Food Culinary 08

Barbara J. Helman

November 4, 1938 ~ February 1, 2020 (age 81)

Life Story

Barbara Jean Helman, 81, of Elkhart, passed away Saturday morning, February 1, 2020 at Elkhart General Hospital, after a brief but courageous battle with leukemia.  Barbara was born on November 4, 1938 in Elkhart to the late Arthur and Helen (Ronzone) Russo. She married her true love Frank D. Helman on July 4, 1959 at St. Vincent dePaul Catholic Church. Frank preceded her in death on July 5, 2013 in Bristol.

They built a wonderful life together and were blessed with four children; Jeffrey P. (Jamie) Helman, of Niles; Cynthia A. (Tod) Boise, of Carmel; David J. Helman, of Constantine and Amy E. (Ryan) Wiltfong, of Bristol; 10 grandchildren; Kaley Taylor (Rob), Courtney Schultz (Stockton) Madeline Laidig (Nate) Emily, Thomas, Joe and Audrey Boise, Jackson, Rylee and Cameron Wiltfong; 9 great grandchildren: Avalon, Harper, Tatum and Quinna Taylor, Navy, Knox, Brighton and Merritt Schultz, and Lincoln Laidig.  She is also survived by her sister, Lucy Meisterheim (Jim) of Estero, FL.

Barb truly excelled in her role of homemaker, mother and grandmother. She lived life fully and gratefully, and her family was the central focus of her life.  She loved to cook and collect recipes. She wrote and distributed her own cookbook that was filled with family recipes. Barb was well known for her Italian spaghetti sauce and sausage bread, among many other favorites.

Visitation for family and friends will be on Thursday, February 6 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 1205 N. Main St. Elkhart, from noon (12 o’clock) until 4:00 pm. Reverend Jason Freiburger will officiate Mass of Christian Burial immediately following visitation. Per her wishes, cremation will follow. The family kindly request memorial donations in Barbara’s name to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.

Barbara’s family has entrusted care and arrangements to Billings Funeral Home, Elkhart. To share a memory or send a condolence to the family, please visit the Billings Funeral Home website.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara J. Helman, please visit our floral store.


February 6, 2020

12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
1405 N. Main St
Elkhart, Indiana 46514

Mass of Christian Burial
February 6, 2020

4:00 PM
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
1405 N. Main St
Elkhart, Indiana 46514

Cremation will follow services

Altera Cremation Services
812 Baldwin St
Elkhart, IN 46514


St. Thomas the Apostle Church
1405 North Main Street, Elkhart IN 46514
Tel: 1-574-262-1505

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