December 20, 1930 - February 5, 2021


Thomas A. Helbling, age 90, of St. Cloud died February 5, 2021.

Tom was born December 20, 1930, in Mandan, ND, to Alfred and Rosa (Schaner) Helbling. He married Elizabeth “Betty” Beehler on October 5, 1953, at the Church of St. Joseph in Mandan. They farmed southwest of Mandan and moved to Minnesota in November 1963. Betty passed away on October 16, 1993. Tom married Janice (Adamson) Olson on June 3, 1995, in Buckman. Janice passed away January 6, 2018. Tom farmed southeast of Buckman for 36 years, then moved to St. Cloud in 1999.

From early on, beginning when he attended Catholic boarding school as a young boy in St. Anthony, ND, Tom’s faith, and music, were important to him. A devout Catholic, he was an active member in the Knights of Columbus in Pierz and Little Falls. He played the accordion, piano and organ and operated a piano tuning service. He especially liked listening to and playing polkas and waltzes. His other creative interest came later in life, when he took an oil painting class, gifting many of his paintings to family and friends.

Tom did not let the loss of his left hand in an October 1967 farming accident stop him from continuing his work as a dairy farmer and then operating his own small engine repair business. He enjoyed draft horse and threshing shows, which reminded him of North Dakota.
In his later years, Tom attended weekly auctions in the St. Cloud area. He’d visit with friends, eat a hot dog and maybe buy another beer stein to add to his collection. He especially enjoyed visits from his family and attending the annual Helbling family reunion.

Survivors include his daughters and sons, Annette (Marty) Thorson of Champlin, Vivian (Jerry) Heltemes of Morris, Randy (Audrey) of Faribault, Cheryl (Roger) Pick of Hillman, Alan (Kathy) of Allendale, MI, Rosalie (Jon) Quale of Stacy, Neil (Jamie) of Windsor, MO and Tom (Rena) of Grand Forks, ND; stepchildren, Douglas (Jodi) Olson of Sioux Falls, SD, Linda (Bill) Christiansen of Waseca, David (Judy) Olson of Dawson, Bill (Beverly) Olson of Montevideo, Barbara Butzin of Granite Falls, Craig (Stacy) Olson of Montevideo and Keith (Stacy) Olson of Montevideo; stepson-in-law, Larry Keding; sister and brother, Hildegard Palin of Lolo, MT and Alfred of El Cajon, CA; 17 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. Thomas was preceded in death by his parents; wives, Betty and Janice; son, Brian; stepdaughter, Sandy Keding; brothers, Joseph, Emil, Peter, John and Stanley; sisters, Jenny Wetsch, Maggie Kautzman, Mary Bullinger, Bertha Flink and Monica Zueger; and grandson, Justin Heltemes.

The family requests that guests follow all COVID safety guidelines, including social distancing and wearing of face masks.