in Dodge City, Kan., to Maurice and Valeda Mae (Birney) Helean. He married Kathy A. Palmer on Oct. 23, 1982.

Rick graduated from Lamar High School in 1965. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and his master's degree from Lesley University.

He served in the U. S. Air Force as a professional military educator (PME) and as a first sergeant. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he began a second career in technology and held various leadership positions.

Among Rick's passions was traveling the world and experiencing new cultures. With each new adventure, however, he gained new perspective on and appreciation for his hometown of Lamar, Colo., and his family's hometown of Bucklin, Kan.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy; his daughter, Amy (Mark) Burdge of St. Louis, Mo. ; his son, Andrew (Vanessa Gerring) Helean of Leesburg, Va. ; his grandchildren, Allen Burdge, and Wyatt, Elizabeth, Rosella and Seth Helean; his brother, Chris (Cindy) Rundell of Lamar, Colo. ; and his sisters, Tammy (Bruce) Nelson, of Havre, Mont., and Janie (Butch) Mohar, of Turner, Mont.

Rick was preceded in death by his mother, Valeda Rundell; his step-father, Eugene Rundell; and his father, Maurice Helean.

Rick's life will be celebrated with family and friends at home in Tampa, Fla. Stories of Rick's wit, humor and sense of mischief will be shared, and his legend forged. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society (, designated to colorectal cancer, in memory of Richard Helean.


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