Rebeka - Our 1st Grandchild

 MAY 1, 2011

May 1, 2011 - Rebeka Ann Helfrich receiving her
Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration - Marketing and a minor in Japanese from
UAA - University of Alaska - Anchorage - In Anchorage, Alaska

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 Degree from Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL May 4, 2012
Rebeka - Bachelor's Degree from University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK May 1, 2011

Les - Rebeka - Jan

Jackie - Rebeka - Chuck

Graduation Cake

Musical Graduation Card

 IPAD from her parents - Happy Graduate!!

Chuck - Jackie - Les - Rebeka - Jan - Madeline - Bill
How neat for Rebeka to have another graduation picture with
her parents and both sets of grandparents!

Had to put in one of my favorites - Grammy - Rebeka - Papa Chuck

Les and Jan took us to the Blue Man Group Concert
What a fantastic show - Rebeka and Kevin with one of the stars of the show

Kevin and Rebeka celebrating her graduation

The long awaited story of Kevin's proposal!!
Rebeka Helfrich on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 2:07am

So we were driving to the Oregon coast in his Dad's BMW convertible but the weather was misty and foggy (it is the Oregon coast after all...). We pulled over to walk in the sand along the beach at Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint. While it was still foggy, it was no longer drizzly. As we were walking, we saw a flock of sand pipers and these little critters in the sand we assumed were baby sand crabs. To get a closer look at them, Kevin tried to catch one. I told him not to because it would be our luck they bite.
"Got one!" and when he turned to show me, he had a little black box with a treasure inside!!

To see pictures of their wedding - Go to the Helfrich Christmas Newsletter
Helfrich Christmas Newsletters 2013 back to 1953

2005 - Rebeka's graduation from Colony High School - Palmer, Alaska - 2005


Apparently, none of us remembered that
Sarah Palin was a speaker at Rebeka's graduation. 
When Les put together a DVD of the event,
he found this in the video, with
Rebeka shaking hands with Sarah Palin
just after Rebeka received her diploma.
Rebeka, you and Sarah both have such beautiful smiles.
What a KEEPER!!!

This is the back cover that Les put on the DVD jacket of Rebeka's graduation - SO NICE!!


2005 - Rebeka's Graduation Invitation

2005 - Rebeka's Graduation Announcement

Papa Chuck, Grammy, Uncle Ron

Papa Chuck and Grammy


Photograph donated by Jeff Laitila of


With lots of love, 
Grammy and Pop
,  You were our first grandchild, and did you come into this world in one heck of an unusual fashion!  Margie and I were staying at an apartment complex a short distance from your mom and dad.  Your Mom was still going to work each day, and Margie and I were just sightseeing and waiting for you to make your debut.  

One morning, we called your dad at his office, and asked him if anything was happening.  He said that your mom thought you were about to make your grand entrance and could we drive into Anchorage to pick her up and take her to the hospital and if it were the real thing, to call him and he would be right there.  We drove that 50 miles and took your mom to the hospital, all to have the contractions stop, like cold turkey.  The doctor told your mom to go on home.  We drove the 50 miles back to Palmer to take your mom home.  Margie and I sat in the living room, to be nearby, having told your mom to call us if anything happened.

A couple of hours later, the phone rang, and it was your dad.  Your mom answered the phone in the bedroom, and she told your dad that  the contractions had begun again and were now five minutes apart.  Geeezzz, what to do now?  We have 50 miles to drive back to Anchorage.  Your mom was in the back seat lying down breathing deeply, very deeply, and telling me to hurry.   I was driving and Margie was timing the contractions.   The contractions were coming more like every 3-4 minutes at that point.  Then, your mom got sick, and asked us for a barf bag.  Margie looked over at the speedometer and saw that I was driving  85mph and that I had it floor boarded, yet, she had the nerve to ask "can't you make this car go any faster?"  On top of that, we were caught in 5:00 pm traffic.  I was flashing my lights, blowing my horn and everyone was getting out of my way.  Where are the police when you need one, I ask?  

Got your mom to the hospital and they took her in and we went to the waiting room.  Your dad arrived at the hospital.  Bingo, the contractions stopped again.  The doctor said that we could go home again.  At this point, we have already driven 150 miles this special day, and we headed  home again which is 50 miles away again.  We drove back home, and as soon as we dropped your mom and dad off at their home, Margie and I said we were going around the corner to pick up our tooth brushes, and a change of clothes and come back over and spend the night with your mom and dad. 

As soon as we got back, which was only a few minutes later, your mom and dad were waiting outside, and they said that your mom's water had broken as soon as they got in the door, so back  to the hospital again.  Total miles at this point for the day is 200 miles, about to total 250 when we arrived in Anchorage for the third time that day.  Got to the hospital and they decided to keep your mom.  We all spent the night and the next morning, your dad, Margie and I were fortunate enough to be in the delivery room and see you born.  I had never witnessed a birth, having been pretty much out for our four sons' births.  You were a beautiful redhead and what a thrill to have our first grandchild, and for you to be a girl, after we had four sons.   You were born at Anchorage Humana Hospital.

You have grown up into such a beautiful and introspective young lady.  How great that you are making such good grades in school, learning Japanese and having just gone to Japan this summer as an exchange student.  Pa Chuck and I will always have fond memories of the summer you and Heather came down to Florida for a couple of weeks in 2000.  And, especially when you were so badly sunburned, and I put vinegar on your sunburn, but was not sure if it should be rinsed off, so I called the nurse at the hospital to ask her and she put me through to POISON CONTROL.  You guys can tell our great grandchildren about that one, and I am sure you will.  You have certainly teased me enough about it.  Another thing you can tell your grandchildren about is that you played the French Horn in the symphonic band in high school.  It is always good training to be in some kind of music.

And, didn't we have a great time in Texas at our Blunt reunion that summer?  What a thrill it was, Rebeka, to have you so interested in the family history and having learned so much from us working on the family tree prior to going to the reunion, that you were able to sit and talk with the adults all about the family tree.  You did me proud at that reunion, young lady!  Always stay as sweet as you are today.  Your mom and dad could not possibly be more proud of you than we are.  We just wish you guys did not live so far away and we would be able to see you more often than every two years.  We can't wait to go to Alaska again for your graduation which will be here before we turn around.  It seems like only yesterday that you were born.  Love you lots and kisses to you.

Rebeka enjoys the arts which include music, drama, and drawing.  She’s been in band since 5th grade, beginning on the Trumpet and switching to the French Horn in 6th grade.  She is in the drama club at her high school and has performed such jobs as stage manager, props mistress, and random techie #2.  She has been drawing since a very young age, but has only recently gotten serious about it. 

04-01-05 - We just received the news that you were accepted at UAA - University of Alaska - Anchorage.  What great news!!  You said you will probably major in languages, considering Japanese as your primary, and possibly being an interpreter.  We know you will do exceptionally well, and wish you all the success in the world. 

 Grammy Jaws and Pa Chuck - April 20, 2004



We are keeping the graduations at the top of their pages, with their lives beginning below from baby to current date.


1987 - Rebeka




Rebeka - 1988





1991 - Heather and Rebeka



1994 - Papa Chuck getting everything ready for the play ground

1994 - Rebeka:  Take a break, Papa Chuck, I can handle this just fine



1995? Rebeka


1994 - Rebeka




1998 - Rebeka




2000 - Rebeka




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



2003 - Rebeka picking apples from their tree in their yard



2004 - Universal - Orlando, FL



September 2004 - Senior Photos

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 for plane).
Now, Heather, it looks as if you stripped your tree branches immediately, huh?
Rebeka, you saving those bills for something special?


Rebeka (center) and some pals - 2005

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

August 22, 2010 - Rebeka celebrating her 24th birthday




Click on "Diploma" for 
"My Parents

Background Music
"Graduation Day"