Home Records Obituaries Stephen C. Helbing Sr

Stephen C. Helbing Sr


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Stephen C. Helbing, Sr passed away on May 31, 2021 by natural causes at his home at The Edgemere in Dallas, TX. While his body was at the Edgemere with his beloved wife of 70 years, Ellen Saylors Helbing, his heart and soul were in the country at their farm near San Angelo and ranch near Ozona.

Steve will be remembered as a father, a husband, as Pop-Pop, a Patriot, a friend, Christian, community leader, Presbyterian Church Elder, rancher, farmer, humorist, visionary, real estate savant and Aggie. He loved life, loved his family, loved his country, loved the country, loved his friends and that, in his opinion, was a full life. As much as he is missed, his legacy provides a strength and bond for his entire family.

Mr. Helbing was born on February 12, 1927 in Barnhart, TX to Dr. Arlington Helbing and Ruby Couch Helbing. His father was the physician for the railroad in Barnhart and was a pillar of the community. His maternal grandfather, Mr. Stephen Edmond Couch, was a rancher and entrepreneur who homesteaded a ranch near today’s Ozona, TX. That is where Steve spent many summers and garnered his love of the country and ranching. During his elementary school years the family moved to San Angelo for a better education and he graduated from San Angelo Central High School in 1943. Immediately following graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy and served his country in World War II on the USS Metcalf. He was honorably discharged August 7, 1946.

Following his discharge, Steve enrolled at his beloved Texas A&M University and majored in Agricultural Economics. His Aggie family will miss him and he’ll miss following their football team and meeting the young men and women who benefited from the scholarship created in his honor on his 80th birthday for students from West Texas majoring in Agricultural Economics. His wife won’t miss the calls from their friends in the middle of the night with a new Aggie joke but she will miss Steve’s laughter.

It was near the end of his college career that Steve met Ellen through a mutual friend in San Angelo. The two dated for over a year and Steve asked Ellen for her hand. He also met with Ellen’s dad for his blessings and they were married on May 19, 1951 in San Angelo. They had a large wedding with many guests. They then honeymooned in Mexico where an old friend surprised Steve and Ellen at their hotel. The appearance of old friends would become a frequent occurrence in their lives as they were loved and treasured by many friends throughout. There were many common traits among their friends; they all loved to laugh, they were loyal to each other, they were hard working and they loved the USA.

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Their first home as a couple was in Jayton, TX where Steve worked for Hughes Tools Company. His career in the oil patch would extend over 8 decades and he was a great ambassador as well as historian of the industry. The career led him from Texas to New Mexico to Oklahoma to Colorado and back to Texas. Every stop created new friends and memories. Steve leaves behind two sons and a grandson who followed him into the oil patch.

Rumor has it that Steve and Ellen moved more than a dozen times during their marriage as they were balancing career, family, ranching and civic responsibility which became something significant when they lived in Roswell, NM. At the urging of local Republican leaders, Steve joined a small team of his neighbors to run for state office in 1966 because he was told by the leaders, “There’s no way you can win so please help fill the ticket”. But he did win and it launched a near decade long commitment to make a positive impact on the citizens of Roswell and the state. He ran for Governor in 1970 and while he lost the election, the respect and admiration he earned across the state was something his family will always treasure.

Mr. Helbing put his nose to the grindstone after his political career and focused on his family and business interests in oil and gas and ranching. He loved both but being on the ranch and working with the men and women there was his love. Whether in Valentine, Ozona, or Mertzon, he loved every aspect of that life and the love was shared by Ellen and their sons.

He always had a soft spot for farmers, being a rancher, but he didn’t know a lot about their business. Steve and Ellen bought a farm near Mertzon, TX and he became a student of farming and fell in love with that as well. His greatest love during his final years was sitting on the porch at the farm with Ellen and often with his sons and grandkids talking about life. His stories, jokes, lessons and laughter will always be heard on that porch.

Mr. Helbing is survived by his wife Ellen, his four sons; Stephen, Jr and Joy Helbing of Colorado Springs, CO., Scott and Cyndi Helbing, Ross and Anne Helbing and Robert and Nerrie Helbing all of Dallas and 9 beautiful grandchildren who loved their Pop-Pop dearly.

There will be a funeral service at the First Presbyterian Church of San Angelo at 11AM on Thursday June 17th and a reception at the Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas from 2:30 to 4:30PM on Friday June 18th. Steve’s ashes will be placed in the Columbarium at Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo following the funeral service where he will wait for the love of his life Ellen to join him and where his sons, daughters in law and grandchildren can always come to visit with Pop-Pop.

In memory, Mr. Helbing had two organizations that he gave his time and resources where he would like him to be remembered:

1. Texas A&M University Scholarship

Donations made to: The Texas A&M Foundation

For: Stephen C. Helbing, Sr ‘48 Endowed Scholarship in Agricultural Economics

Address: 401 George Bush Dr., College Station, TX 77840.

2. The Salvation Army in any city

(Steve was the Roswell Chairman for the Salvation Army for many years where he loved and respected their commitment to the community)

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