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Willie Hellund

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Willie Benhard Hellund

1922 - 2014


Willie was born in San Francisco in 1922. He grew up in Bernal Heights and graduated from Balboa High School in 1940. He married June Baumgartner in 1943. They had two girls: Linda Smith of Napa, and Gail Bowler of Woodbridge. Grandchildren include Cindy Dinsmore, Bradford Smith, Shasta Turner (Martin Ambrose), and Bret Turner; and great grandchildren Justin Smith, Kyle Smith, and Jack Dinsmore.


Willie worked the CCC camps in Sequoia National Park and he went to sea as a Merchant Marine serving the US in both World War II and the Korean War. He retired from a nearly 30-year career as a S.F. Firefighter in 1976. After that, he traveled the world, and took Finnish lessons at UC Berkeley. In 1991, he and June moved to the San Joaquin Valley after joining the Silver Streak Trailer Club and toured all over North America, which they truly enjoyed.


Willie was preceded in death by his wife June (2005); his parents Alma & Carl; and his sisters Frances (Clifford Tucker), and Florence.  He is survived by his two daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (named above), as well as nieces Stephanie Nahlinder (Mats) and Carol Lain and their children; in-laws J. R. Baumgartner, and Doris McKibbin, their families; and many other relatives and lifelong friends.


A Memorial Service will be held at the Swedenborgian Church in San Francisco on February 16 at 3 p.m. Directions to a reception in Berkeley will be provided at the service.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 2, 2014
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