David Franklin “Dave” Helwig, 93, died peacefully at his home in Flintstone, Georgia, on May 16, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Reverend Frederic William Helwig and Charlotte Chatfield Helwig, and by his sisters, Marilyn Helwig Zeigler and Joanne Helwig McKray. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jean Kemper Helwig, and by their five children: Lucy Ann Helwig of Chickamauga, GA; William “Bill” Helwig (Angie) of Bryson City, NC; Janet Helwig Fortney (David) of Winston-Salem, NC; Lois Helwig Yapp (David) of Palos Verdes Estates, CA; and Joseph “Joe” Helwig of Atlanta, GA. He is survived by eight grandchildren: Rachel Helwig, Sarah Helwig, Virginia Yapp, Emily Farrell, Nicholas Yapp, Caroline Lee, Margaret Luccarelli, and Samuel Helwig. He is also survived by six great-grandchildren: Nina Eberhart, Jack Luccarelli, Theo Lee, Hannah Lee, Wyatt Farrell, and Stevie Farrell.
Dave was born in the manse of the Lower Valley Presbyterian Church in Califon, New Jersey, where his father was pastor. Following nine years in Califon, he subsequently lived in Princeton, New Jersey; Knox, Pennsylvania; Macon, Georgia; and Youngstown, New York, where he graduated from Youngstown High School in 1946. Dave proudly served three years in the United States Navy from 1946-1949, serving on the U.S.S. Orion and the U.S.S. Minah. He was stationed in Cuba, Panama, and Peru. Following his naval service he graduated in 1953 with a degree in political science from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. He was a member of the track, cross-country, and wrestling teams at Maryville College, and he very much enjoyed attending his college reunions throughout the years. It was at Maryville College that Dave met his future wife, Jean Kemper. Dave moved to Chattanooga following his graduation and worked for TVA initially in the Maps and Surveys Division and later in the Power Supply Division. He retired from TVA in 1988 as a power supply engineer after almost 35 years of service.
Dave was a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga for 68 years. He served the church in numerous capacities: Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School teacher, Elder, and Deacon. Additionally, he served on many church committees and was particularly instrumental in providing transportation to and from church services for many members over the years.
Dave’s life was always service oriented. For many years he was a volunteer fireman in the Chattanooga Valley community. He also served as a volunteer in numerous other organizations: the Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, the St. Matthew Men’s Shelter, the Community Kitchen, and the Newton Child Development Center.
Dave’s faith was important to him, and we rejoice that he has now joined the Church Triumphant. His Presbyterian roots were very deep, and these roots continued to be deepened throughout the years. He was a good and faithful servant, and his impact on his family and many others will always be felt.
There will be a graveside service for family at Chattanooga National Cemetery and a Celebration of Life service will be scheduled for later in the summer. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Dave’s honor to Second Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 37402. Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.