Cover photo for Richard Helgeson's Obituary
Richard Helgeson Profile Photo
1926 Richard 2016

Richard Helgeson

April 26, 1926 — May 15, 2016

Richard B. Helgeson, 90, Two Harbors, died Sunday May 15, 2016 at Lake View Memorial Hospital.

He was born on April 26, 1926 to Boyd and Gladys (Ziesmer) Helgeson in Two Harbors, where he was a life-long resident.  Dick graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1944 and Duluth Junior College, with honors, in 1948.  He enlisted in the Navy in June, 1944 and served in the South Pacific as a radioman aboard the USS Intrepid.  Dick also served in the Korean War from 1950-1951.  While attending the University of Idaho, he met his future wife, Betty Justice and they were married on June 15, 1948.  They had one son, Greg, born in 1951.

Richard and his brother, Bob worked for their father who owned and operated the Ben Franklin store until his death 1956.  They then took over operation of the store.  Dick served as the President of the Two Harbors Merchants Association and Lake County Civic Assn.    Richard and Norm McDonald were the pioneers of the Two Harbors campground.  He also served as president and manager of the Two Harbors City Band for over 25 years.  During this time, the band won many awards during competitions in Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, and the surrounding areas. He played trombone for many years in the City Band, the German Band and a dance band called The Entertainers.

In 1970, Richard became involved in the development of the Two Harbors Airport.  While working with the City of Two Harbors, he has seen the development of where it is today.  Dick also acquired his private pilot’s license and enjoyed many years of flying his Piper Cherokee here and around the country.  In 1992, the City of Two Harbors renamed the airport in his name to recognize his efforts in airport development.  He worked at the airport for 42 years.

Richard was a life member of the VFW and American Legion and was also a member of the Aad Shrine Band of Duluth, the Scottish Rite, Two Harbors Masonic Lodge, AOPA, and was a Colonel in the commemorative Air Force.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Betty; a son, Greg (Susie) Helgeson; granddaughters, Sarah (Tim) Clifford and Heather (Dan) Stone; great-grandchildren, Molly, Paige, Ashley, Alex, and Ryan; and a brother, Bob Helgeson.

Visitation will be held from 10 AM until the 11 AM memorial service on Thursday May 19, 2016 at Living Waters Fellowship in Two Harbors.


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