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Henry George Helmstetter

Published On: Jan 09 2013 11:48:19 AM CST

Henry George Helmstetter, age 95, died on 12/24/2012 in Bend Oregon. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Esther Wittwer Helmstetter, his parents, Carl and Emma Helmstetter, his sister Emily H. Bollinger, and by his brother, Albert C. Helmstetter.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Riley Helmstetter, sons Richard C. Helmstetter of Carlsbad, CA, Bill Helmstetter of Piedmont SC, stepdaughter Eileen Riley of Bend, OR, stepsons Curt Conner of Atlanta, GA and Douglas Conner of San Diego, CA. He has six grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

He was born in Toledo Ohio and moved to Wisconsin at an early age. He graduated from Sharon, WI High School and from the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a BS degree in Agricultural Economics. He was a WW II veteran with 3 years' service in the Army Air Corps. Later while living in East Troy, WI, he wrote a weekly sports column under the name of "Gus Phan" covering high school sports. After the war he spent 30 years working for the U.S. Veterans Administration in Wisconsin, Washington, DC, Manila, Philippines, and Portland, Oregon before retiring in 1975. His early years with the USVA was in helping disabled veterans get started in farming; the later years were spent primarily in administration assisting all veterans. During his career Henry received several awards, the most prestigious being the one given him by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in April 1967 bestowing on him the honorary title of "Batong Buhay" (Eternal Rock) for coordinating the construction of the Corregidor Memorial. Other awards were the Key to the City of Dumaguete City, the Philippines, and the "Distinguished Career award from the Director of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D. C. But the one that probably pleased him the most was the simple Outstanding Soldier Award he received while at Truax Field, Wisconsin in 1943 for organizing his fellow soldiers help harvest field crops for local farmers. After retiring from the USVA, Henry and his wife settled in Oak Ridge, TN where they enjoyed golf, world travel and attending high school football games. After 27 years they relocated to Surprise, AZ. There will be a Christian service of commitment at the cemetery in Paoli, WI at the convenience of the family after which there will be a gathering of friends at the Zwingli United Church of Christ in Paoli.

The Becker-Beal Funeral Home of Belleville, WI is assisting the family with local arrangements.
An online memorial with guestbook is available at

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