John Orms Heldenfels, was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1938 to Rae and F.W. Heldenfels, Jr. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Februray 6, 2021.
John and his brother, Fred, grew up on the 400 block of Del Mar in one of the three Heldenfels’ family homes next to his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Heldenfels, Sr. and his cousins, Alice and Tony. Side by side they experienced an idyllic childhood playing up and down the street and were the apple of their grandparents’ eyes.
John attended St. Stephens Episcopal High School in Austin. He was a scholar and superb athlete. He played football for the Spartans and was
the quarterback, defensive back and team captain. He led his team to the ATPS All Conference Championship in 1955 and was honored to be named to the All-State Association Preparatory School Team.
Upon graduating, he entered Texas A&M. John was a walk-on for the Aggie football team and played under Coach Bear Bryant. When John tackled Jack Pardee, he dislocated his shoulder and was no longer able to play football. He excelled in his studies and graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in civil engineering in 1960. He was a member of several engineering honor societies including Phi Eta Sigma, Chi Epsilon and Tau Beta Phi.
In 1961, John married his love, Marion Conn. They had a beautiful life together raising their two boys, Johnny and Steven. Their life was full of travels to various tournaments and athletic competitions supporting their sons’ endeavors. They also made time to travel and golf with friends around the US and Europe. Some of John’s favorite trips included road trips covering the east and west coasts as well as Colorado and Utah.
He and Marion remained faithful to John’s Aggie heritage and attended football games for 33 years. He was a member of the 12th Man Foundation, the Former Students’ Association, an a Eppright Distinguished Donor.
John was an accomplished marksman and was number one in the United States in 28 Gauge in 1981. That year out of 700 targets, John only missed 3. He earned a spot on the All-American team in 1983 as well as the First Team All-State American Skeet team for 1981, 1982 and 1983.
John worked for Heldenfels Brothers Inc. and served as Vice President/Treasurer. He was Chief Executive Officer of HCM and President and CEO of 521 McBride Corporation.
He was a lifetime member of the Church of the Good Shepherd and served on the vestry two terms. He served on the St. James Episcopal School board for 11 years, several of those years he served as president. He was a Director of the Rockport National Bank, Chairman of the Wills Foundation in Houston, a member of the Kings’ Men, board member of the CC Towne Homes Association and a member of the Corpus Christi Country Club.
His many hobbies included tennis, swimming, exercising and playing golf with his friends. John was considered by all to be a loving and wise man with a quiet sense of humor. His dedication to his wife, his two sons and friends was inspirational to those around him.
Surviving members of his family are his beloved wife, Marion of 59 years; his sons, John Heldenfels, Jr. and Steven Heldenfels (Tiffany); granddaughters, Catherine and Isabelle Heldenfels; his brother, Fred Heldenfels, III. (Edna); nephews, Fred Heldenfels, IV. (Liz), Ken Heldenfels, Gil Heldenfels (Leane); cousins, Alice Heldenfels Sallee, Allison Sallee (Kieran), Ashlee Sallee Kinsel (Karl), Anne Locke, Tiffany Wagstaff and Marnie Mueller.
Due to inclement weather, the services for John O. Heldenfels have been postponed until further notice.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to The Church of the Good Shepherd or St. James Episcopal School at 700 South Broadway St., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 or The John O Heldenfels Scholarship Fund at TAMU, CC, 6300 Ocean Dr., Unit 5741, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412.
For those unable to attend, link to the church website at //http://cotgs.org/ scroll down the home page to “the Latest” and click on Live Stream for service.
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