William L. Helbling

William Helbling Obit Pic

William Leroy (Bill) Helbling, 85, a longtime Moscow resident, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, February 29, 2016, in Spokane due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

He was born October 22, 1930, in Dickinson, North Dakota, to the late Arthur S. and Clementine Helbling.  After moving with his family to Moscow in 1939, Bill attended the Ursuline Academy in Moscow, Gonzaga High School in Spokane, and started at Gonzaga University before enlisting in the Army in 1951. He met the love of his life, Carmella Cantalini of Spokane, and they married in 1952. Bill continued to serve as an Army paratrooper until 1954.

Bill joined his father and brothers in building Helbling Brothers, an International Harvester farm implement dealership in Moscow, Pullman and Genesee. Early on, he served as service manager, then transferring into the parts department and later worked as an outside parts salesman until the business sold to St. John Hardware in 1995. He continued to work a few more years before retirement. Bill was the last surviving brother of a local landmark family business serving the Palouse farmers since 1939. He loved to refer to this area as “God’s Country.”

Bill was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather with a heart of gold and known for his firm handshake. In the early years, he and Carmella spent many hours dealing with a family sickness called Cystinosis, which took the lives of five of their ten children. He was an avid supporter of his children and grandchildren’s sporting events and a loyal supporter of Moscow Bear Boosters, Gonzaga Bulldogs, and University of Idaho Vandals.

Bill was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church; Knights of Columbus 4th Degree and enjoyed being a Eucharistic minister, taking communion to the home-bound. He was also a member of the Moscow Chamber Ambassador and the Moscow Lion’s club.

He is survived by his loving wife of more than 63 years, Carmella, who still resides in Moscow and by his children; Mike Helbling of Moscow; Barbara Brincken and her husband, Roger, of Spokane Valley, and their son Cody and daughter Tori; Jeff Helbling and his wife, Carla, of Moscow, and their sons Chris and his wife Jessi, Matt and his wife Ellie, Phil and his wife Kirsten, Jake and Josh; Bill Helbling and his wife, Rosemary, of Moscow, and their daughters Sara Alexander and her husband Ben, Stephanie, and son Shon; Karen Croasdell and her husband, Dave, of Reno, Nev., and their sons Quinn and Corey and daughter Kelly; and great grandchildren, Mason, Gabriel, Malia and Jackson. He is also survived by his sisters Sr. Dolores Helbling OSU of Moscow and Charlotte Schovaers of Palm Desert, Calif.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Art, Ray, Jim, Bob and sister Dorothy, his five children; David, Steve, John, Mary Ellen and Brian.

The rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 5th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at First and Polk St in Moscow, followed by the funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. and burial at the Moscow Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the St. Mary’s Family Center.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Tina’s Hope for a Cure (Cystinosis Foundation), P.O. Box 754 Clarkston, WA, or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Viewing will take place at Short’s Funeral Chapel from 10am-6pm on Thursday, and 8am-6pm on Friday.


10 Responses to William L. Helbling

  1. John Baldus says:

    Sorry to hear of Bills passing. He was a true friend and always helpful. Also Carmello you were a great inspiration to my late wife Ada. Thank you and may God be with you and family. John Baldus

  2. Tom & Judy Helbling says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Aunt Carmella and all your family. Bill was always a. Dry special uncle to me and my family. We wish we could be there to be there for the celebration of Bill’s life, but I am going through the one year post bone marrow cell transplant tests this week.
    All our love,
    Tom & Judy Helbling & Family

  3. Terri Rathbun says:

    Jeff, Carla and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I understand just how difficult it is to lose a father. I lost mine during our senior year of high school. I pray that God will bless and comfort you and your family at this time of sorrow. God be with you all. Sincerely, Terri Rathbun (Moscow High 1980)

  4. Susan C Burns says:

    Dear Carmela and family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Bill was cheerful and fun to be around whether at
    church, socials or exercising. After reading the obituary I realize the depth of
    community he had in Moscow and the Palouse. All will remember and miss
    him. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue your lives until
    you join him with Jesus in eternity. Many Blessings, Susan Carmen Burns

  5. Steve and Carol Davis says:

    Our condolences and sympathy to all.

  6. Don and Liliane Hinrichs says:

    Please accept or condolence for you loss.

  7. Phil Graves says:

    So Long Bill, Carol and I enjoyed our friendship with you and Carmella for over 60 years.
    We will not forget how kind you were to us newly married students at the U of I in the year of 1955.
    All my sympathies to you, Carmella and all your family.

  8. Andi Brown says:

    Bill Jr. your in our thoughts and prayers.
    Your friends at St John Hardware

  9. Duane Rimel says:

    Bill and Carmella sat right behind us at Vandal football games for over thirty years. He would always “pound” my back when the Vandals scored or made a big play. We enjoyed their company and always had a good time, even when the Vandals would lose. We enjoyed their friendship and we will miss Bill.

  10. Patrick Kenney says:

    Bill has atended our Class of 49 mo. thur lunch at Maxwell several times, only three of us 3/10/16 however I ,still email 27 around the Country, and snow birds on way Home. We will add Bill to our prayers. Great 63 years for you. Class of “49” sends our Condolences to Family Pat Kenney

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