Paul and Ellen King Helfrich

December 8, 1991

To our four sons and daughters-in-law
You are truly the pearls of our lives

Frank-Anne King-Ellen (King)-
Paul-Jackie-Chuck Helfrich

Margie Sneed, Jackie, Ron, Les, Ellen, Paul, Chuck, David Helfrich
(Bill was in Japan -this was the only wedding he was unable to attend)


Whiteman AFB Hospital 
Where Paul was born
December 13, 1959


You are last, but certainly not least.  You were almost two weeks late, as your older three brothers were.  Your grandmother and granddad Helfrich flew into Missouri where we were stationed at the time.  The morning of December 13,  I woke up and later in the morning, began to have contractions, I said I did not care, your granddad was making a big breakfast and I was going to eat before I went to the hospital.  I ate almost a half pound of bacon, because I was so hungry. I took a bath, bent over and tried to do my toenails and shave my legs and got myself ready to go.  The contractions were coming much closer than five minutes apart by the time we got to the hospital.  They were frantically paging the doctor and telling him to hurry.

The doctor got there and you were ready to arrive immediately.  The doctor told me that he had taken his car in to have it serviced and, apparently, they had to beep him to get to the hospital stat. He said "hurry up and have this baby before the car shop closes, because I have to get my car."   He also said "this one has to be a girl," as I was saying to him, "nope, it's a boy, again."  Your doctor's name was Dr. Guy.  I never heard the nurse's name.  Sure enough, when you came into the world, young man, the doctor said "well, the next one will have to be a girl."  I told him that if I had ten, I felt sure they would all be boys.  I thought four was a nice stopping number.  Besides that, the doctor had told me in Germany that I should not have any more children, so that was the end of that story.  Your granddad Helfrich said that you just could not hold off a few more hours to be born on his birthday which would have been the next day, doggone it.  Anyhow, you were born at 4:21 p.m. on a Sunday and you weighed 8 lbs. - 5 oz., and were 20 inches long, with blond hair and blue eyes.  After the doctor told me you were fine, I asked "do you have time to get your car out before they close?"  

Everyone also thought you were a little doll.  You were a good baby, just stuck with three older brothers and having to tolerate their nickname for you which was (to clean it up - "droopy drawers.")  It could not have been easy being the youngest of four, but you had your own techniques for getting attention.  During this time, my sister's baby, Mike, came to stay with us for a few months, and he was only a few months old.  We were quite a sight walking down the street when we went shopping with five boys all under the age of seven years old.  Then, when we moved onto the base, I took care of two little boys for the base commander's secretary, and your dad was a Scoutmaster and I was a Scout Den Mother, so our house was full all the time.  You were the mascot for the scouts all of those years.  I have in your baby book that you had the two weeks measles in 1964 and the 3 day measles the same year and the mumps on one side and then on the other side in 1965.

When we went to Hawaii, you were also a mascot for the scouts and you guys really enjoyed the trip to Kauai for a scout trip.  You were good in school, never had any problems in the military schools.  But, just like Ron, you did not like Booker T. Washington and Robinson High either.  You were also in the band and played the drums, and was on the wrestling team.  You decided to go into the U. S. Marines after finishing school.  I remember you saying that when you got off of the bus at Parris Island, and the drill instructor met all of you with his tender, kind, sweet and lovable greeting of "I'm your new Mama, now!" that you said "Holy ____, what have I gotten myself into?"  Your Mom did not make it any easier by sending you cookies for Christmas.  The D.I. called you in and said "Private Helfrich's mommy sent him some cookies, is he going to share them with us?"  I honestly did not know I was not supposed to do that.  So, this is a written apology for pulling that stunt.  You spent your marine career stateside and then Okinawa, and finished out your tour and came back to Tampa to settle down. 

One thing that I thought would be good for you would be for you to go to modeling school for many reasons.  How proud we were of you when you graduated from the school, and walked down the runway with such pride and self confidence.  And, for you to be selected by the New York judge to be the one who had the most potential to succeed in the modeling field out of your class, was quite a thrill.  We could understand why you did not want to pursue that career after some time out in that field.  You went to work at the insurance company that Ron was working, and then later went to work for another insurance.  After you got enough experience, you set up your own insurance brokerage business. 

During this time, you met Ellen at a dating service that you had signed up for.  She saw you out in the lobby of the dating service and she said "hi" to you and she later asked management who you were.  They said they had shown your video tape to her and she had said she did not think you were anyone that she would want to date.  However, when she saw you out in the lobby, she thought differently.  One thing led to another, dating, and then marriage.  It was also a beautiful wedding.  You both had a son and daughter and have much to be proud of.  Paul, you are just like your older brothers, you are so kind hearted and generous.  You guys are all special in that category.  You know we are just as proud of you as we are of the other three.  In fact, a Mom and Dad could not ask for nicer sons. 

Love you, Mom and Dad


Paul - 1959



1962 Ron and Paul




1977 - Paul and Snoopy




1981 - Letter from Paul - from Okinawa



1995- Paul on the right with his dad



2006 - Mother's Day Card from Paul to me


Ellen's mother, Anne Kenny King, knew it was time for Ellen to come and she decided to walk  to Royal Hospital in New York City, NY since it was not that far away, to have Ellen.  Anne was ten days late on the delivery time and they gave her twilight sleep and 36 hours later, Ellen was born, weighing 7 lbs. 4 oz..  Her dad, Frank, was in the U. S. Army Reserves at the time, on tank maneuvers, and a captain came out and gave him a cigar and congratulated him.  Frank's regular job was with the NY Fire Department and they gave him a pink ribbon when he returned and Frank went to the hospital.  Frank held Ellen, and rocked her back and forth, crying and saying "I can't believe how beautiful she is."

When Ellen was 16 years old, the family moved to Sarasota, FL, where Ellen and her sister completed their education at Venice High School, and Ellen then went to Manatee Jr. College where she graduated with a registered nursing degree. Soon after finishing nursing school, Ellen went to Hawaii as a "traveling RN",  in downtown Honolulu for three months.  Ellen then moved to Tampa, FL for a change of scenery and went to work at  H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.  Soon thereafter, she met Paul and they were married in 1991 in Tampa, FL, and at this date, they have a son, Daniel and Julia.

Ellen, we are glad that you gave Paul a second look, and took our last one - our baby!  (He will have a fit when he reads this one, right?)

Love you, Chuck and Jackie







Julia Marie King - 1961



For "AFTER WEDDING" for Paul and Ellen and family pictures, check with Jackie for the link at
[email protected]

Background Music - "String of Pearls"