Leon Helfrich

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Leon A. Helfrich, 87, of Freeburg, IL, born August 22, 1934, in Smithton, IL, passed away Saturday, September 25, 2021, at his residence, surrounded by his family.

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;
seven great-grandchildren;
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.


7 Comments on Leon Helfrich

Paul & Karen Middendorf said : Guest Report Oct 03, 2021 at 3:55 PM

Dear Carolyn and family, Paul and I are sorry for your loss. He will always be remembered for that great smile. Loved to wave at him on the John Deere. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Marion@ Lois Ann DeMond said : Guest Report Sep 30, 2021 at 7:39 PM

Carolyn and your family have our deepest sympathy .

  • Smithton
  • IL
Greg and Linda Zipfel said : Guest Report Sep 30, 2021 at 9:12 AM

Dear Carolyn and family, We are so sorry to hear of Lee’s passing. We are out of town and unable to attend the services. Lee was a special, sweet soul and Carolyn your devotion and loving care to him over the years was evident and a tribute to you both. God bless you all.

  • Freeburg
  • Illinois
Greg Helfrich said : Guest Report Sep 28, 2021 at 2:28 PM

My fondest memories are of family getting together years ago and seeing Lee and his family with me and mine. I loved that Lee was always so happy and smiling!!!! It's a sad time now when so many of our family are leaving us - but they leave the best of memories. My condolences and deepest admiration to Carolyn for her years of devoted service to Lee!!! Never two finer people - Lee give my dad a big hug for me!!!

  • Alpharetta
  • Ga
Brenda &John Richardson aka (Bev) said : Guest Report Sep 28, 2021 at 11:46 AM

Our hearts go out to the family of Leon an Carolyn. He was a pleasure to know an talked to. Always had a smile on his face an a wave for me an John when we were out cutting the yard or walking to the mailbox. Even though we didn't know him well. I do know he was a loving an caring man an we will miss that smile an wave everytime we go by. RIP Leon. Everyone who knew you will miss you

  • Freeb6
  • Illinois
Ronald Phillips said : Guest Report Sep 27, 2021 at 3:47 PM

sorry to here about Lee .He alway new me where ever we where at . My condolence. Ron & Barb Phillips

  • IL
Donna Bauman said : Guest Report Sep 27, 2021 at 12:20 PM

O am so very sorry. Your Dad was always so very nice to Mom and me. I remember how he was always smiling. I know he will continue to watch over and protect all of you. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Belleville
  • IL

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