UPDATED NEWSLETTER ON OUR FAMILY TREE OF SIX PLUS
Chuck 1932 and Jackie 1934
Bill/1953 - Les/1957 -
Ron/1958 - Paul/1959
YOUR SOUND TO ENJOY THE NUTCRACKER MUSIC
comes to an end, just click "refresh" to enjoy it again.
The 2013 Newsletter did not get finished with all we had
going on, so I
am making an attempt to bring 2013 to
2017 up to date on the highlights
of all of our
I know that this is a book,
so if you want to read one year's worth each day,
about ten to fifteen minutes, you can finish it in 4-5
days. I hope you
find some of it of some interest.
Just FYI, this will probably be my last Newsletter,
for many, many reasons.
A lot of time, thought, energy and love went into all
of them, but everything has an ending.
Each year goes
from beginning to end.
1. Chuck & Jackie
2. Bill & Yumi - Amy
3. Les &
Rebeka & Kevin - Thaddius - Hadrian
Heather & Jesse
4. Ron & Elise
Lauren & Mina
Michael & Maria
5. Paul & Ellen1
Daniel & Ellen3
6. David - Chuck's
nephew, first cousin to Bill, Les, Ron, & Paul.
just relocated from Washington, DC to Tampa and is
the school Daniel and Julia attended.
Ellen1's sister has a daughter, Ellen2, Daniel's
girl friend is Ellen3, thus the # 's
February 25, 2017
This should go further down to
be in sequence, but it deserves the
Since Les will be 60 years old in July, he
is passing his crown down to another generation.
was the champion fund raiser all of the years he
Les and his court of exchange
(one from South Africa, one from Austria,
& two from Brazil)
are ready to jump into 32 degree
water in AK for
LES'S LAST POLAR PLUNGE
Facebook Members - About a 20 second video
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE DIVE
had to post it again
1960 - L-R - Bill-Les-Paul-Ron
The little darling
with the ball is
my sister's son, Michael
1962 - Paul's 3rd
Ron is helping with blowing
Headed to the Gasparilla Parade &
none too happy about it!
Ron - Bill - Les - Paul
2011 - Also, I found this one -
Cracker Barrel -- Tampa
Paul - Chuck - Ron - Michael - Daniel
Showing off that pretty red velvet
cake from every
Nice birthday - thanks everyone
Lauren & Mina put this "Grammy Cake" on Facebook.
loved both cakes.
Lauren recently left her 6 year career with DriveTime
Car Sales for a better opportunity with
Technologies. She runs the office in the Tampa clinic,
and is also being trained as the
for the location. The company's only specialty is
treating babies who have
plagiocephaly (flat head
syndrome), and treatment is with a custom made DOC band.
Lauren is loving working with babies and being able
to spend more time at home with
Mina and their dogs
(Morgan and Savannah).
Mina has been working as an
aircraft engineer at Aerosonic for the past year.
He faces new challenges every day designing parts
and leads a team of mechanical engineers to produce
a completed product.
He loves his job and
definitely takes pride in his work.
January - 2017
Amy (center) did her first modeling ad/commercial
Working at two jobs, this and ballet
Lorac Cosmetics California
BULLETIN - 02-03-2017
Ellen3 called today. Daniel proposed to Ellen.
Gave her an engagement ring - from Tiffany's, yet.
Ellen posted on Facebook, after they had told all of
the families about it.
Engaged to Daniel Helfrich
I think we make
a pretty great team. Watch out world"
will be after Ellen gets her Physician's Assistant
Degree in 2019.
Michael just posted on Facebook:
"It's official! I'm going to start
my first flight class for
my pilot's license on
February 4, while I'm in Mountain View/San Francisco.
Michael: Your word is as good as GOLD
What a weekend... Saturday, I completed my first flight
I have to say it was incredible!
I'll be continuing/completing my journey towards getting
a pilot's license.
To finish off the weekend, we made
the trek out to Yosemite National Park (below right)
experienced what I'd consider the
most beautiful mountain range in the US
Half Dome and El Capitan were
breathtaking and completely visible from the roads
Click link below to see more from
Yosemite National Park
Click on the YouTube link below to
behind the STEERING WHEEL until
seconds before takeoff.
Then, he flew for the next
almost hour and brought it in for
a landing until
they were almost on the runway. Michael is in the
right hand seat in this video, and
you can see he is steering
My first flight - YouTube
Les - Jan - Heather - Fairbanks, AK Ice Sculpture Show
April 13, 2017
Amy was advanced from Apprentice
April 16, 2017
Lauren's 30th Birthday
April 26, 2017
Yep, another magpie convention
just never seem to run out of things to talk about
Been a long time, so lots to catch up on
May - 2017
Michael and Maria (M&M) rescued this
"Jack The Beagle"
from the rescue center
Family and friends having dinner in memory of
We just do not know how we have made it
through the past three years without Ron with us.
There is such a huge void in all of our lives.
Steve, Jim, David, Elise, Paul, Ellen, Jackie, Julia,
Lauren and Mina
I gave them these shirts, so hoping they would fit.
Just noticed this one of David & Elise below. Had
to add it, in addition to the one above on the right.
Do these two look as if they just did some
and they, and only they, know about it?
Gotta luv it. Super
duper picture. Hope someone can get them to tell
us what caused their electric smiles.
These two were taken from a distance, so I am enlarging
them - not playing favorites, honest injun!
Last - but not least - L-R
Elise (Mother) and Lauren
(Daughter) - Julia (Daughter) and Ellen1 (Mother)
June 2, 2017
Bill, Yumi and Amy lost their beloved Lilly - who went
to join Angel.
We all know they are all at the
Rainbow Bridge, waiting for us.
Such a sweet doggie!
I have an
early start on 2017
From one extreme to
These three strings of Christmas trees separate each year
January 10, 2016 - 82nd Birthday
The center picture - I am
holding the orchid Bill & Yumi sent me.
The book I am holding is from
Les & Jan to Chuck for his birthday the month before
we lost Chuck.
It was Chuck's life story in
pictures. The front cover is of the six of us.
Chuck did not put that book
down. He went through it over and over.
I keep it beside me on the
sofa and now I go through it over and over.
What a jewel of a gift that
was to Chuck.
Paul, Ellen, Elise, Lauren
and several others took me out to dinner.
Very nice birthday.
- Les on the right - Polar Plunge
Per Les, "It's always 32° -
any colder and it freezes"
Blunt Vanderweerd/Seattle, WA
are my cousins on my Granny
Blunt's side - my Dad's Mother.
had our DNA done.
Ancestor & history books
state we had Indian blood.
DNA tests denied that.
Donna, for many years, has been a flight attendant
with Alaska Airlines
Donna & Jack lost their son
about two months after we lost Ron.
has a son who has been battling Lou Gehrig's Disease
So, we three Blunt Musketeer Cousins
have much in common, just no Indian blood.
BELOW: - This is my Granny - my dad's mother and my
I see & remember
those high cheek bones & dark brown skin, &
everyone in the town of
Vivian, LA said if the
doc can't cure you - go see Granny because she
had Indian magical powers and she healed them,
I interviewed too many of those
folks, including my aunt who grew up in the town
This picture of Granny was taken
in 1948, six months before she died.
She was born in 1881, and survived rearing four sons
all by herself.
This is my dad, Roy Josey.
He was Granny's fourth
Same black hair, black eyes
and dark skin
Donna got a non-stop flight to Tampa,
stayed overnight with the
crew at their hotel about five miles from me,
her up, we had a three hour lunch, exchanged newly
found genealogy, photos, etc,
up with each other, & she flew back to Seattle after
has been back two other times
Since we are so into
genealogy and we are related,
like a couple of magpies.
Luv every minute of it
Daniel, Julia, Ellen, Paul
2016 - Lauren's 29th Birthday
Yumi - Amy - Bill - Jackie
The theater where
performances & graduation were held
Stage full of graduating aspiring dancers, actors,
directors, producers, screenwriters, etc.
Date on my camera was messed up. Again, I missed having Chuck
February - 2017
Jim, thank you so much for framing this so
Update - April 13, 2017
Amy advanced from
Apprentice Dancer to
May - 2016
Amy accepted a position with
American Contemporary Ballet in
Los Angeles, CA.
AMY HELFRICH, Apprentice Dancer
From Bealeton, VA;
Manassas Ballet Academy
and holds a B.F.A. in Dance from
University of North Carolina
School of The Arts
18 years of hard work & dedication by Amy, Bill and Yumi
to achieve a dream of a lifetime for all three.
Update - April 13, 2017
Now, we have to see
when we can travel
to California to catch
of her performances
May 7, 2017
Daniel started working
for this company while he was still at UF.
He is Vice President of Sales at Cordaroy's
Beanbags. He oversees retail and wholesale
strategies and operations. This includes going
to furniture markets in Las Vegas and visiting
their retail stores throughout the country
Daniel: I will never forget when I
rang your door bell, you
Ellen3 came to the door and
screamed "Grammyjaws, you
now, my graduation party is perfect!"
addition, you said that many were
taking bets that I would be
pull off such a feat as described below.
fact, I was still full of enough steam to take
you on with a
bit of arm wrestling.
Paul and Jackie
Once again, I gave Jim my
(what I wanted to say about the two graduations on the same
He summed it up thusly. Jim really missed his
As I told him over and over, "you DO GOT a way
with words, Jim".
I forgot to add:
I had to go through the infamous
Atlanta Airport going and coming.
with high school
and college = 14 graduations. All
attended so far. Number 14 and
last one will be
Julia in May
Look at all of the honor cords
Home of the Gators
Ms. Daisy also attended the graduation party.
Still connected with UF was
Daniel & Ellen3's story
made headlines on the UF campus
See caption under this
Click on the picture for the story.
Manhunt for "Mr. Chili Pepper"
is successful. The bandits
and Mr. Chili went back to his lawful owners,
Daniel and Ellen. Final reward, Mr. Chili
stood out on the 62nd floor balcony during the holidays
decked out with enough lights that no one could miss it.
Message: Don't mess with anyone named Helfrich or Toneff.
Click on Daniel's picture below
to see the newspaper
Look out, Tampa, we heard
the Blunt Magpies are back
June 2016 - Les and Jan on left.
was President of the Palmer Rotary Club.
They had the
opportunity, along with this
other couple, to make a
trip of a lifetime
to South Africa, so they jumped at
We could feel the electrical vibes as they
the Gulf of Mexico close to Florida.
Les and Jan's Mission
To Help Build a Home For a
Family in South Africa
is the cover of the beautiful hard bound book Les & Jan
gave me of all of those photos!!
Home for a spell in South Africa.
granddaughter & grandchild
is all grown up at 20.
She will graduate from USF in 2018.
New teacher on
Here is proof that Julia will
be a great teacher!
Can you believe it?
Three times in one year.
We heard they are conspiring
on how to get DeAlva from
TX down to Tampa for a
THREE MAGPIE CONVENTION
Since we have a picture of DeAlva,
might we consider
putting out a
WANTED POSTER on her?
Picture it: a posse bringing DeAlva on
from TX to FL at the age of almost 88.
August 26, 2016
Look at that red hair, would you.
Six generations of red hair
Came from their
great great grandmother, Cleo
great great great grandmother, Zula or
Sulie Baker Sims.
No pictures/records before their
ggg-grandmother on hair color.
Just picked out a few of Rebeka
darlings in 2016
Left - Hadrian and Right - Thaddius
I think that is Hadrian ON the steering wheel
think that is Thaddius on the dashboard
Now, they are
"We kept Mom smiling all day
cleaned up the playground
We ran the roads
picked & shucked corn
Let's go pick up our pay
Hut 2-3-4 - we're keeping in step- yepper."
October 16, 2016
Jan's dad, Bill, and Ellen1's
dad, Frank, were
two of a kind, just really special men.
both fun-loving, quick witted, charming and,
general, just so nice to have in the room.
They brought a special aura to any gathering.
and Madeline were the greatest of hosts
each time we
went to Alaska.
Our hearts go out to Madeline, Jan
and the entire family
on such a great loss.
Both men left such a huge void in so many lives.
October 19, 2016
Too cloudy here in Tampa.
But, Les & Jan saw it in AK.
They bought a new super duper
their 2016 trip to Africa & here
is a perfect
example of what a great camera it is.
SUPERMOON- a term used to describe a full moon at its
point to earth during the lunar orbit will be the
brightest Supermoon to rise in almost 69 years
last time was 1948).
In fact, the full moon won't come
this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034
EXCELLENT SHOT, LES!!!
Even better than NASA's shots in 2006
Daniel and Ellen3
Introduction of Ellen3
& Daniel met while attending UF together.
graduation from UF, Ellen applied at four
She was offered the first two,
but she really
wanted her Alma Mater that she had just graduated from -
University of Florida.
She got an offer from UF just
before Christmas -
beginning in the 2017 summer
Meanwhile, she has been working
for a doctor and shadowing a few surgeons
Ellen and Daniel both graduated
Lauren and Mina
At Kristina & Adam's Wedding
Mina and Lauren's babies
Rescue Babies - The Best
Big Sister/Morgan - Little
12 - 17-2016 - One of the many times we have visited Chuck's
As we were walking away, I turned to blow a kiss to Chuck.
New headstones had been put up in front of his row.
headstones were in front of Chuck!!!!!!
Ron (left and Paul
next to Ron) and Chuck one row back to the right - with the
I wanted to share this angle with you all. It is
such a serene location.
The one above was taken on December 17. So many of us had
cameras, we had dozens of angles.
Jim took the one below and
did his usual wizardry showing it much more clearly.
Extraordinary artwork by Jim Rabun
The Editor-In-Chief for
Click on the picture below
for Chuck's life story.
I ordered two wreaths the first of
(one for Chuck & one for another veteran)
We went to the cemetery the week before Christmas - took
pictures of the wreath.
Then, yesterday (January 1,
2017) I received this e-mail above and the two pictures below.
I simply could not stop crying. it touched me so deeply.
How apropos with Chuck having served as a
Cubmaster and Scoutmaster for so many years,
and all of our four sons being in cub
and boy scouts, it was so poignant.
I thought regular
volunteers and military did this, but the scouts did this one.
I hope some of you might check out the site where you can order
A wreath on every veteran's grave - what a great picture that
So few people know about this special
pay for two wreaths ($15.00 each) you get a third one free.
Thank you, James, (below) the young scout who placed the
wreath on the headstone from us to
Retired US Air Force M/Sgt. Charles E.
2016 - Les and Jan -
company's Christmas Party
2016 CHRISTMAS 2016
David and Jackie
Lauren - Mina - Morgan - Savannah
Elise - Michael - Lauren - Boomer - Bella
Mina, Lauren, Elise & Michael
2016 - Christmas Day
The Helfrich Family is growing
Well, each Christmas we have Grammy Games.
This year, it was
a snowman and snowballs to throw into his hat - Reward: $1 per
The second game was tossing inflated rings onto the deer
antler horns that David is wearing.
Ellen#3 won the most
money, but it was quickly determined that we have
no/nada/zero = absolutely NO basketball players in this motley
So, next Christmas the price MAY be significantly
increased for each successful throw
$5.00 or $10.00 each? Or do you all want to go back to the
cash counting banks?
Here's General Grammyjaws telling
them that ladies WILL go first.
As always, there is at least
one renegade in the bunch.
Daniel is hiding out with the
ladies, as he is the eternal eager beaver, especially with money
He got back with the guys before the game. You can
see he did his tosses after Ellen3 won.
Daniel is in the green shirt and Ellen3 is in the black & white
striped top, so watch.
Ellen3 sitting on the right saying to Daniel:
"No way are you
going to beat me, Bucko. I'm so far ahead - you can't even see
Yep, she beat the whole cotton pickin bunch
picked out a winner in Ellen3.
Daniel - Ellen - All
We always put the kids in the hallway.
Tried the closet, not large enough.
We grownups are to the right
in the dining room. It was a
Ellen1's sister, Cathy & Paul Harris/Jackie, Paul, Maria &
Michael - Maria & Michael - At Elise's home
It's always good to have Bill, Yumi and Amy
Christmas. We just miss
Les, Jan, the girls and guys
Happy 57th birthday, Paul
Paul and Ellen's
25th Wedding Anniversary
Poor Les & Jan -
After the Africa
trip, they had no
vacation time to come to FL.
Instead, they spent all of
Christmas Eve & most of
Christmas day in the ER in the Tundras of Alaska.
Les had to have gall bladder surgery.
Here in Tampa, we had just finished
Paul & Ellen put on quite a feast, as they always do - for
about 25 people.
Bill was being a gracious guest & helping
with the dishes;
tried to get his ham hock of a hand down into a wine goblet,
and the bleeding would not stop between his two
He & Yumi had to spend the rest of Christmas
night in the ER also.
Five stitches, and they had to drive
back to VA the next day.
The picture below pretty much
says it all for
Bill and Les for
how the holidays
ended for them.
January 10, 2015 - Jackie's 81st Birthday
02-15 Les's Annual Polar Plunge
What a beautiful wedding!!!!
Such a great time had by all!!!!
Jesse and Heather's Wedding
in Las Vegas
Rebeka and Heather
Kelly Family - Four Generations
Rebeka - Jan - Bill -
Madeline -Thaddius - Hadrian
Helfrich Family - Four Generations
Les - Chuck - Rebeka -
Jackie - Thaddius - Hadrian
Jesse was added into the Helfrich Family Group
left on back row)
Are his lips asking "am I in trouble?"
On Chuck's birthday, June 25, 2015,
Ellen's mother, Anne, passed away suddenly.
After losing Ron in 2014, 2015 came
out punching us hard too.
Anne was born in
Ireland and settled in
New York, where she met and married
She was a telephone operator in New York when I was a
telephone operator in Louisiana in the 50's.
I thought she
had such an elegant presence about herself. Anne was in a
special class by herself.
There are many adjectives I
could use to describe Anne,
but simply put, she was the
epitome of elegance and grace.
The "Grace Kelly" of our
extended family if you will,
Anne truly was an Uptown New York
Lady, in every sense of the word.
Jim helped me with this
too. I definitely wanted her to be epitomized as an Uptown
July 13, 2015, just before I went to see Chuck, I had the Bichon
Frise Rescue send
a courier to pick up Jazzy, as I was gone
so much to the hospital and then hospice. She was
pining away for her daddy. Crying, I
told her that I hoped I did not lose her daddy on the same day.
I cried the entire 20 miles to hospice,
only to lose Chuck six hours after losing Jazzy.
Thank you, Marilyn, for taking such good
she passed away six months later in February 2016.
After losing Anne in
June and Chuck in July, on August 31, we lost Frank, Ellen1's
Anne and Frank were almost like a brother
and sister to me. I liked them so much.
Frank was the life of any party or
gathering. He was a retired New York fireman.
I loved to get him to tell the story
about the fire where he saved his brother's life (Tommy)
who was also a firefighter. I thought
it was so special.
And, you could not find a better story
teller than Frank with his expressions, animations, hand
I could listen to that particular story
over and over.
We were put through the wringer for a
time there, losing Anne, Chuck, Frank & Jazzy all in three
all on the heels of losing Ron just a
Here are a few pictures of Jazzy, Anne &
Frank. Chuck's pictures are below.
Frank & Anne King
(Ellen1's parents - Abt. 2013)
I have always loved this picture
King & Frank King with their four grandchildren
Chris & Ellen2
(Paul & Cathy Harris' children)
Julia & Daniel (Paul & Ellen King
June 28, 2015
Introducing Maria Dahlstrom
Michael & Maria at a family
member's wedding in Tampa, FL
Michael & Maria both
graduated from FSU.
They both live & work in New York.
June 2015- Jan - Rebeka - Les
Hadrian - Thaddius
Anchorage, Alaska airport
coming to Tampa, FL
so special for them to bring the boys
all that way from
Alaska and Oregon
to see their Great-Grand Papa Chuck,
before we lost him the next month.
06-23-2015 - Great-Grand Papa Chuck
Mom/Rebeka with Thaddius
Two pictures below:
Right is Thaddius
Have a satchel full of smiles to pass out - will travel
Again, how special was that for all of them to fly from
Alaska and Oregon,
just so the babies could see their
Great-Grand Papa Chuck and vice versa.
I am sure these
pictures will mean a lot to them when they are older.
Thank you, Les, Jan & Rebeka, Hadrian & Thaddius
knew you all came to put a smile on Papa Chuck's face.
You ALL did just that!
This shows what a
daddy's girl Jazzy was
June 25, 2015 - Chuck's 83rd birthday
We lost him on July
The top middle picture is Jazzy on the day we brought
her home in 2013.
She is doing her infamous Bichon wave, standing on her hind
feet and waving-begging for a snack.
She had been a breeding dog, apparently, and when she had
served her purpose, she must have been put out on
the streets. In addition to being homeless, Jazzy was
blind and had been for years.
She was pitiful. They called the Bichon Rescue here in
Florida and three women drove to
Carolina to get her. Brought her home, called us (since
we had lost our Wobbles who had come
from them ten years
before). They had fund raising campaigns and we
Jazzy got her eye surgery and could see the
world again. We wee told to come take her home with us.
We cried when we went to get her - sight unseen.
the joy of our lives for almost three years until her daddy
got so sick.
She was strictly a daddy's girl.
She was so precious.
How I miss her.
July 13, 2015 - My Special Tribute to
Schatzie/Chuck/Honey/Dad/Papa Chuck/Great-Grand Papa Chuck
Chuck's mother always called him
Schatzie. Don't think many of you knew about that.
It means "sweetheart" in German. And,
they had a German Shepherd Dog when
they were stationed in Germany
immediately after WWII, that they named Schatzie.
Chuck was a military man inside and out.
Here is a link to one of his favorite periods in the Air Force.
He was NCOIC of the
Drill Precision Team.
Performing all across Germany when we
were stationed there in the 50's.
Click on picture below to see six other
photos of the
Precision Drill Performance.
Chuck loved his
work for 20 years in the Air Force
as an Air Policeman, both out in the
field and on up into administration.
He moved up through
the ranks quickly.
He truly loved his job in the Philippines
being in charge of the Town Patrol, equivalent to a Chief of
I can honestly say that everyone had the
utmost respect for him.
He reached the pinnacle of his military
when his former boss in the Philippines
(Colonel Shannon) called him and said
"Helfrich, pack up
your family - I have the orders cut for you.
I need a good Statistical Analyst here
at Hickam Air Force Base Headquarters PACAF in Honolulu,
(I think that stood for Pacific Air
Chuck worked in the Headquarters building
that you have seen in many WWIl movies and
the bullets are still all over the walls
dug in so prominently where the
planes shot at the building on Pearl Harbor Day. This is the
way I remember it.
We were fortunate to have lived the lives
we led, traveled as much as we did, to have
four sons and ensuing families, live
into our eighties, attend each and every grandchild's birth,
both of their graduations, weddings,
etc., and we were married for two months short of 63 years.
Chuck's life story is on the
helfrichjosey.com web site, as well as listed above, so I will
leave that tid bit with you.
I just wanted to put a few pictures here
for everyone to see. He was so loved and is so missed by so
Chuck had a full military honors service.
The link to it is below - just click on
of Chuck in his uniform.
The first several minutes are the
Singing A. F. Sergeants (Prelude)
Feel free ro fast forward if you prefer.
The full military honors ceremony is
at the end at Bushnell National Cemeery.
Chuck's obituary is at this link, just
L - R - Bill, Michael, Paul, Les, David
This is REALLY one
of my favorites
Now 21 years old
August 2015 - Thaddius-Les-Hadrian
I can finally tell them apart
10-20-2015 - Hadrian
11-2015 - Jackie & Paul - Bushnell
January 10, 2014 - Jackie's 80th Birthday
May 6, 2014 was the saddest day
in all of our lives. We lost Ron.
He fought so many battles with so
many issues, kidney, cancer, heart,
Paul gave us
ten years to be graced with Ron,
donating a second kidney to Ron.
As Drew Silverman
Pharmacist & also a two time kidney transplant patient)
said at the Celebration of Ron's
Life, the irony
of it is that
Ron put his heart and soul
into everything he ever did. He
heart to everyone and his heart is
finally gave out. The chapel was
had to open up two more rooms
and there was still only standing
I am repeating what the doctors
"I have never seen anyone go
all that you have been through and
have such a miraculous recovery
each and every time, and still keep
the outstanding attitude that you
He truly took a big chunk of all of
hearts when his heart stopped
and he left us.
Click on Ron's
his Celebration of Life Service
All of our families can never thank
Paul and his family enough for the
extra two months short of ten years
of life that they gave Ron and his family
with Paul donating a kidney to
We celebrated that
treasured gift each year.
Ron in ICU & Paul
This was the first day after
surgery & their first visit
August 4, 2004
We had a cake each
year to celebrate for nine years and 10 months.
With a candle on the cake to designate the year
Ron's first pair of shoes
Ron's Memorial Bench Picture below.
I always felt Jim looked at Ron as
a brother -
words prove I was right.
below will forever be indelibly emblazoned in our
1993 - Michael ad Ron
1993 - Lauren driving Michael to Tiger Direct
is already determined to make his
Dad's dream an
actual reality about him going to Google.
1990 - Lauren and Ron
1990 - Lauren and Ron
May 31, 2014
2014 - June
and July -
David and I had booked this train trip a
year earlier and it was non-refundable.
So, even though I did not feel like
going so soon after losing Ron, we went.
David flew from Washington DC and
I from Tampa, FL and we met in AZ.
Took a train from there to
the west coast and all the way north from there.
Some varmints on horseback chased
down our train.
They boarded and pulled off a
David had no money, so I gave him
a dollar so they would not shoot him.
Poor choice on my part.
David, you still owe me that dollar.
The sheriff told David he was
lucky they were going to let him live,
because they had
already heard about him.
Probably from a "wanted dead or
After they made their getaway, some sweet
Native Americans came through the train
cars serenading us.
They were so talented. I
told them they should go try out in Hollywood.
David, FYI, this deputy below is the one who said
already heard about you. He was one
hombre. Think I would be
looking over my shoulder, if
I were you.
Then, to the Grand Canyon
Then, up the entire west coast (just beautiful) and visited with
Rebeka and Kevin in Oregon - Rebeka was four months pregnant
with the twins..
They took us to their beautiful rose gardens
- really enjoyed walking
around and seeing so many different
varieties of flowers.
Later that day, we met up with Kevin's
parents, Tom and Carol for dinner.
Then, stopped in Seattle, WA to do some gawking, enjoyed
music and entertainment on the sidewalks and the Seattle Space
Then, flew to Anchorage to visit with Les and Jan.
Oh, in Alaska, Les put us up in a B&B,
an old converted
hangar, with one half of it occupied with a plane that the
pilot was building from scratch. The B&B was right on the edge
of the runway.
Here's the plane
with the pilot who was building it from scratch.
could step out of the living room right into the work area.
Don't forget, the B&B was beside the runway for the area.
Planes are like cars in Alaska, almost everybody has one.
Les and Jan met us at the airport - Hatcher's Pass
Overlooking seven glaciers - took the ski lift
to the top.
Breathtaking does not even begin to describe it.
It allows one to see seven glaciers.
Here is one of the seven below - Turnagain Arm.
Wild Sea Life and Glacier cruise
Did the plane trip up to and around Mt.
McKinley/Mt. Denali and landed on the Ruth Glacier.
Pilot said it was the
day he had ever seen up there. I was in the co-pilot seat
David if he could hand me his good camera, and I
took these next three pictures
in sequence as it looked as
though we were going straight into Mt. McKinley, before he
to take us down to land on Ruth Glacier, 7,000 above
sea level, I think he said. You can see by
and three, I took the pictures right through the propellers.
took our breath away.
Took another train, the Alaskan RR, up to Fairbanks
to see Heather and Jesse.
Beautiful scenery from the train
It was good of Heather and
Jesse to drive that distance
to see us. We really did
infamous Alaskan Cabin Dinner and Show.
David, why don't you call that deputy and
see if you can swap
those yellow shoes
for my dollar back. Probably
only way I will ever get my buck back.
back to Seattle, took another choo-choo ride up into Canada,
across that beautiful piece of property that they just dropped
Canadian Rockies into. I think it took almost
three days to get across Canada
We had just traipsed through
some of the most awe inspiring sights for about ten days.
Arizona across and up the entire USA western coast, through
Alaska, across Canada to NY.
Here is just one sample of the
beauty of Canada.
Supposed to go on down to
Washington DC to see Bill and Yumi, but I hit NY
lungs up. I could not continue on to DC.
To end the magnificent trip,
when we got to NY,
they had messed up our hotel
reservations, so we got the
super duper Executive Suite
that normally costs $3,000 per night.
I was too sick to enjoy
David was like a kid in a candy shop, and
even though it
was well past midnight, he was calling
everyone he knew,
in the USA and around the world, to tell
them about it.
We said our goodbyes the next morning, in the
survived the flight from NY to Tampa, got
in my car and drove to the ER.
I had fallen on the concrete floor in the B&B in AK and
had about a 12 inch black and blue
bruise on my hip.
The 500 pound door on the
Canadian train flew out of
my hand when I opened
it (we hit something on the track just as I opened the door)
the door came back
and pounded me in the eye. So, I looked like half of a
kids in the ER asked
"lady, what happened to you."
Well, I was as white
as a sheet,
coughing so badly I could not talk or answer
questions, could not sit up straight,
looking like that half
of a raccoon, they had a legitimate question. I almost
them if they wanted to see a REAAAALY bad looking
bruise on my hip.
The doc at the ER
wanted to put me in the hospital.
"No Way" - my usual
response. I paid dearly for it, as I was flat on my back
for almost two months with a fever and delirious.
Then, had to
deal with David calling me and telling me that
whatever the hell I had, I gave it to him.
Poor baby thought he was dying too. Some mighty
germs somewhere on that Canadian train.
We settled for a cupcake for our 62nd
anniversary a few months later
and I were still working on
slow motion for so long after
11-2014 - Les & Jan had met
Sarah Palin three times.
was a wedding they were attending.
Les told Sarah that his
would get such a kick out of talking
with me, if she would.
She was only
too happy to oblige. Someone took a
of her talking with me and then
with Chuck. When Les
called and said
"Mom, I have someone here who wants to say
to you." Not knowing who was on the other end,
minute I heard her ask, "Jackie, when are you
coming back up here to Alaska?", I screamed and said:
this Sarah Palin?" She asked how I picked up on it
quickly. One of the highlights of my life. Chuck
tickled pink to talk with her too.
Designed by Jim Rabun
MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO
TROUBLE SHOOTING THIS WEB PAGE
EACH TIME IT CRASHED
(PROBABLY BECAUSE OF SO MANY
COULD NOT HAVE COMPLETED IT WITHOUT YOU,
AITP (Association of Information
Michael on the left - he was Vice
President of the committee
They did classes for IT
topics at schools around FL,
Mike at front gate of Florida State
and had IT professionals come in to
Home of the Seminoles
December 12, 2014 - Graduation Night
These two guys (shown below) get top
billing for this graduation.
Over professors and other family members.
LES - December 2014, Les & Jan had just
flown to Oregon for
the birth of their first grandchildren -
SOON AS THEY WERE BORN, Les got on an airplane
headed to Michael's graduation. Hell nor
would keep him away. He was very appreciative of
Ron and Michael coming to Rebeka and
high school and college graduations in Alaska, and he certainly
wanted to attend Michael's graduation.
PAUL - There are not enough words to
Paul needs to be at the top with Les alone.
Paul - whether he wants it or not is (as
he should be) held in
such high esteem for what he did by
donating a kidney
to Ron to give Michael, his family and
all the rest
of us almost ten additional years. There is no
greater gift that another human being can
In addition to Paul donating a kidney, there was
that was involved. Ron was truly on death's
quoting his doctor, "we are losing Ron." He
met with the board
and they decided to try a new clinical
study called "plasmapheresis."
Ron and Paul were only the
eighth one to have this done in Florida.
Ron had so many
antigens in his body from the first kidney transplant,
impossible to get him a second kidney. With this new process,
they would take Ron's blood and cleanse it much like dialysis,
the transplant, to rid the body of those antigens.
So, in actuality,
Ron and Paul were pioneers in this arena.
If you go research it, you will
see that they are now
looking at using that process in many other diseases, multiple
myeloma, seizures and many others. It is very expensive.
So, Paul gave a kidney knowing an experimental phase would
Ron and Paul were, in every sense of the word, actual
That should count for a lifetime of
THE UTMOST OF RESPECT FOR PAUL
and love from each and
every family member
for the rest of their lives, come hell or
1. Paul - Michael - Ellen
2. Les - Michael
3. Mina - Lauren - Elise - Michael - Maria
4. Michael & Maria
5. Elise's mother - Suzanne and Forrest
6. Chuck and Jackie
7. Elise's dad - Gene Buechel and
What a profound, genuine, &
kind-hearted human being
Professor Ebe is!!
He and some of his other IT
students drove all the way from FSU to
Ron's Celebration of Life Service,
. Then, he took Michael under his wing
to a certain degree, we felt he was
trying to fill some of the void that
Michael was dealing with in losing
his dad. It is so special to have
your life like Professor Ebe.
Thank you from all of the Helfrichs!
Immediately upon graduation, Michael was weighing several
offers from many companies in the IT field. He decided
on General Motors.
Shortly after Michael had received
the General Motors offer, he had a recruiter from Google
reach out to him on LinkedIn. Shortly after the first set of
interviews, he found himself interviewing in person at the
Mountain View HQ and then shortly after, receiving a job
offer. When Michael was around 13 years old, Ron told
Michael he could see him working at Google when he finished
Needless to say, Michael accepted the job
offer with Google in NYC as a Corporate Operations Engineer.
Michael has always loved NY, soooo
that is where he has
been since he graduated. Huge success story after all that
the family has been through.
Maria took these two
pictures when Michael got the "thumbs up call from Google,"
Jim created the banner.
NEW YORK - NEW YORK
Michael's new place of employment
Les's Annual Polar Plunge
2013 Involved two trips of great significance:
July 14, 2013, Bill celebrated
his 60th birthday, and we all flew
up/over/down to help him celebrate.
Great time had by all.
Heather's pre-graduation party the eve of her
with families who flew in from every
direction in the USA!
From as far away as Florida and
In looking at all of these pictures, Ron
and Michael were at all graduations, too.
See him between Jan and me?
May 12, 2013, Heather received her
Bachelor's Degree (Social Work)
University of Alaska, Fairbanks,
Notice the screen has a special
message for Heather.
See the blue and yellow balloons
overhead in the nets?
One of the neatest things they have in Alaska for
graduations is confetti or balloons.
Such a great
At Rebeka's graduation from UAA, they had
canon shootings off confetti all around the room.
They took us to the Ice Hotel in
Fairbanks - What an experience. Everything is ice -
ice seats at the ice bar, ice glasses for drinks, ice
chairs, ice beds, etc.
Heather, I put this in here
for you to have a picture of you with
both sets of
your grandparents, in case you did not have one.
May 2013 -
BILL'S 60TH BIRTHDAY
He does not
want anyone to know it was the 60th.
The family gave Bill a canvas print of our family
from 2012 at
Rebeka and Kevin's wedding in Alaska.
Found this little gem from 1957
Bill holding Les and
Bill's expression screams:
"Mom, please tell me
where you bought this thing;
and I will take him
back and get you a full refund."
Les & Jan made arrangements with their
for a tour of the capitol and a group photo.
you, Les & Jan. The senator was most gracious
Paul, Daniel, Les, Michael, Bill,
Senator Mark Begich
Jackie, Ellen, Chuck, Ron, Jan, Elise, Yumi,
July 14, 2013
L-R Last picture taken of
the six of us
Paul, Bill, Ron, David, Michael,
Jackie and Chuck in front
Sarah Palin - Les - Jan
This was the
first time Les & Jan met Sarah Palin.
They were eating -
Sarah & Todd walked by.
Les & Jan said "hi" & Sarah stopped to talk
with them, then the picture was taken.
10-2013 - Julia
Chuck and Jackie - 61st
Ellen, Daniel, Frank, Anne, Julia, Paul
Daniel and Michael with their two
Chuck on the left and Frank on
12-2013 - David Helfrich - St. Mary's Episcopal Church
visiting the resting place of his dad
and his grandparents
Andrew Helfrich and Mary Elizabeth McCoy Helfrich
2013 - Christmas
supposed to be our Surprise Santa,
but even with a
mask everyone guessed it was David, even with him not
being allowed to talk.
three rows above are the last pictures taken of Ron.
2013 - Ron bought this for
himself, wrapped & put it under the family tree.
Paul passed out the gifts.
it and said "oh, Paul, look what Mom gave me"
was stuttering for several minutes, something about:
"Well, I did not get anything like that from Mom, I
guess I really am adopted,
as Ron is falling out of
his chair, having fits of hysterical laughter..
Bill & Yumi's Wedding
This was always one of my top
favorite pictures of
the four guys - all looking
like top movie stars
2013 - Paul - Ellen - Daisy - Daniel - Julia
This was Jazzy's last Christmas
Not sure of this date, but it is a
great picture of Les and
Thank you so much for the new computer.
Click on "Gift" for
OUR NEW MAIN WEB SITE ADDRESS: