Walter null Helmke obituary

Walter Helmke Obituary

Centennial, Indiana, United States

December 01, 2016 - January 01, 2016

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Walter null Helmke obituary

Walter Helmke Obituary

Dec 01, 2016 - Jan 01, 2016

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ANGOLA — Walter Paul Helmke, 88, of Angola, Indiana, and formerly of Fort Wayne, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at his home on Lake James surrounded by three generations of descendants. He was born on Dec. 28, 1927, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He attended St. Paul's Lutheran Grade School and North Side High School (Class of 1946) in Fort Wayne, received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1950, and his J.D. law degree from Valparaiso University in 1952. He married his high school sweetheart and life-long love, Rowene M. Crabill, on July 24, 1948. They had three children, Paul, Mark and Marsha. Walter practiced law in Fort Wayne for 62 years with the same firm, now known as Helmke Beams LLP, including 23 years with his father, Walter E. Helmke, and 18 years with his son, Paul Helmke, before retiring on Oct. 1, 2014. He served as Allen County Prosecuting Attorney from 1963-1971, and Indiana State Senator from 1971-1975. He was the Republican nominee for U. S. Congress for the 4th (now 3rd) District in 1974 and then served as Gov. Otis Bowen's liaison to the Indiana Senate in 1975-1976. In 1976, he headed Indiana's participation in the nation's bicentennial celebration. He was very active in the Fort Wayne community and served as president of many local civic groups, including the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Allen County Bar Association, Parkview Hospital, and Leadership Fort Wayne. He was a strong supporter of Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne and received its Ralph E. Broyles Medal. He also received the Allen County Bar Association's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and the Fort Wayne North Side Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Indiana Tech in 1989 and from Purdue in 1992. A loyal fan of the Chicago Cubs (attending one of their last World Series games in 1945), and the Indiana University basketball and football teams (attending IU's only Rose Bowl appearance in 1968), he watched their games regardless of their records, always holding out hope for victory. He enjoyed law, politics, golf, local history, and nearly every person he met, but most of all loved spending time with his family and friends, particularly at the long-time family home at Lake James. He is survived by two children, Paul (Deborah) Helmke of Fort Wayne and Bloomington, and Marsha Shirk of Oriental, North Carolina; seven grandchildren, Andrea Bruce, Laura (Sean) Helmke-Long, Rebecca Bruce, Addison (Andrew "Ocean" Eiler) Helmke, Kathryn Helmke, Brighton "Buck" (Christina Leslie-Helmke) Helmke, and Claire Helmke; six great-grandchildren, Tobey and Haley Rice, Nina and Nicholas Long, Stone Eiler, and Thompson Helmke; and one sister, Carolyn Helmke Stoltz. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Rowene, who died less than four weeks earlier; his son, Mark Helmke; parents, Walter E. and Wilma Wehrenberg Helmke; and a sister, Mary Ann Scheele. Services will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, 355 E. S.R. 120, Fremont, Indiana, on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 at 3 p.m., with calling at 2 p.m. Memorials should be directed to the church or the donor's . Arrangements are being handled by H.E. Johnson & Sons Funeral Home, Angola.
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