Mr. Helfrich was a skilled carpenter, employed by Modern Cabinet in Belleville, IL, for many years, but was forced into early retirement after suffering a brain aneurysm more than 40 years ago. He was a 50-year member of the Carpenters Union Local. Lee continued to bring joy and a bright smile and hello to anyone he met. His devoted wife, Carolyn, with whom he just celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary, helped him live a wonderful life surrounded by family, friends, grandchildren, and the many children they babysat and loved over the years. He loved people and it showed!
For many years, he was able to enjoy mowing on his John Deere and trolleying up to his favorite spot in town, the Green Mill, where he volunteered and greeted customers daily with his big smile! For the last several years, sitting outside with a big wave for anyone who drove by, Cardinal baseball, and visiting with grandbabies was his favorite pastime.
Lee was a very proud St. Joseph Parish member, and prior to his disability, volunteered endless hours of service and carpentry skills to his church, as well as lecturer and cantor, sharing his beautiful singing voice at many masses. He was a 50-year member of the Knights of Columbus and a U. S. Army veteran.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Adolph and Otilia, nee Becker, Helfrich; three brothers, Harry, Walter, and Norman (Mary) Helfrich; two sisters, JoAnn Helfrich and Rose Marie Guetterman; his father-in-law and mother-in law, Elmer and Gertrude Mudd; and two brothers-in-law, Clarence Stehl and Elmer Mudd, Jr.
Surviving are his loving wife, Carolyn J., nee Mudd, Helfrich, whom he married on September 19, 1957;
three children, Kevin G. (Kristi) Helfrich of New Athens, IL, LeAnn G. (Kevin) Edelen of Waterloo, IL, and Todd J. Helfrich of Freeburg, IL;
six grandchildren, Lauren (Kyle) Langrehr, Kayla (Chris) Lynch, Nick Edelen, Alex Edelen, Keith Helfrich, and Karli Helfrich;
a sister, Mary Stehl of Smithton, IL;
a brother-in-law, James H. Guetterman;
and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, or to the Alzheimer’s Association. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit the family from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, September 30, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Freeburg, IL. Standard CDC guidelines will be followed, including masks and social distancing.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 30, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Freeburg, IL, with Fr. Von Deeke officiating.
Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Freeburg, IL.