Photo: James Helsing of Braidwood (2004-2020)

James Helsing

Age 16 of Braidwood, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, December 19, 2020.

Born June 29, 2004 in Joliet, Illinois, James Allen is a son of Jeremy Allen and Deborah Denene (Murphy) Helsing. He was a Junior at Reed Custer High School where he excelled in wrestling and was a true class act of a sportsman who remained dedicated to his team mates.

An ‘old soul’, James was a true friend to all who had the privilege to know him. Known for his big warm hugs, he never passed anyone whom he loved without an embrace. He was considerate to all, and always respective of his elders. James had a contagious smile and was always surrounded by countless friends.

From an early age, James always proved himself to be selfless. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. He was truly genuine in character and never wished to burden anyone. He wanted for nothing, but the simple things in life, and will be remembered for his constant khaki and hoody style.

In addition to being a true friend, James also had a fearless demeanor. He had a passion for the outdoors and truly enjoyed camping, fishing and rock climbing, as well as biking and running. A true survivalist, he cherished his time spent in Colorado, and though he could be labeled as a minimalist, James was one of the pickiest eaters who wouldn’t touch a condiment unless it was ranch, and passed on spaghetti.

James served as a life guard at the Braidwood Recreation Club, and also took a position with the kitchen staff at High Point Golf Club in Essex. During this past year, he also took up playing the piano, and his musical skills and abilities soared. James could recite every line from “The Office” and possessed every quality of a great friend; a caring heart, respectful attitude and a little bit of wit.

James left behind a lasting footprint every day in someone’s life. His hugs spoke volumes, and with his jovial personality and unending smiles, he brought great joy to those around him. James’ kindness and spirit of giving will forever be in the hearts of all those who knew him. May you be reminded of this genuine soul within playful monkey, a soaring eagle or a force of nature. Never forgotten, always remembered.

Survivors include his parents, Jeremy and Debbie Helsing of Braidwood; one brother, Justin Murphy of Coal City; one sister, Madison Helsing of Braidwood; his grandparents: Gary Helsing of Dwight, Kathleen Reynolds of Fairbury, Pamela Alioto of Arlington Heights and Mary Ann Oko of Braidwood; great grandmother, Rose Bonarigo of Michigan, and three uncles including Steve Murphy and Tony DePaulo who was like an uncle to James. Not to forget, James leaves behind the countless friends too many to mention, as well as the Wrestling Family at Reed Custer.

James was preceded in death by his papa and nana, Joseph and Wylo “Dee” Alioto and his uncle, Mike Murphy.

The family will begin to assemble Saturday morning December 26, 2020 at Reed Custer High School at 12:00 noon for a procession and escort which will depart at 12:45 p.m. to Ignite Christian Church, 1180 West First Street in Braidwood. There will then be a COVID observant visitation in the church from 1:00 p.m. until time of funeral service 5:00 p.m. Pastor Jeff Whittum will officiate and cremation rites will be accorded following the services.

Those wishing to participate in the services virtually, are welcome to join the live streamed services beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evening December 26, 2020. A link is available on this memorial page.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to support the services and memorialize James. Contributions may be made directly through the appeal link on this memorial page.

Family and friends are encouraged to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share James memorial page online through social media by logging onto: www.BaskervilleFuneral.com/obituary/James-Helsing

Funeral services and cremation arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington. (815-476-2181)