Robert Eugene “Bob” Helmick, 75, of Atwood, died Friday, October 28, 2022. He was born April 4, 1947 in Potomac Manor, WV to John W. and Georgia Helmick. Bob was the eldest of seven children. He grew up in the bituminous coal region of Western Pennsylvania. One day he decided that he did not need to go to school anymore, and his dad did not argue. The next morning Bob was awakened by his dad, and they spent a day in the coal mines. The next day Bob was back in school. He graduated from Waynesburg High School, Waynesburg, PA. After graduation he entered the US Army and after serving 20, years, retired as a Master Sergeant. His Military Specialty was Infantry and Military Intelligence. Bob served one Combat tour in the Republic of Vietnam and 3 overseas tours in the Federal Republic of Germany. After his retirement from the military in October 1995, at Ft. Riley, Kansas, he went to work as a Civil Service employee with the Third ROTC Region as their Security Officer, responsible for initiating security background checks on all cadet personnel. In November 1992, he accepted an assignment to Fort Bragg, NC and moved the family to Hope Mills, NC. At Ft. Bragg he served as the Safety and Security Officer for the Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation. He served in this capacity until his retirement in March 2008. Bob and Cynthia always had a desire to move back to Kansas and in 2010 decided to make the move back to Atwood, Kansas, Cynthia’s childhood home. Although never a farmer or exposed to small town life Bob always had the utmost respect for the ways of small-town life in an agricultural community, especially his Pochop family, Frank, and Elizabeth, Anthony, Gerard, Becky, Kevin and Michael. Bob spent many summers driving the truck during the wheat harvest for his brother-in-law Mike Lundquist and also his father-in-law, Frank, and brother-in-law, Gerard. (If you know Mike or Becky Lundquist ask them about ol’ Blue). Bob also spent time helping Michael move irrigation pipe and ‘enjoyed’ an occasional drenching from this activity. Bob loved his family and spoke regularly with siblings and loved visits from the children and grandchildren.
In November 1986 Bob married Cynthia Pochop; Bob and his family lovingly accepted her 3 daughters as their own. After returning to Atwood Bob drove the County Shuttle making many new friends until health issues forced him to stop. Despite limitations imposed by his health he did as much as he could to help Cynthia at home. The kitchen chairs had rolling casters and he was able to prepare meals and clean up afterwards as well. He was a good cook; chili and pasta dishes were his favorite and specialty. Late this summer he even juiced 15 gallons of apples so they could have fresh apple juice.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and brother, John Stephen Helmick. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia; daughters, Diana Gainey, of Fayetteville NC., Erin Pinero, of Colorado Springs and Catherine (Daniel) Vigil, also of Colorado Springs; grandchildren, Ezykiel Vigil, of Ft. Collins, CO, Gabriel Vigil, of Colorado Springs, Connor Pinero, currently stationed at Camp Humphreys in Korea, Kaitlyn Pinero, of Colorado Springs, and bonus granddaughter Savannah Karl, of Opelika , AL; sisters, Fay(Gary Thomas), of Jakes Run, WV, Judy (Jim Vaughn), of Pontotoc, MS, Pam Candela, of Morgantown, WV and Beverly Allen, also of Morgantown, and brother David Helmick, of Mt. Morris, PA. Bob was active in the Knights of Columbus, serving in various positions within the Council and District in the State of North Carolina; especially Special Olympics and also at Sacred Heart Church in Atwood, Kansas. He was also a member of the local VFW .
Military honors include National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal\ Bronze Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal., Vietnam Cross of Gallantry W/Palm, Good Conduct Medal (6th award), Bronze Star Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon “3”, Army Commendation Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon “4”, and Expert (M-16) Rifle).
Visitation is 5-7:00 p.m., with a Vigil at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at Baalmann Mortuary, Atwood. Funeral Mass is 10:30 a.m. Thursday, November 3, 2022, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Atwood. In lieu of flowers or plants it was Bob’s request that donations be made to the Monument to the Unborn, Knights of Columbus, Council 3033 in Atwood, "Pre Born!”, or to the local Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive and sent in care of Baalmann Mortuary, PO Box 391, Colby, KS 67701. For information or condolences visit www.baalmannmortuary.com
A graveside service will take place at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2023 at St. John's Catholic Cemetery, Rawlins County.
This obituary is protected by copyright by Baalmann Mortuary - Colby. Proudly Serving the Communities of Oakley, Colby, and Atwood. Baalmann Mortuary - Colby is located in the state of Kansas, United States.
All rights reserved. This obituary is also archived at obittree.com