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Gerald Wayne Helmich


Gerald W. Helmich, 81, passed away in his sleep after a short illness the morning of May 12, 2024 in Scottsdale, AZ. He was born in East St. Louis, IL on April 28, 1943 to Orville and Emma (Detchman) Helmich.

Gerry, as he was called, excelled in sports and had a drive to succeed. He attended the U. of Illinois and the U. of Indiana, marrying Bobbette J. Donna, his high school girlfriend, on June 7, 1964 in Collinsville, IL, where they’d grown up.

Together, they raised two children: their daughter, Portland, and their son, Wade. Throughout his professional life, Gerry lived in the St. Louis suburbs, on Hilton Head Island, SC, and in Longwood, FL (a suburb of Orlando) and Tampa, FL.

Gerry worked in the investment industry, starting out as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch, later managing a St. Louis office for Shearson Lehman Brothers, and graduating to become an executive vice president and regional director for Smith Barney, for whom he managed 25 offices in northern Florida. He and his wife retired to Scottsdale at the end of 2000. When she developed multiple sclerosis, his retirement dreams shifted to ensure she was well cared for.

Throughout his life, Gerry’s greatest passion was golf. He competed in many amateur tournaments and spent any spare time on the links. His second greatest passion at the end of his life was his beloved English Golden Retriever, Jackson.

Gerry is survived by his wife, Bobbette Helmich, of Scottsdale, AZ; his children, Portland Helmich of Concord, MA and Wade Helmich, of Seattle, WA; his older brother, Terry Helmich, and niece, Christine Whitley, of Ft. Collins, CO; and his sibling-in-law, Janice Donna, and nieces, Marlo Oswald and Mindy Wetmore, of Kansas City, MO.

It was Gerry’s desire that he be cremated. His ashes will be scattered on Hilton Head Island, SC, where he lived and vacationed with his family. A memorial of his life will be held in his honor at a later date.