Helm, 92, of the town of Polk, passed away on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at
St. Joseph’s Hospital. He
was the youngest of eight children born to Karl and Anna (nee Quendt) Helm
in Eisenach, Germany.
Erich served during World War II in the German Navy as a submarine
generator operator. He married Margarete Pignat on Nov, 18, 1944, in
Juliusburg, Schlesien (Silesia) and moved to Leipzig, East Germany. In
1946, Erich and Margarete with their baby son fled to a small village of
Oberjossa, West Germany, and there had two more sons.
Erich then worked as a mechanic at BMW until 1954 when he immigrated to
Guelph, Ontario, Canada. A year later he sent for his family to join him.
Later in 1955, he got a job at Ford Motor Company near Niagara Falls, New
York and in 1957 finally settled in Milwaukee and worked as a modelmaker
with Cutler-Hammer, Koss Corp, Proctor Gambel and various tool shops until
he retired in the West Bend area in the early 1980s.
Dad enjoyed a variety of hobbies including fishing, camping vacations, a
full garden, grape vines and orchard, watercolor and oil painting, home
remodeling, playing violin, zither and piano, and being
an all-around handyman. He was an active member of Schlesien Verein
Milwaukee Inc. for 40 years. He resided in his home until March 2012 when
he moved to the Lighthouse of West Bend. Erich was preceded in death by
Margarete, his wife of 66 years, in December of 2010, and eight brothers
He is survived by his three sons, Juergen (Chris) of West Bend, Rainer (Barbel)
of Anchorage, Alaska, and Hans-Ulrich of Trego, Mont.; seven
grandchildren, Michael, Jonathan, Kurtis, Angie, Christian, Joshua and
Stephanie; four great grandchildren, Xan-der, Eric, Ryan and Caitlin;
other relatives and friends in Germany, the USA and Canada.
A simple ceremony will be held on Monday, March 4, at noon at Schmidt
Funeral Home of West Bend with burial of the cremated remains at a later
date in Diefenbach Corners Cemetery. Visitation will be at the funeral
home only on Monday from 10-11:45 a.m.
The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. Online
guestbook and condolences available at
thanks to the staff at the Lighthouse and St. Joseph’s Hospital for
their care and kindness given to Dad.