VERONA - David W. Helgesen, age 63, passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday June 9, 2012. David was born Sept. 9, 1948, to Maxine (Strain) and Milton Helgesen.
Dave grew up in Springdale Township, where he belonged to 4H, attended McPherson one room school, Verona High School and UW-Madison. Along the way he developed fix-it skills that he passed on to his sons and sons-in-law. He became a stone mason, as were his grandfather and brothers, in the Madison area and was a proud union member. He was currently employed in Operations at the Madison Metro Sewage District. Dave was a proud member of the Verona Fire Department, retiring recently as a Captain, where he felt a strong sense of camaraderie and considered the firefighters his extended family. Dave was an owner of the Sow’s Ear coffee shop in Verona where, in keeping with his pride in his Norwegian heritage, he learned to knit beautiful Norwegian Selbuvotter patterns and enjoyed spending time with his knitting companions. Dave learned to ski at an early age. He taught and coached at many ski areas including Aspen Ski School, Devil’s Head, Cascade, Tyrol and Blackhawk. He was inducted into the Tyrol Basin Hall of Fame in 2011 and also won the Town Downhill race in Jackson Hole Wyoming in 2010. Dave loved the mountains and was looking forward to his retirement in the Jackson Hole area. Dave was a man of faith. He was passionate about everything he did that involved family, church, work, fishing and skiing. He approached life at full throttle, touching every life he encountered with smiles, wisdom and generosity.
He is survived by his wife, Melissa; children, Erik, Lars (Adele), Bethany Wheeler (Daniel Smith) and Debra (Craig) Errington; grandchildren, Tyler, Mathew, Mellanie and Adam Helgesen; siblings, Marv Helgesen (Sally Banta), Sherri Bryan (Tom Jakel), Lynn (Ken) Schoeninger and Beth (Dean) Colello; brother-in-law, Patrick (Mary) McKey. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Melvin; and brother-in-law, Walter Bryan Dave’s family would like to thank all the health care professionals involved in his care, particularly those at Carbone Cancer Center and Agrace HospiceCare, the AARP Airmen of Tyrol Basin for a great ski season, the employees of MMSD and the Verona Fire Department for your support.
Memorial donations can be made to the Verona Fire Department, 101 Lincoln St., Verona for a memorial to be determined by the family. Dave, we will miss your love, laughter and especially your smile! Visitation is Friday, June 15, 2012, 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 220 Enterprise Dr., Verona, Wis. Services will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 11 a.m. at THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS, 701 Bear Claw Way, Madison. Burial at the Verona Cemetery will follow the service