- Fairbury News staff
John William (Bill) Helmers, 85, passed away Tuesday, May 19th at his home in rural Cropsey with his family present. He was born January 25, 1935 to Jacob and Florence (Hieronymus) Helmers, of Cropsey.
A memorial service will be held at a later date with burial at Fairview Cemetery near his home.
He married Darlene Tavener at the McDowell Methodist Church on April 3, 1955. She survives along with their four sons: Dennis (Cindy) of Fairbury; Dale (Amy) of Rio Verde, Arizona; Douglas (Brenda) of Cropsey; and Jeffrey (Heather) of Hoffman Estates.
He is also survived by six grandchildren: Brian (Kelly) Helmers, Cropsey; Kristin (Sanjit) Saluja, Naperville; Kelsey Helmers, Cincinnati, Ohio; Laura Helmers, Chicago; Brittany (David) Kuntz, Forrest; and Alexander Helmers, Hoffman Estates. They are also blessed with three great-grandchildren: Silas and Jacob Helmers and Finley Kuntz. Also surviving is one sister Lois Lemna, North Manchester, Indiana; sister-in-law Mary Ann Tavener and brothers-in-law Ken Broquard and Marvin Bahler, both of Fairbury.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Jane Bahler and Ruth Broquard, one brother James and one brother-in-law Albert Tavener.
Bill farmed all of his life in the Cropsey area while serving on the Belle Prairie and Cropsey Township boards, Belle Prairie Insurance, Cropsey Coop Grain Company, the Cropsey Sportmans’ Club, Indian Creek Golf and Country Club, and the Citizens State Bank of Cropsey boards. In addition, he served on many committees and in leadership positions in the Cropsey Methodist Church and the Fairview Cemetery Association.
Bill loved the game of golf and the many friends he made playing. He and Darlene enjoyed spending winters in Florida and time spent with family and friends. His love of “going places” probably started when he was born on the way to the hospital.
The family suggests that memorials be made to the Fairview Cemetery Association, SELCAS, or a donor of your choice through Duffy Pils Memorial Home, 100 W. Maple Street, Fairbury, Il 61739, who are in charge of arrangements.