Harold K. Helwig, 87, Korean War vet, president of two companies, helped with TMI recovery efforts

By on August 21, 2019

Harold K. Helwig, 87, of Peru, Ill., died Aug. 10, 2019 at St Joseph Medical Center, Joliet, Ill. He was a resident of Lititz from 1996 to 2017.

Harold was born July 14, 1932 in Oakmont to William and Mabel (Singhose) Helwig. He married Dorothy Ifft on April 17,1954 in Franklin. He graduated from Oakmont High School and attended Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Harold worked as a construction supervisor and project manager for many years with Bechtel Corporation. Harold’s work took him and his family throughout America to places such as Cape Canaveral in Florida during the Titan and Saturn missile launches; the Kennecott Copper Mine in Bingham Canyon, Utah, which was the world’s largest open pit copper mine. He also was one of the original seven employees sent to Three Mile Island shortly after the accident, to assist with recovery. He worked on eight different nuclear, gas, and fossil plants around America. He was a mechanical piping and pump troubleshooter for Bechtel.

Harold was the president of two general contracting companies in New England: RAM Structures and Eastern Building Systems. He also worked at the Manheim Auto Auction.

Harold proudly served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He was a radioman on the USS Carpellotti destroyer.

Harold was an avid historian on battles and wars. He was also known for sharing his life stories, experiences and travels. Harold enjoyed woodworking, antiquing, skiing, bowling and was an avid trumpet player.

Harold attended Lighthouse Baptist Church in LaSalle, Ill. After retirement he became an antique dealer. Harold was known as “Grampy” to his family and friends. He loved dining out at local restaurants, especially Seneca’s Oak Ridge and “Berverchi’s” a.k.a. Verucchi’s.

Harold is survived by his daughter: Susan (Norman) Reno of Phoenix, Ariz.; and his son: Michael (Eileen) Helwig of Peru, Ill.; two grandchildren: Sarah (Tyrell) Dawson of Pueblo, Colo.; and Cody (Katie) Helwig of Jackson, Wyo.

Harold was preceded in death by his wife: Dorothy, in 2017; and one brother in infancy.

Services were held Aug. 19 Lighthouse Baptist Church, La Salle, Ill., with Pastor Aaron Butts officiating. Burial will be at a later date in Slippery Rock Cemetery in Slippery Rock.

Memorials may be directed to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children of Chicago or the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Online condolences and remembrances may be share at PtakFH.com. Ptak Funeral Home, Peru, Ill., has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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