Richard D. Helmers, 75, of Le Mars, died Wednesday, March 31, 2004, at Plymouth Manor Care Center in Le Mars following a courageous battle with cancer.
Richard Dean Helmers was born Sept. 26, 1928, at home in Cloverdale, Iowa, the son of Herman George and Lillie Fay (Spiegel) Helmers. He graduated from Sibley High School in 1946.
On July 20, 1946, Rich enlisted in the United States Army. He served with the intelligence branch in the Panama Canal Zone prior to his honorable discharge on June 1, 1949. Rich enlisted in the United States Air Force on July 14, 1950. He served overseas in England and later was transferred to Colorado Springs, Colo. He was honorably discharged on Sept. 3, 1953. Rich moved to Spencer where he met Marilyn Miller. They were united in marriage on Feb. 12, 1954 in Spencer. Rich worked for Morony Clothing in Spencer.
He studied at Camp Dodge Police Academy in Des Moines, and joined the Iowa State Patrol on Oct. 1, 1959. The family moved to Le Mars in 1959. Rich retired from the patrol on June 2, 1985. It was then that he became a Plymouth County magistrate and later was operations supervisor of the Plymouth County Communications Center for 15 years.
Rich was a member of First United Methodist Church in Le Mars. He was also a member of Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion in Le Mars and the Iowa State Policeman's Association.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Marilyn, of Le Mars; a son, Don and his wife, Dusty, of Norman, Okla.; a daughter, Jeanne Graves and her husband, Dennis, of Rapid City, S.D.; five grandchildren, Gregory Helmers and his wife, Jennifer, of Galveston, Texas, Kristen Helmers of Ames, Heidi Helmers of Chickase, Okla., Evan Graves of Anchorage, Alaska and Leah Graves of Greeley, Colo.; a great-grandson, Kaiden Matthew Helmers of Galveston, Texas; a sister, Marge Lorenzen and her husband, Burdette, of Spencer; two nieces and one nephew.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two infant sisters and a brother, Donald.
Funeral services be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Calvary United Methodist Church in Le Mars. Pastor Jason Larson and Father Jim Tigges will officiate. Burial will be in Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D. Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion will provide local military honors. Visitation will be after 2 p.m. today (Friday) at the Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home of Le Mars. The family will be present beginning at 5 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral.
Pallbearers will be Paul Betsworth, Lynn Steckelberg, Craig Bartolozzi, Jack Treloar, Stuart Dekkenga, and Robert Bendlin.
Honorary pallbearers will be William Sturges, Ronald Smith, Harold Barnable, Howard Swieter, Gerald Traufler, Virgil Brockel, Jerry Kelly, Greg Smidt and Ed Dickinson.