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Reinard Wright Helder Jr.

1942 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Reinard Wright Helder Jr. Obituary

The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Reinard Wright Helder Jr. passed away on August 30th, 2017, in the loving company of his wife of fifty-five years, Carole Helder, and his daughter, Corinna Hayes.

A man skilled in numerous trades, always full of wise platitudes as well as snarky remarks, Reinard was born to Reinard Wright Helder Sr. and Maxine Etta Helder on August 12th, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, and moved to the Yuba-Sutter area at the age of five.

Strong-willed, ambitious, and a true leader, Reinard had the determination to tackle anything he set his mind to. It wasn't just enough for him to learn a little bit about something - if it captured his interest, then he strived to become the best at it.

Just a glimpse of his most noteworthy achievements over the course of his seventy-five years of life include, but are not limited to: the Master's degree he earned in Geography from Chico State University while working to support his wife and children, serving on the Yuba County Planning Commission for a four-year term, becoming a welding instructor at Yuba Community College, and even launching and operating his own well respected business known as Helder Manufacturing, which served the Yuba-Sutter area and beyond for over thirty-five years.

His personality could only be described as "larger than life:" Reinard was never one to do anything half-way. His passions included demanding that every single family member try what he had cooked (even if they had repeatedly told him that they were not hungry), telling people what they needed to be doing with their lives in order to succeed (even if it was a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do situation), refusing to put on pants in his own home (even if his granddaughter was trying to introduce him to the person she was dating at the time) and standing up for the ones he loved with an unwavering ferocity (even if they didn't always deserve it).

Reinard had a particular fondness for Mexico and its food, music and culture; he and his wife vacationed there regularly, where they went on to develop countless close friendships that have spanned the course of decades. He also loved studying history, photography (which stemmed from his parents, who founded The Helders Photography), architectural work (he even built his own home, brick-by-brick), farming, shooting guns, hoarding computer parts, and the sassy Bichon Frise that he and his wife received as a 50th wedding anniversary present (named Annie, short for "anniversary").

Reinard leaves a proud legacy behind which includes his beloved wife, Carole, their three children, and eight grandchildren. Beyond biological relatives, he also leaves behind immeasurable numbers of lives he touched with his wisdom, selflessness, and generosity, encompassing several generations as well as multiple countries. In the words of the wise Winnie the Pooh, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

A celebration of life service honoring Reinard will take place on a private property in Brown's Valley, California at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 15th, 2017. If you would like to attend, please email [email protected] or call or text (530) 645-2354 for more details.
Published in Appeal Democrat on Sept. 6, 2017
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