Pike County Teacher Dies Of COVID. 59 K-12 Public School Employees Have Died In KY


A 58-year-old veteran of more than 20 years in the classroom died Sunday, December 26, 2021,  from COVID, according to Pike County school leaders.

Janet Leigh Helvey, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Johns Creek Elementary where she’d spent her entire 22-year career, was hospitalized for several days before her death, according to her obituary at Lucas & Son Funeral Home and Pike County Superintendent Reed Adkins.

According to the education group Kentucky 120 United, Helvey is the 59th public school employee in the state to die from the virus since March 2020.

Adkins told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Helvey appeared to have taken a turn for the better before getting sicker during the weekend. She died at Pikeville Medical Center, according to her obituary.

Janet Helvey is at least the 59th Kentucky K-12 public school employee who has died of the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to a list maintained by the educator’s group Kentucky 120 United

Her husband, Michael D. Helvey also is a school teacher in the Pike County district. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Travis Homer Helvey, a daughter, Courtnie Harlendra (John) Bentley, her best friend, Anntionette Crowell, one brother, Donnie Courtney, one sister, Donna Marie (David) Sutherland, six grandchildren, Kyra McCurry, Delanie Bentley, Gavin Bentley, Jordyn Helvey, Isaiah Helvey, and Emersyn Helvey, according to her obituary.

Visitation will be 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Lucas & Son Funeral Home. Church services will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. The funeral will be Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at noon at the Lucas & Son Funeral Home with Bill Staggs and Jody Thompson officiating. Burial will follow in the Davidson Memorial Garden at Ivel.