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Robert "Bob" D. Helke

December 11, 1944 ~ January 31, 2018 (age 73)

Robert “Bob” D. Helke, 73, of Coal Valley, died, Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at home, surrounded by family and loved ones.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, February 8, 2018, at Kirk, Huggins & Esterdahl Funeral Home, Ltd., 1301 4th St, Orion.  Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, at the funeral home.  Burial will be at Western Township Cemetery, Orion.  Memorials may be made to his family for a charity to be determined.

Bob was born on December 11, 1944, in Geneseo, IL, the son of Willard C. and Louise A. Kunert Helke.  He married Jane Whitmore in Atkinson, IL, and they had two children.  He was a self-employed farmer and also worked as a heavy equipment operator for Phoenix Corp, retiring in 2004.

Bob was a member of the Local 150 Operators.  He enjoyed watching drag-racing and riding his 4-wheeler around the neighborhood with his dog.  He also loved mowing and taking care of his yard.

Survivors include his son, Bryan (Kerry) Helke, Loveland, CO; daughter, Kristin Carpenter, Rockford, IL; four grandchildren, Benjamin and Abigail Helke, and Sincere and Kasey Carpenter; brothers, Arlyn (Marcia) Helke, Geneseo, IL, and Terry (Joni) Helke, Coal Valley, IL; sister-in-law, Diana Helke, Coal Valley, IL; four nephews, one niece, and many cousins and aunts.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Richard, his parents; and his beloved dog, Aspen.

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