Helen Bonner Eshelman was born in High Point, North Carolina, in 1916. She attended High Point High School and She graduated from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) in 1937 with a degree in home economics. She worked as a dietitian for Burlington City Schools from 1937 to 1942.
Eshelman joined the army as a dietitian in November 1942 and was stationed at Camp Butner, North Carolina, as a civil servant. In March 1943 she was transferred to Brisbane, Australia, sailing on the USS President Grant. For two years she served at various field hospitals in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. She was discharged from the army in November of 1945.
Following her military service, Eshelman worked for a short time in at a Veterans Administration hospital in Florida; in the mail department at National Geographic; and briefly as a dietitian for United Fruit Company workers in Central America in 1950. She later administered the cafeteria in a Shell Oil Company refinery in Houston, Texas, in 1952 and then worked as the dietary supervisor for Rowan County Schools in North Carolina until retiring in 1967. Eshelman died on 11 May 2005.