Helen James of Celina passed away on April 17, 2021 at the age of 94. Helen Marie Hetterscheidt was born on February 3, 1927 to William and Helen (Schmidt) Hetterscheidt in Columbus, Ohio. She had four siblings who have all passed on: Jeanne Liston, Nancy McSweeney Woerner, Bertille Gleich Lersky and James Hetterscheidt.
Helen graduated from Rosary High School in Columbus, Ohio, in 1945 and received a BA in journalism from The Ohio State University in 1949. She met her husband, Robert (Dean) James, at Ohio State; they married on June 18, 1949 and settled in Mercer County in 1952. Dean was Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney and Judge of the Mercer County Common Pleas Court. Dean passed away in 1991.
Helen is survived by five children: Spain (Christine) of Cleveland; Lembi of Hilo, HI; Inga of Frederick, MD; Chantal (Stephen Walker) of Falmouth, ME and Ethan (Laura) of Denver, CO. Five grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, great nephews and great nieces survive as well.
Helen was a life-long learner and tireless advocate for public education. She served on the Ohio Board of Regents (a state-wide advisory board to the Chancellor of Higher Education in Ohio); the Board of Trustees of Wright State University; the Board of Trustees of the Mercer County District Library (for 26 years, past her 90th birthday!); as Treasurer of the Western Ohio Education Foundation; and as literacy tutor and GED test administrator for Mercer County Adult Basic Education. She and Dean started a group with several couples in town to research and discuss current topics. They named this group Intellectual Deviates Ineffectually Offering Theories and Solutions (IDIOTS) and met for over ten years. Helen was also a dedicated member of the local Great Books club, as well as the American Association of University Women. In 2018, Helen received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mercer County Democratic Party and was a Honorary Lifetime member of the W.O.E. F.
The James family plans to have memorial services this summer, time and venue to be announced. Helen's services are in the care of the Lehman-Dzendzel Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Mercer County District Library or the Western Ohio Educational Foundation.
You can share your memories of Helen with the family at LehmanDzendzelfh.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Marie (Hetterscheidt) James, please visit our floral store.
Mercer County Public Library
303 N Main St,, Celina OH 45822
Western Ohio Educational Foundation, Attn: Gretchen Rentz
7600 Lake Campus Dr., Celina OH 45822