Arthur D. (Art) HelmkeJanuary 29, 1937 ~ September 5, 2017 (age 80)
Arthur D. Helmke, 80, longtime resident of Farmington, passed away on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at the Aspen Park Care Center in Moscow. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 15 at the Garfield Cemetery with Pastor Kathy Lee Kramer officiating. A reception will follow at the Farmington Seventh-Day Adventist Gymnasium. Guests should dress casually. Friends may call and pay their respects on Thursday, September 14 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Kramer Funeral Home in Palouse.
Art was born on January 29, 1937 in Hartline, Washington, the third of four children born to Frank & Esther (Hirschel) Helmke. When Art was two years old, his father passed away so Esther moved the family to Latah, Washington where there were more relatives to help her raise the children. Art grew up in Latah and graduated as the Valedictorian of the Latah High School Class of 1955. After high school, Art attended classes at Eastern State College in Cheney.
Art met Judy Babbitt at a social function in Worley and the couple got married on October 11, 1969 in Plummer. After their marriage, the young couple lived in Rockford while Art was working for the Inland Empire Pea Growers in Fairfield. They moved to Farmington when Art was hired as a warehouseman by Oakesdale Grain Growers in 1973. He retired in 2003 after 30 years of service.
In retirement, Art enjoyed working in the garden, tending flowers and spending time with his grandchildren. He loved pets and his sons remember always having dogs and cats (and at one point a rabbit) around the home. Art was also a longtime member of the Farmington Fire Department as well as an ardent believer in the all-fixing power of duct tape and silicone. He was also a huge fan of the New York Yankees and the University of Idaho Vandals. Art passed along his love of sports to his sons – teaching them the ins and outs of baseball as soon as they could swing a bat or put on a mitt.
Art is survived by his wife Judy at the family home in Farmington; sons Mathew (Angela) Helmke and Tim Helmke, both of Moscow; grandchildren Jacob & Chesney Helmke; sisters Eva Roecks of Worley and Irma Clark of Bonners Ferry. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Wilbur Helmke.
Memorial contributions in Art’s honor are suggested to the Moscow Bear Boosters, PO Box 9724, Moscow, Idaho 83843. Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse is caring for the family. You are invited to leave online condolences and order flowers for the family at www.kramercares.com