Theodore Helgerson

Theodore Helgerson

Wednesday, December 17th, 1941 - Monday, June 15th, 2020
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Following a period of declining health, Theodore "Ted’ Helgerson, 78, of Lincoln, and formerly of Cumberland, North Smithfield, Florida, and Rehoboth, passed peacefully into eternal life on Monday, June 15, 2020, with caring friends by his side. Despite Ted’s courage and strength, his death is attributed to a combination of complications from Parkinson’s Disease and COVID-19 which he just could not overcome. In recognition of the wonderful care “Teddy”, as he was affectionately called, received there, his family extends heartfelt appreciation to the entire staff at The Holiday Retirement Home, especially to the nice folks in Newport I, including Monica with whom he shared a special bond.

Theodore was born in California to the late Hugo and Martha (Olson) Helgerson, raised and educated southeastern MA, and graduated from Case High School. He enjoyed childhood and adolescence in a traditional and loving home together with his siblings, Nels and Byron (Carla) Helgerson of Johnston and Joan (Earl) Wetmore in California, all of whom also survive him.

The family has fond memories of their many trips north to their special get-a-way spot in Dramiscotta, Maine; the brothers treasure Ted’s attentiveness, guidance, and undisclosed details of their many marvelous motorcycle excursions to parts untold. As Fathers’ Day approaches, it is warmly remembered that Ted and his dad shared much special time ‘tinkering’ with older cars ‘back in the day’.

Ted’s proud service to his country in the US Army during the Vietnam Era was cut short by an almost-fatal illness after which he was honorably discharged. Thereafter, Ted’s long and distinguished career in construction began with work for his father’s enterprise and later with his uncles’ firm, Helgerson Brothers Construction Company. Following that, Ted was employed for many years as Head Carpenter at the renowned Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. His passion for woodworking continued through his retirement and beyond, with many of his awesome handiworks gifted and displayed to the delight of appreciative Holiday residents and staff.

A water rat and beach bum, Ted thoroughly enjoyed a lifetime of being in, on, and around the. water – fresh or salt, calm or rough, it didn’t much matter; this affinity extended to myriad water-related activities including boating, fishing, swimming, beach combing, and simply sunning himself by the pool or at the beach. An avid game hunter and impressive duck pin bowler, he enjoyed the excitement of a good ball game, especially when played by the Boston Red Sox or New England Patriots. A ‘foodie’ of sorts, Ted and his ‘lobster buddy’ step-son, Joe, enjoyed feasting on countless crustaceans together over the years. And after dinner - or actually anytime at all – listening to Elvis with Marylynne was pure pleasure.

During their eight wonderful years in Florida, Ted and Marylynne spent much quality time with family and friends around the pool, playing mini-golf, and enjoying various activities, road trips, and outings to Busch Gardens and other local attractions together with her grandchildren. On one such outing, Ted single-handedly rescued Marylynne from a pack of snarling rabid raccoons which had encircled her. When not ‘enjoying the wildlife’, Ted was busy performing countless acts of kindness as the local resident handyman.

Funny and fun-loving, always good natured, often a jokester, and ‘sometimes a sweet, sometimes a stubborn Swede’, Ted will be remembered as quite a character and quite a comedian for his ever constant sense of humor, quick wit, and broad winning smile; he will always be admired for his courage, tenacity, genuine goodness, loyalty, work ethic, and many skills and accomplishments.

In addition to his beloved siblings, surviving Ted are his loyal and loving wife, Marylynne (Sullivan) Kennedy-DeMello Helgerson of Smithfield; his children, Kenny Helgerson in Colorado, and Tammy (Mrs. Robert) David in Rehoboth; five step children including Kelly Goodwin in Florida, and Joseph R. Kennedy, III in North Smithfield; and at least three step-grandchildren including Randy and Taylor Goodwin and his very special Delaney Kennnedy. He was the widower of Terry Makuch and the former husband of the late Donna Horton.

Undoubtedly, Ted’s message from above to be shared amongst all his loved ones would be borrowed from that inspirational Debby Boone classic which was chosen for the wedding of he and Marylynne in 1999: “…You give me hope to carry on…you light up my days and fill my nights with song”. And, the collective response back to him would unanimously be: “Ted, you lit up our lives; thanks for the memories, now sleep in peace!”

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Berarducci Home & Cremation Care Centers of
Woonsocket & Providence. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, Ted’s services are mandated private. A celebration of life will be planned for and held at a future date when family and friends may safely gather.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in thanksgiving for his life may be made in Ted’s honor to the RI Chapter, American Parkinson Disease Association, P.O. Box 41659, Providence, RI 02940. [].
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Armen Garo

Posted at 09:03am
My deepest condolences to you and your family, Tammy. I’m very sorry. May he Rest In Peace. 🙏


Posted at 11:23pm
Tammy, my sincere condolences on the passing of your dad. May he rest in peace.

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