Brian Ray Helmich, son of Marvin and Janice (Brobst) Helmich, was born November 1, 1954, in Spencer, Iowa. When Brian was 3, his father passed away. His mother then remarried, and Brian was adopted by his new father. The family moved to the Estherville area, where he attended most of his schooling. In 1973, Brian graduated from Graettinger High School.
Brian then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in numerous places, including Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Polk, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., Fort Benning, South Korea, Ft Carson, Ft. Gordon, and Fairchild Airforce Base in Washington State. He stepped away from the military for two years and made his home in Houston. Brian then reentered the U.S. Army and served in Ft. Knox, KY, Honduras, then Ft Bragg, NC before deploying to Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, Turkey, Cuba and Puerto Rico. He attained the rank of Sergeant First Class before receiving his honorable discharge in 1995.
Brian then worked with the Hope Mills (NC) Police Department for 18 years, as an animal control officer, evidence handler, crime scene investigator and dive team member for search and rescue. In 2014, he moved to Houston where he was united in marriage with Rachelle (Shelley) Struthers Becker. They moved to Spencer, Iowa in 2018, and shortly thereafter settled in Templeton.
On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, Brian suffered a massive stroke, and passed away on Thursday, June 10, 2021, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He was 66 years, 7 months and 9 days of age.
Brian was passionate about animals, especially his German shepherd Codi. He was very patriotic and was proud of his military service and all that went with it: his country, the flag, and guns. He was a diehard mustang fan for all of his life. He also had a love for bourbon, and actually enjoyed studying it more than drinking it. Brian's love for his fellow man was evidenced in his final act as an organ and tissue donor.
Brian was preceded in death by his parents Marvin Helmich and Janice Brobst Helmich and a sister DeAnn Rezac, wife of Frank Rezac of Doliver, IA. Brian is survived by his wife, Shelley Helmich of Templeton, IA, a son, Jason Helmich (Nina), four grandchildren: Jason Edward, Joshua Taylor, Nora May, and Nikki Jan, all of Parker, Colorado, a sister, Dureen Neppl (Pat) of Manchester Iowa, Blair Helmich of Katy, TX, Brett Helmich of The Woodlands, TX, Boyd Helmich of Sherman, Wisconsin, and many nieces and nephews.
In Loving Memory of Brian R. Helmich
Graveside Funeral Service on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 12:30 PM
Iowa Veterans Cemetery, 34024 Veterans Memorial Drive, Adel, IA
Reverend Tim Deatrick , Officiating
Urn Bearers Blair Helmich and Dureen Neppl
Honorable Urn Bearer Brett Helmich
Military Honors by US Army Honor Guard