John G. Helmick

  • "You are greatly missed Uncle John! Especially this time of..."
    - Wendi Helmick

John G. Helmick March 8, 1941 - Jan. 6, 2012 John Garvin Helmick of Vallejo, CA formerly of Boise, passed away in January from complications of lung cancer. He had been hospitalized at UC Davis and Kindred Hospitals from June 9th, 2011, until his death. John graduated Boise High School in 1958. He played violin (first chair and concert master) in the high school and Boise Symphony Orchestras. He was on the Boise High State Champion Tennis Doubles Team. As a National Merit Scholar, he received a 4-year scholarship to Reed College, where he earned his B.A. in Physics in 1962. Later that year, he went to Ghana, where he served in the Peace Corps. He taught math and science to schoolchildren. Returning to the U.S. he tried working in the field of nuclear physics at TracerLabs, in Richmond CA, but the focus on destructive weaponry at that time conflicted with his pacifist ideals, so he moved to the North Beach, and attended San Francisco State College. He later lived for a time in Eugene, Oregon. In the 1980's he came back to Boise to help his aging parents. Later he returned to the Bay area where he purchased a home and resided until his last illness. Largely self-taught in languages, he made a good living as a translator in Greek and German. John is survived by his siblings Treva Jean Hamilton, Eagle, and Robert I. Helmick of Rathdrum, Idaho, and their respective spouses, Roger Hamilton and Carol (Thompson) Helmick. Also, nephew Matt Helmick , and nieces Wendi Helmick, Sonja Griffith, Erin Wyld and their descendants. Also surviving are special friend Sammy (Elaine) Nobles of Silverton, Oregon as well as friends Bill and Debbie Rader of Sacramento, John Hunter and his mother Virginia, of Vallejo, and many others. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Lorena, F. (Marsh) and Neal J. Helmick and by his half-brother Norman Helmick. John's ashes are interred at his parent's gravesite at Dry Creek Cemetery in Boise, Idaho. A family and friend memorial will be held later this year. Those who would like to honor John's memory will do something, large or small, in the cause of world peace and justice.

Published in Idaho Statesman on June 13, 2012