HELMERS, Harold passed away on September 24, 2021. He was 88 years old, and lived a full and rewarding life. Born on July 21, 1933 in Iowa, he moved to California in 1940 and married his beloved wife in 1958. Hal grew up with his mother, Vivian, and older brother, John, and spent time working for his father, Walter, building houses during college. Hal also served in the Army for two years. Hal began his career as a realtor and appraiser, then on to the U.S. Departments of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Hal's career led his family to different cities in California and Washington, and Arizona, where he retired.
Hal was a dedicated, loyal, generous husband and father. Hal and Eleanore had four children. Devotion to faith and family were first in his heart; he took the family to church every Sunday and enrolled the children in Catholic schools. While the children were young, he always was available in the evenings to help with homework, play board games, or watch a TV show with the family. He shared his passion for nature, taking the family on adventures through California, Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest, to share the peace and beauty the parks had to offer. He also shared his passion for building, teaching his children how to use tools for home repairs, decks and fences. In 1983, Hal and Eleanore bought a large sailboat, taught themselves to sail and joined a yacht club, and the family took excursions to Lake Havasu, Lake Powell, the San Francisco Bay, as well as Mexico and Canada. In 2000, Hal overcame his fear of flying and traveled to China with Eleanore, to visit their youngest child, Joe who was studying Chinese prior to law school. During that visit to China, they met Lily, Joe's bride, and joined in celebrating their new marriage.
Beginning in 1981, Hal and Eleanore lived alongside a desert preserve in Phoenix, enjoying daily visitors of quail, cottontails, roadrunners, and chuckwallas, fresh morning breezes and golden sunsets. When the children were grown, Hal and Eleanore purchased a tiny cabin in the Sierras, as a summer get away from the hot desert, which became a popular spot for family visitors. Hal built various improvements such as a sleeping loft, kitchen overhaul, and a large deck to accommodate everyone. Hal and Eleanore also kept an RV residence in Nevada for many years. Hal was an avid health nut and studied all the latest nutrition books written by doctors, and he successfully reversed his own heart disease with a plant-based whole foods diet, daily exercise, fresh air and sun.
Hal ultimately succumbed to a week-long battle against the West Nile Virus. Hal joins his mother, Vivian, father Walter, and brother, John. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Eleanore, four children, Kathy (Stacy), Sherry (Dan), Susan (Kurt), and Joe (Lily), eight grandchildren Sam, Adam, Danielle, Ryan, Lisa, Christina, Cassie, and William, and one great grandchild, Maeven.
The memorial service will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park, California, on April 4, 2022 at 11:00 am.