Vern was born to Albert and Catherine Helbig on December 14, 1926, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Humboldt high school. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and served his country in World War II as the cook on the USS Glacier in the South Pacific. After the war, he attended baking school in Bainbridge, Maryland, and then enrolled at the University of Minnesota, graduating with a degree in biology.
Highlighting his creative side, he was a medalist in the Arthur Murray Dance Competition in 1951 and worked at a bakery throughout college. After graduating college, he moved to Golden, Colorado in 1959 to begin a career at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Vern married Martha Jo Reinhard in 1961, and they lived in Golden with their children.
Following Martha’s death, he married Marilyn Laureen Hopper in 1971. They lived together in Colorado and Utah for almost 47 years. He was preceded in death by Martha and Marilyn, and his parents and siblings (Alberta, Albert, Kate, Emily, Eddie). He is survived by four children: Sherry Helbig Vogel (husband Rob and 5 children), Frank Helbig (wife Stacey and 3 children), Mikel (Mickey) Helbig Conway (3 children), and Marci Helbig Sontag (husband Rob and 2 children), and 25 great-grandchildren.
Vern loved fishing, hunting, and the great outdoors, both in Minnesota and Colorado. His cake decorating skills resulted in countless birthday and wedding cakes for family and friends. He was loved by everyone who met him, and he will be remembered for his sense of humor and his patiently guiding personality.
A service to celebrate Vern’s life will be held on February 11th at 2:00 PM at Horan and McConaty Funeral Home, 3101 S Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, CO 80227