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Helbach, David Joseph

A family man, a handyman, a caring man, David Joseph Helbach unexpectedly passed away on July 30, 2023, at the age of 87.

Dave was born November 18, 1935, in the bedroom of the Helbach family farm in Lanark, WI to George and Neva “Merle” Helbach. One of ten children, Dave could sometimes be found sleeping in school after morning family chores. Though Dave was not overly excited about classes and school work, his inquisitive mind for innovation was vast and bright. Dave graduated from Amherst High School in 1953 and shortly after headed to the “paper valley” to begin his career in the printing and corrugated industries. Dave married Elizabeth “Betty” Sopa on September 20, 1958, at St. James Catholic Church. He then served in the U.S. Army in Würzburg, Germany, from 1959-1960. Between having five children with his supporting wife, Dave began, successfully managed, and eventually sold several businesses over an extensive 65 years in the corrugated converting industry. Dave’s true passion was serving others; his faith, personal life, and career allowed him to follow that passion. Work, and sometimes pleasure, took Dave on adventures around the world. Thus, Dave had a great sense of adventure and direction. Often, he found a shortcut on family trips, even if there was not enough time to take the shortcut. But nobody could pack the trunk of a car or a carry-on suitcase more efficiently than Dave. Some of his fondest trips were taking all of his grandkids to Europe. But he always came home to Amherst.

Dave is survived by his wife, Betty; his sister Hazel (Donald) Shulfer; his brother Robert “Bob” (Helen) Helbach; his children Mark (Morna) Helbach, Lisa (David) Waldoch, and Heidi Pronschinske; his son-in-law, Gregg Jensen; his grandchildren Lyn (Pat) Polster, Molly, Marcus, and Geena Jensen, Kelly (Justin Chang), Frankie, and Connor Helbach, Hans (Chyaine) and Ian Waldoch, Nathan, Adam, and Chance Pronschinske; his great-grandchildren Elia Helbach-Chang and Rhett Polster; and his bonus grand- and great-grandkids, Sam Bucholtz, Tyler Polster, and Archer Bucholtz. One of these relatives is going to have big shoes to fill making the Thanksgiving turkey.

Dave has been reunited with his parents, George and Merle; his siblings Harold, Neva, Frederick, Joseph “Charles”, James, Mary Ellen, and Marcia; his son David; and his daughter Mary.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, August 5, 2023 at 11 A.M. at St. James Catholic Church in Amherst, WI. Father Jerzy Rebacz will officiate with burial to follow at the St. James Catholic Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Friday, August 4, 2023 from 4 P.M. until 8 P.M. at the Jungers-Holly Funeral Home in Amherst, WI with a Rosary service to be held at 8 P.M. Visitation will also be held on Saturday morning from 10 A.M. until time of the mass at 11 A.M. at St. James Catholic Church.

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