The Obit For Jim Helbig

Anthony James Helbig

Published in The Palm Beach Post from October 5 to October 12, 2010

Anthony James Helbig "Jim" died in his sleep of natural causes at his home in Boynton Beach on October 2, 2010 with Lilla his devoted wife of 54 years at his side.

Born in Flushing, NY on August 16, 1927 to Gustave and Mary Helbig, he was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Charlie Helbig, and sister, Mary Sauter.

Upon graduation from Bayside High School, New York in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at the US Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, MD. He later attended Sampson College in Syracuse, NY on the GI Bill, earning his BA from Syracuse University in 1950.

Always athletic, running track and playing baseball, he pursued the latter professionally, playing minor league baseball in Moultrie, GA and Abbeville, LA from 1951-1952. He joined the Fire Department of New York City in 1954 and served until 1968, rising to the rank of lieutenant. Forced to take disability retirement after a back injury, he moved his family to Pompano Beach, FL to take care of his mother.

He was a social worker in Broward County for ten years. Later, his lifelong love of books led to a job at the Deerfield Beach Library for the end of his working life.

Extremely active all his life, Jim's favorite pastimes were books, gardening, and sports, supporting all the Florida teams. But golf was his major passion, teaching it to his children and playing regularly until the age of 81. He even convinced wife Lilla to take up the game at age 65 when they soon became a fixture on the Links at Boynton Beach. He also spent many happy hours gardening, tending to his tomato plants, marigolds, and assorted plants.

Finally and most importantly, he loved spending time with kids. His own children grew up learning how to play cards, swing a golf club, hit a baseball, catch a fish, ice skate, etc.

Every child who visited eventually ended up holding a fishing pole and heading for the backyard canal with a bag of bread for bait. He never ran out of ideas for entertaining kids.

These enduring memories he created for so many friends and family will serve as his most significant legacy.

He is survived by his sister, Dorothy Cuozzo of Pompano Beach, FL; his children, Paul Helbig and wife, Becky of Ocala, FL, Linda Lovatt and husband, Bill of Shelton, CT, and Doris Helbig of Boynton Beach, FL; grandchildren, Timothy, Kevin and wife Jessica, and MIchael Kruetzkamp of Olathe, KS and Christina, Patrick, Matthew Helbig of Ocala, FL and great-grandson, Christopher.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens, 5601 Greenwood Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33407. Visitation for friends and family 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM with a service to follow from 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM.

Donations in the name of Anthony James Helbig can be made to the charity of your choice or to Hospice by the Sea, 1531 W Palmetto Park Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33486-3395 call (561) 416-5009 or (800) 633-2577 or by email at donate@hbts.org.

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