Jacob Scott Wallace Helt

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Jacob Scott Wallace Helt

September 05, 1964 - November 12, 2018

Jacob Scott Wallace Helt Jay Scott Wallace was born to Manferd Jerome Wallace and Rae Gene (Carr) Wallace on September 5, 1964 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During his early years, he and his brother and sister often visited his grandparents house on Keystone Lake. There his grandfather taught him skills in carpentry which Jay generously shared throughout his life. In 1975 the family moved to Little Rock, AR. He graduated from high school there and was a National Merit Scholar. He attained a Bachelors Degree in Finance and a minor in Theatre at the University of Arkansas. He joined the Marine Corps but an injury ended his active duty with an Honorable Discharge. He then moved to Boston to work in a bank for a year.
A good friend from undergraduate days encouraged him to move to Virginia and he turned to another interest and majored in history at James Madison University. He was master carpenter for the theater department during the summer seasons and met Sheri Helt who was working as a carpenter and scene painter. After they both received their Master Degrees, on June 14, 1990, they chose to have their marriage ceremony in Florence, Italy. At this time he added the name Helt.
Before their marriage, Sheri was employed as a flight attendant for American Airlines. This allowed them to overcome geography and keep in touch with friends and family, as well as, spending a fair amount of time traveling.
Education was still in his future when he graduated with a PHD in European History from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He was awarded a few teaching awards and had success publishing in several academic journals, over his teaching years. He taught at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia; Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York; University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida; and University of Michigan Flint before Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. While in Macon, his interest in fitness led him to teach spin classes at Golds Gym where he developed an interest in Pilates and completed courses at the Pilates Institute in London, England. He taught pilates at Golds gym, Macon Wellness Center and Mercer University.
Jay realized that his interest in health and helping others was becoming more satisfying to him than teaching history. This prompted him to move to Stillwater, Oklahoma and enroll in Health and Human Performance program at OSU. He earned both a Masters Degree from OSU and a certification in Massage Therapy at Meridian Technology Center, at the same time. When he was not studying, his carpentry skills were used again to remodel the house where he and Sheri lived and to complete major structural repair on a family owned house. His Renaissance Renovations business supported them through the OSU years.
He found satisfaction by working with the heart doctors at Stillwater Medical Center and his real fulfillment came by visiting with patients and answering their questions. In his quest to learn more, he graduated with a Physicians Associate degree, with honors, from Oklahoma University Medical Center. In April of 2018, Jay and Sheri divorced. They remained in contact everyday and he continued to help around the house and with the animals. Until his death, he was employed by Baptist Integris Hospital and taught classes for the Physicians Assistant program at Oklahoma University.
J loved to learn. If he did not know how to do something he would find a book on the subject, research it online and seek advice. Then he would dive in and just do it. He designed and made a paper pulper, rebuilt a Willys Jeepster and created countless carpentry marvels. During his History years, he wrote and published on Renaissance and Reformation social and religious topics, especially the beliefs about death and dying. He also loved biking, climbing, dancing and working out at the gym. His travels included hiking, museums, theatre and fine dining. All on or near a beach, if at all possible. Jazz was usually playing at home and he liked to take time to watch sunsets over the water each evening.
He is survived by his mother Rae Gene Reed of Little Rock, Arkansas; sister Wynne Dee Throop of New Smyrna Beach, Florida; brother Cameron Wallace, wife Leah and daughter Aisla of San Fransisco, California; nephew Jason Throop and family of Fayetteville, Arkansas; and former wife Sheri Helt of Oklahoma City.
The family will have a private graveside service in Rose Hill Cemetery in Tulsa, OK. Jacob helped Habitat for Humanity with planning and building. A contribution in Jacobs memory is welcome.
Published on November 21, 2018
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