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It is with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to Wilbur (Tony) S. Helmic on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. Tony began his life adventure on September 30, 1940, in Charleston WV. He was the last of Ernest and Bessie’s ‘litter’ (Hazel, Frank, Freda, Robert, Morris, and James) to come into this world and the last to leave it as well. Tony joined his heart and path with the love of his life Ruthie in 1958 where the adventure continued together for 45 years until her passing, and oh what an adventure it was. From the little apartment on James, the little red brick house on Elaine, or the beautiful home he designed and built for his family in Canal Winchester, Tony led his family with grace and surrounded them with love.
Cars, music, and animals were all things that brought Tony joy. His love of cars and animals began at an early age, influenced by his father’s early car dealership and farm. This probably explained why you could find at any given time combinations of dogs, chickens, rabbits, crabs, guinea pigs, fish, birds, hamsters, and even a potbellied pig as part of the Helmic household. Tony was a frequent customer at the Faler Feed store and enjoyed the company of the menagerie that shared our home.
Tony attended Vinton Co. HS where his musical talent was highlighted as a band member forging lifelong friendships with many classmates. His love of music was evident as he enjoyed time at the Ohio Theater listening to Clark play the pipe organ for the summer movie series or listening to his many favorite songs in the car or at home. Stacks of albums, tapes, CDs, and flash drives supplied music to all who shared time with him. If he wasn’t listening then he was composing his own tune; for his whistling was unique and melodic, often serving as an audio beacon to track him in any given store.
Music played a role in another talent that many may not know he had…dancing! Ballroom dancing was a frequent weekend activity for Tony and Ruthie with the Cha-cha topping the list of favorites. Later square dancing became a family favorite and western shirts and belt buckles became standard weekend fashion. No matter the style or attire, Tony was the perfect dance partner!
His hard work as a sales engineer provided for his family and allowed him to use his mathematical brain which brought anyone reaching for a calculator to shame. When he was not working hard at Bonded Scale, working at home in the garage, flying a kite with the grandkids, or car shopping, he could often be found serving his community. From announcing basketball games at the local high school to volunteering monthly at Red Cross blood drives where his meticulous printing was put to good use filling out forms, Tony found so many ways to serve others. Much of his service was through the Masonic Lodge and United Methodist Church over the years. He proudly wore his Masonic emblem as much to show his support for his Masonic brothers as to show off the embroidery skills he and Leonard practiced with cookies and coffee so many afternoons. His Masonic cap and jacket were proudly worn to his favorite events like the Special Olympics and the annual Trash to Treasure sale.
Tony’s life adventure took him to many places over the years with a camera in hand. He described his time on this Earth as “a pretty good run overall” and all that knew him would have to agree. He made many friends along the way as he explored faraway places as well as those closer to home. Museum visits, especially Henry Ford and Malabar Farms, brought him joy as he learned about the many collections that are documented extensively with photos. His way of looking at things in new ways and with new people allowed him to touch so many hearts.
As the patriarchal rock of our family his love and life lessons continue in the hearts of his daughter Penny and ‘son’ Teddy Bostic, grandchildren Kelsey and Matt, and great-grandson baby Zayne. We, along with his nephew William Jones and family ask you to celebrate with us his life and move forward with happy memories of this kind man. We shall come together to celebrate his life on November 26th at DWAYNE R. SPENCE FUNERAL HOME, 650 W. Waterloo St. Canal Winchester, OH 43110. Visitation will be from 3-5PM with a service, beginning with Masonic services at 5PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Lithopolis Lodge 169, P.O. Box 133 Lithopolis OH, 43136 to support their community efforts.