James B. Helme
James Buckelew Helme was born on April 27, 1924, in Port Chester, New York, to Mary DeHaven VanDeren, age 20, and James Buckelew Helme, age 24. He was the great-grandson of Washington Helme, who after serving as a major general in the Confederate army, settled in New Jersey and built a snuff mill, bearing his name, in the 1880s.
In 1888, James's ancestor led a secession from the neighboring community of East Brunswick and founded the square-mile borough of Helmetta. Dr. Helme was also a great-grandson of James Buckelew, an entrepreneur, founding father and namesake of the borough of Jamesburg.
In Rye his family lived at 21 Greenleaf St. James was an alumnus of the Choate School -Wallingford Conn. James entered Princeton in the summer of 1942. A premed student, he joined the Marines and became a member of the famous Cornell Princeton wartime contingent
He served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. James entered the Marine Corps (Muster Rolls) in 1942 and served with the rank of second lieutenant as an air combat intelligence officer. He later served as a first lieutenant in the reserves.
Taking an Engineering Course
James B. Helme, Jr. , U. S. M. C. son of Mrs. Van Deren Helme ot Mendota Avenue, is now at Cornell University taking a course in engineering.
THE RYE CHRONICLE Friday, July 16. 1943
Had a card from Pvt. James B. Helme, Jr. telling us hes at the recruit depot at Parris Island, S. C
THE RYE CHRONICLE Friday, November 17, 1944
After the war, James received his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University in 1946 where he belonged to the Colonial Club and varsity track team. He attended University of Washington Medical School and performed his residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore.
He married Josephine Coleman Douglas on May 22, 1953, in Nashville, Tennessee. They had four children during their marriage.
James established a pediatric practice in Nashville in 1956. In 1972, he left private practice to serve as the medical director of the Nashville Drug Treatment Center and in 1978 as the Director of the Tennessee State Prison Hospital.
He retired in 1982. James was also a prominent philatelist, being the world's leading specialist in the stamps and postal history of Panama and the Panama Canal Zone. He won numerous awards at international stamp exhibitions, including the U.S. Grand Award for Best in Show in 1988.
In 1989, he received the Gold Medal for lifelong research, an acknowledgment of his outstanding contributions in the field of philatelic research.
Dr. James Buckelew Helme died Friday June 7, 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He was 72.
At the time of his death, he was survived by a son, Franklin Helme of Nashville; three daughters, Cary Bruestle of Pennington, Susan of London and Martha Brewer of Nashville, and seven grandchildren.
Services were at Fernwood Cemetery, Jamesburg, TN.