Cover photo for William "Bill" Paul Helton's Obituary
William "Bill" Paul Helton Profile Photo
1943 William "Bill" Paul Helton 2024

William "Bill" Paul Helton

May 7, 1943 — February 21, 2024


Services for William "Bill" Paul Helton will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 1, 2024, at the MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel, with burial following at 2:30 p.m. at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery with full military honors. The procession from the MMS-Payne Funeral Home to Ft. Gibson National Cemetery will begin at 1:00 pm. The family would be honored by your attendance to the service and the military ceremonial event at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery.  Friends may pay their respects at the funeral home on Thursday, February 29, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with the family receiving visitors from 6pm-8pm. Bill passed away on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at the age of 80.

William Paul Helton, affectionately known as Bill, was a remarkable individual whose life was a tapestry of service, dedication, and love. Born on May 7, 1943, in Poteau, Oklahoma, to Luther Paul and Vera Levita (Huggins) Helton, Bill's journey was defined by a commitment to God, family, country, and community.

Bill's devotion to service began early as he graduated from Poteau High School in 1961 and later enlisted in the US Army in 1964, where he served honorably until 1967. His dedication to the nation extended through his service in the Army Reserve before transitioning to the Air Force Reserve in 1981. Bill's military tenure spanned an impressive 39 consecutive years, culminating in his retirement as a Senior Master Sergeant in 2003. Alongside his military service, Bill pursued higher education, earning a master’s degree in mathematics education and school administration from Central State University.

On April 11, 1968, Bill married Dorthy Jewel Dickson, with whom he shared a life of love, companionship, and mutual support.

Bill's professional journey was diverse and impactful. From his early teaching career in Wellston, Oklahoma, to his role as an educator in Grove, Sequoyah, Tulsa, and Catoosa, Bill inspired countless students with his wisdom and passion for learning. His career took unique turns, including a stint with Walmart where he collaborated directly with the retail giant's founder, Mr. Sam Walton, in opening stores across Oklahoma, including the one in Claremore. Additionally, Bill pursued ministry, studying at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and becoming an ordained minister in 1979. He served in various churches across Oklahoma, embodying his faith through acts of compassion and guidance.

Even in retirement, Bill's dedication to service remained steadfast. He joined the Rogers County Sheriff Department as a reserve deputy, contributing to the community through roles in the K-9 unit and mounted patrol, aiding in search and rescue missions.

Bill found joy in the simple pleasures of life and spending time with his horses, particularly Jaz, and participating in therapy dog activities with his canine partner Judge Judy Helton. However, his greatest source of happiness was found in supporting his children and grandchildren, whom he cherished as his greatest blessings.

Bill is survived by his loving wife, Dorthy Helton; his children, Franklin Paul Helton and wife Carol and Timothy Stephen Helton and wife Lindsay; his grandchildren Jacob Bates, Ashton Bates, Jaime McClure and husband Connor, Hailey Bates, Zayne Bates, Tori Helton, Rebekah Thomas and husband Johnathan, Joshua Helton, Emily Helton, Bryanne Carr and husband Jacob, Brendon Barnes, Heidi Helton, and Hollyn Helton; great grandson Will Carr; siblings James Helton, Kay Romine, and Cookie Crawford. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Cindy Helton Bates, and his brother Luther Helton.

William Paul Helton will be deeply missed but forever remembered for the profound impact he had on the lives of those around him. His spirit lives on through the stories, memories, and lessons he shared with all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Oklahoma Parkinson’s Alliance. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William "Bill" Paul Helton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 29, 2024

1:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

MMS-Payne Funeral Home and Cremation Services-Claremore

102 W 5th St, Claremore, OK 74017

Family will receive visitors from 6pm-8pm.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, March 1, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

MMS-Payne Funeral Home and Cremation Services-Claremore

102 W 5th St, Claremore, OK 74017

Burial will be 2:30p.m., at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery, Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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