BJ (Van) Helmick
Of Upland, age 85, was passed into the loving arms Our Lord on 12/31/13. His adoring wife of 61 years, Rose Helmick of Upland, and his loving daughter, Patti LaVay of Fallbrook, were at his side when he passed away. Van died after a short but severe case of pneumonia. He passed away at San Antonio Hospital where he had received the best care from all his doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists.
Van was born in 1928 in West Virginia where he played football during his High School years. He served his country during the Korean War
working as a war photographer in the US Air Force. After the service, Van married his love, Rose and then after the birth of their first daughter, Lou Ann Helmick (preceded in death and greatly missed), they moved to Clearwater, FL to pursue better employment and to get away from the snow.
At 25 years old, Van found employment in Florida with Metal Industries. Here Van worked hard and moved up the ladder quickly until he became the President of Metal Industries. In 1958, Van moved his family now with a second daughter, Patti, to California. The Helmick family first lived in El Monte and then later to Upland when he moved the plant to Ontario. He retired from Metal Industries after 30 years of employment.
Bandlock Corp. then became his next adventure. He worked his business magic on Bandlock turning it into a successful company that went from having one employee to having over 100+ employees. He thoroughly enjoyed working and building his own company, as well as working with all of his talented employees. He sold Bandlock Corp. in 2006.
Van was always a creative, inventive man who enjoyed numerous hobbies. He was an avid and prolific painter. He golfed for several years with his good buddies where they may have had more good laughs than good putts. He surfed the Internet and traded good jokes with many of his family and friends until his computer would jam up from him clicking the mouse too fast.
In the 49 years that Van and Rose lived in Upland they amassed a wonderful, large group of close friends. Always one with a pleasant smile and disposition, Van usually had a good joke or funny comment to share. His friends meant so much to him; he was a true and loyal friend.
Van was a wonderful husband, friend and mate for his wife, Rose and he was an incredible father to his two daughters, Lou Ann (predeceased) and Patti. His family simply loved him to pieces. Rose, Patti and Patti's husband, Greg LaVay, are grieving deeply at the sudden death of Van. There is a huge hole gaping in our family tapestry.
Van's faith was extremely important to him. Van and Rose have worshipped many years at their church Foothill Bible Church in Upland. Our peace and comfort comes from knowing that Van is in Heaven with his Lord and Savior. Van's faith was in all he did and all he was. He was a generous Christian who deeply loved the Lord.
Dear Lord, we ask that you hold your faithful servant, Van, in your loving, comforting arms. We ask that you also comfort all of us here who are deeply mourning his loss. May we vividly remember all the love, generosity, example and laughter that Van gave to us. We know that you can soothe our grieving hearts and souls. We also know that Van is now in a better place where he, too, can watch over us. We give thanks to you for giving us Van for all these years. Lord, bless him and bless us. Please give us peace.
A viewing for Van will be held at Stone Funeral Home at 355 E. 9th Street, Upland on Friday evening, January 10th from 5-8pm. The memorial service for Van Helmick will be held at Foothill Bible Church at 1330 W. 15th Street in Upland on Saturday, January 11th at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Van's name to Foothill Bible Church All funeral arrangements are being made by Stone Funeral Home.