Mary Zell Helton

Mary Zell “Red” Helton, 80, of Hayesville, passed away Sunday, May 7, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Turtletown, Tenn., after an extended illness.

She was a native of Cherokee County, and the daughter of the late Garland Grainger Haney Sr. and Carmen Freddie Cherry Haney.

She graduated high school in 1955. Mary Zell had been a secretary and tax assistant for more than 50 years in her husband James Helton’s accounting office.

She was a member of South End Baptist Church and Josephine Chapter Order of the Eastern Star.

Mary Zell had traveled all 50 states with her husband, James, and daughter, Michelle.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Garland Haney Jr; and sister, Claudena Byers Twiggs.

She is survived by her husband of almost 62 years, James C. Helton; daughter, Michelle Thomas and husband Kevin of Turtletown, Tenn.; many special nieces and nephews, and brothers- and sisters-in-law.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

You may send tributes to the Helton family at

Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

The Cherokee Scout

Mailing Address:
89 Sycamore St. 

Murphy, NC 28906
Phone: 828-837-5122
Fax: 828-837-5832