Age 89, of Owosso, passed away Monday, July 29, 2019, at We Care Assisted Living.

A funeral service will take place 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at Owosso First Church of the Nazarene with the Rev. Jerry Waldon officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Nelson-House Funeral Home, Owosso Chapel.

Mary was the daughter of Preston F. and Ada H. (Mills) McKinney born in Monticello, Indiana, April 20, 1930.

She graduated from Durand High School in 1948 and obtained her licensed practical nurse license from Detroit Mercy. She later attended Lansing Community College and received her registered nursing degree in 1979.

Mary married Edward C. Helmer in Fort Knox, Kentucky; he predeceased her Feb. 28, 1989.

She was a member of the Owosso First Church of the Nazarene. She was very active at church and always folded the church bulletins Friday. She was a member of Joy and was a Cub Scout and Caravan leader. She was a volunteer for Targeted Achievement Program at Emerson Elementary School and was a lifelong member of the Owosso American Legion Auxiliary and Corunna VFW Auxiliary.

Mary retired from Memorial Healthcare after a long career as a nurse.

Mary is survived by her daughter Wanda (Ken) Peterson; son Joel (Patricia) Helmer; brother Preston (Anne) McKinney Jr.; grandchildren Wesley (Kelly) Wildrick, Tracy (Tracy) Holst, Jennifer (Travis) Carr, Jonathon (Nichole) Peterson, Sondra Helmer, Tony (Lora) Rutkiewicz, Michael Helmer, Elena (Rob) Vitu and David Helmer; several great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; and many other loving family and friends..

She was predeceased by her husband Edward; daughter Joyce Mathis and Mary Lou Helmer; son Robert Helmer; parents Preston F. and Ada H. McKinney Sr.; brother Frank McKinney; and sister Helen Hansen.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Owosso First Church of the Nazaene. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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