Heather - Our 3rd Grandchild

This special sign above is reserved for
the college graduation pictures

May 12, 2013


These four below at the top of the frame are our college graduates
Heather - Bachelor's Degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK May 12, 2013
Lauren - Bachelor's Degree from University of South Florida, Tampa, FL May 8, 2010
Michael - Associate's Degree from Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL May 4, 2012
Rebeka - Bachelor's Degree from University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK May 1, 2011

Friday May 10, 2013

Dinner and Graduation Gift Opening
L-R Back Row
Les Helfrich - ? - Chuck Derrick - Caroline Derrick - Madeline Kelly - Bill Kelly - Ron Helfrich - Michael Helfrich
Kevin Vanderwall - Rebeka Helfrich Vanderwall  - Heather Helfrich - John Kelly - Merrigan Horn - Jesse Derrick
L-R Front Row
Jan Helfrich - Jackie Helfrich - Barbara Kelly - Chuck Helfrich


Rebeka - Heather - Jan - Les

Les - Jan - Heather - Jackie - Chuck

Chuck - Heather - Jackie

Ron - Heather - Michael

Chuck - Ron - Heather - Michael - Jackie

Kevin - Rebeka - Heather

Rebeka - Heather

Chuck - Heather - Jackie

Chuck - Jackie - Les - Heather - Jan - Madeline - Bill

Madeline - Jan - Barbara - Heather - John - Bill

Bill - Madeline - Heather - Jackie - Chuck
Heather, we had such a great time at your graduation!!!!


A friend, who graduated with Heather, made this cake....

Jesse and Heather
Jesse, I put you in with the sweets!!!! 

Graduation Program
Click to enlarge

May - 2007 - L-R
Chuck, Jackie, Les, Rebeka, Heather, Jan Kelly Helfrich, Madeline and Bill Kelly
Heather's Graduation - Marvelous Picture with
Rebeka and Heather with both of their parents and both sets of grandparents

Heather - 2007
Rebeka - 2005

With lots of love, 
Grammy Jaws and Pa Chuck

Everything on this page has special significance for you, Heather.  There are many different kinds of heather as there are many varieties of roses and some other flowers.  The heather above blended in well with the hot air balloons, and I was determined to put Heather in the Heather at the top of the page.  The basket to the left jumped out at me when I first saw it and I heard it's plea, "please, please would you put me on Heather's page, please, huh, huh? "  I said to myself, "I hear Heather Lynn in that basket of flowers,  and after looking more closely, I knew those twinkling lights were your personality shining through, so what choice do I have, but to put it on this page?"   The reason for the hot air balloons is simple.  You are such a free spirit that when I saw these graphics, I could just see you in one of these balloons.  You have always been fearless and exploring, and that is what makes you stand out so much.  You were always the first one to get on any roller coaster or any other exciting ride from the time you were allowed to go on them.  The background music is "The Heather Breeze."  There were so many other things I had thought about putting on here, but this was the perfect combination.  Hope you like it. 

PS - When you go up in that hot air balloon for real, please don't forget to invite me to go with you. 
Love you, Grammy

Boy, oh boy, where do we begin?  It seems that Alaska has such great stories, even for children being born.  The first question: "Is the world ready for Heather?"  Young lady, you were something special before you even got here.  Your mom is an accountant and she said that she was going to have you on August 8, so your birthday would always be an easy one to remember -all eights.  The doctor had you pegged for the first part of August, but your mom knew how to fake them all out and sure enough on the morning of  the all eights, your Pa Chuck, Grammy Jaws and Margie were once again staying about a mile away from your home, waiting for the day when you would arrive.  

We got a call from your dad on the morning of August 8,  saying that your mom was certain you were on the way.  We went over and left your Pa Chuck with Rebeka and your mom, dad, Grammy and Margie took off for the hospital.  The doctor was called and she came in with her own baby in a knap sack and she did not have the time to scrub nor put on gloves.  She handed her baby to Margie to hold, while she delivered you.  You were impatient from the gitgo, and you were born shortly after 8:00 am, (you just had to have number "8" in there, didn't you?).  The irony of the day was that there were eight children born on 08-08-88 at that hospital.   You also weighed over 8 pounds. H is the eighth  letter of the alphabet,  and Helfrich has eight letters in it.  The date "08-08-1988" is a total of eight numbers. Television reporters came out to cover the event,  and you and your mom were on the local news that night.   

One of our funniest memories of you was when you fell and plopped right into the dog's water dish when you were about 1 1/2 years old.  You were sitting there crying and I grabbed the camera to take a picture of you.  We have all had such a laugh over that picture, haven't we?  You are such a sweetie, even sitting in the dog dish crying.

From the first moment, you were in a hurry, always saying "Let's Go!"  Now, I am not faulting you for one second for that, because you got it honestly from your Grammy Jaws.  I even said that they will have to put on your headstone "She Went."  You always loved to climb to the highest part of trees, run ahead of everyone else, explore, etc.  Oh, do you love to explore.  I remember when we were on one of the touring boats in Alaska and you got up on the bow of the boat, out in the middle of the water, traveling at high speed, like they did in the movie "Titanic."  I almost had a heart attack.  From day one, you could not wait to get on any of the thrill rides in Florida or at your Alaska State Fair.  As soon as you were tall enough to qualify, you were on every one of those rides.  And, you scared me more than a few times when we were walking on some of the glaciers and you would run ahead when we knew there were some steep drop-offs on those glaciers.  You have always been fearless.

One thing that I shall always remember about you, Heather, is your kind, soft hearted manner.  You always root for the underdog.  One particular memory that will always stick with me was when you were only about 13, and you and your family were here in Tampa for our reunion.  Your Uncle Ron had been in the hospital for so long, and everyone thought it might be a good idea for me to get out and go to Busch Gardens with you guys.  We were going on all of the rides, and Grammy was running and keeping up with you guys on all of the rides, remember?  As we were leaving Busch Gardens that evening, I called the hospital to see how Ron was and the news was not so good.  I began walking a little slower than usual and you came back and asked me if I was all right.  I told you that I had just gotten some worrisome news from the hospital.  You put your arm around me and said "Grammy, it must be real hard on you to have a son in the hospital and yet try to spend some time with another son who is here on vacation."  I thought that was so insightful of you and at such a young age, rather unusual.  It endeared you to my heart even more, if that could  be possible.  

Remember when we went to the Alaska State Fair and you and Rebeka dared me to have my hair done up in a spike?  You had quite a few laughs that day walking around with your Grammy looking like a punk rocker.  But, you were sweet enough to help me wash it all out when we got home.  And, we were pleased to see you participate in your school band, playing the baritone saxophone in the symphonic band.  You probably know your uncle Bill played the saxophone in high school.  And, what a doll you were in your ice skating costume and winning that medal for free style skating in 1997.

Oh, what a great picture you just sent us (April 2004) of you and your first date (Patrick) where you went to the military ball.  My goodness, how quickly you all have grown up.  The news that you just gave us of you being in the Junior ROTC was great to hear.  AND, that you were selected to be their official photographer.  What an accomplishment!  You were born at Anchorage Humana Hospital. Love you lots and lots.
Grammy and Pop - September 9. 2004


I am a regular in the Drama Department (usually a technician for plays),
captain of the Flag Team for Marching Band, second soprano in Treble and Symphonic choir. 
I like to support J.R.O.T.C events. I have 3 cats and 1 dog (if you haven't found that out yet). 
I carry my camera around in my purse.


Heather has a web site at www.akmsp.com

Heather is headed for University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall of 2007

UAF Photo (above) by Andrew Johnson


UAF Photo (left) by Dave Lokken


UAF Photo (right) by Todd Paris


Click on thumbnails below for more
Spectacular Aerial Shots of UAF by Todd Paris

We hope you all enjoy the photos of Heather below - click on each picture and there are captions under each.








1989 - Heather after she flopped into the dog's water dish




1994 - Heather



1994 - Papa Chuck preparing for the playground

1994 - Heather:  Papa Chuck, I am producing and directing this project, doncha know?



1996 - Heather at Cypress Gardens, FL


Heather- such a good sport to wear this T-Shirt we bought for her

Blunt Reunion - Dallas, TX - 2001



2001 Rebeka and Heather arriving in Tampa, FL - their first trip alone


Heather - 2004



Heather and Patrick - JROTC Ball - 2004


2004 - Busch Gardens - Rebeka on left and Heather

End of long day of fun.



2004 - Heather - Beach in Florida


February 2005 - Rebeka and Heather having just received their money trees that
Grammy and Pop gave them for Christmas, and had to mail to them (too bulky to take on plane).
Now, Heather, it looks as if you stripped your tree branches immediately, huh?
Is that what we are seeing here, huh?



2005 - Jan-Heather-Les-at a pretty waterfall - Alaska



2005 - Heather at Rebeka's graduation



2007 - Heather and Jake at senior prom



2009 - Heather

November 2011 - Heather at 41 degrees below zero


Links to my
uncles and aunts and first cousins:


Click on "Heather"  for
Main Page

Background Music
"The Heather Breeze"