David “Dave” William Helmbrecht, age 73, of Delano, passed away Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, after a hard fought, nearly three-year battle with cancer, surrounded by his family.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private memorial Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Delano. Inurnment with military honors will take place immediately following the service in Calvary Cemetery in Delano.
A public outdoor celebration of life with a catered luncheon will then take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at son, Tom and Heather Helmbrecht’s residence, 1935 55th St. SW, Montrose, MN 55363. Arrangements are by the Iten Funeral Home of Delano.
Dave was born June 15, 1947, in Cokato, to Albert and Leona (Guennigsmann) Helmbrecht. He was raised on the family farm, and spent his entire life living just outside of Delano.
After graduating from Delano High School in 1965, he worked on that very farm until he was drafted into the United States Army in 1966. After basic training, he was assigned, and served as first cook in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. In his time of service, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, an Overseas Service Bar, and the Sharpshooter (m-14) Medal. He served until he was honorably discharged, Oct. 19, 1972.
After returning home from the service, Dave met the love of his life, Kaye Ann Kirby. They were united in marriage April 12, 1969. Together, they were blessed with three children. He truly loved all of his family, and was very proud of his children and grandchildren.
Dave really enjoyed fishing, especially on Lake Vermilion.He loved and looked forward to gardening, enjoyed watching football and baseball, deer hunting with family and friends, campfires, and just being outdoors. He also loved television game shows, and was possibly one of Vanna White’s most loyal fans, until he fell in love with his Amazon Alexa just a short time ago.
He was an honest, hardworking man, and was employed as a member of the local Teamsters at SuperValu warehouse in Hopkins for over 25 years. He was also a member of the Delano American Legion, and Knights of Columbus.
After retirement, Dave really loved spending his summers at their lake cabin, and his trips to the casino. His smile, the twinkle in his eye, and all the love he had for everyone will be missed by all who knew him.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Leona Helmbrecht; sister, Elaine Hendrickson; daughter-in-law, Heather Helmbrecht; father-in-law, Don Kirby; and brother-in-law, Jeff Kirby.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Kaye; children, Donald (Jeanie), Diana (Terry) Gabrelcik, and Tom (Heather); grandchildren, Hannah, Mitchell, Lance Corporal Brandon Gabrelcik, Angela, Bryce, Sierra, Nick, Jacob, Chase, Parker, and Gracie; brothers, Jerry Helmbrecht (special friend Darlene), and Ronald (Theresa) Helmbrecht; mother-in-law, Margaret Kirby; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Bruce Hendrickson, Margaret (Dick) Jensen, Theresa (Art) Wemhoff, Dwight Kirby (special friend Theresa), Charles Kirby (special friend Jean), and Wendy (Lee) Hertzog; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.