HELBIG, Otto 98, of Sun City Center, passed away peacefully on Oct. 13, 2013. His kindness, humor and generous caring attitude will be missed. Born Oct. 28, 1914, he received his bachelor's degree from Yale University and his master's and doctorate degrees from Columbia University. Otto served in the Special Services Branch of the US Army during World War II. While serving, he worked with many of the top musicians of the time, producing V-disks for dis-tribution to troops all over the world. During this time, he wrote and directed an arrangement of "More Than You Know," performed by the combined Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey Bands. This is the only recording ever made of the combined bands. His composition, "The Pentagon," was played by the National Symphony in Washington DC. For 32 years, he was a professor of violin, musical composition and conducting at Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey). After retiring, he was named Professor Emeritus of Music at the college. He was also known throughout the Princeton, NJ, area for his jazz violin, sax and musical saw performances. His band and string compositions have been played at schools around the nation. Otto played violin with several organizations, including the Hawaiian and Trenton Symphonies. During his younger days, he travelled Europe with the Yale Band. While on tour, he took time out to enter a diving contest. He won the award for performing the best swan dive before the Princess of Italy. He lived at Homewood Residences for the last nine years, performing his music on the keyboard for his fellow residents. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary. He is survived by his daughter, Jann; grandchildren, Bethany and Jeremy; and great-grandchildren, Emma, Gavin and Stella. A memorial will be held at Homewood Assisted Living, Sun City Center, at a future date. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home (813) 634-9900.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Oct. 16, 2013