Donald Helmer

July 22, 2021


Donald E. Helmer, 90, Cibolo, Texas, and formerly Andover, SD, died Thursday, July 22, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.

Donald Eugene Helmer was born February 10, 1931, Webster, SD, to Henry W.F. and Mabel (Wilmsen) Helmer, Andover, SD.

He was raised on the farm, where he did chores with his eight siblings. He graduated from Andover High School in 1949 and went to work in the Groton, SD, bank. And soon he received his draft notice. Not wanting to join the Army, he instead enlisted in the United States Air Force. Upon returning home from his service, he was asked back to work at the Groton bank. Deciding he didn't want to work in the bank the rest of his life, he reenlisted in the USAF and made it a career.  He retired October 31, 1984 as a Colonel in the Air Force with the 47th Flying Training Wing at the Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas.

He settled in Del Rio, bought a house and worked at part-time jobs. He later moved to Cibolo,  Texas, where he bought a house. He corresponded with family often and visited his hometown, "the beautiful Andover, South Dakota" regularly. He ran in many 5K events around the country. He created and ran the Andover 5K Walk/Run in 2001, to assist with repairing the Andover Waldorf Hotel. He operated and participated in the annual event fir several years. It was discontinued upon the demolition of the hotel.

He is survived by one sister, Joyce Skiles, Chattanooga, Tenn.; three sisters-in-law, Ilene Helmer, Andover, SD; LaVonne Helmer, Aberdeen, SD, and Norma Helmer, Groton, SD; many nieces and nephews; and friend, Christopher Kite, Texas.

Preceding him in death were his parents; three sisters, Dorothy Sundermeyer, Beatrice Tobin and Barbara Guthmiller; four brothers, Leon, Richard, Orville and Norman; one sister-in-law, Shirley Helmer; four brothers-in-law, William Sundermeyer, James Tobin, Myron Guthmiller and Gwin Skiles; one niece, Sharon Sundermeyer; and two nephews, Scott Tobin and David Skiles.

Donald was cremated and his ashes scattered, according to his wishes.

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