Cover photo for Robert "Bob" Helmboldt's Obituary
1957 Robert "Bob" 2023

Robert "Bob" Helmboldt

August 11, 1957 — November 4, 2023


Robert “Bob” Helmboldt, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on November 4, 2023, in his home in Plainwell, MI at the age of 66. 

He was born August 11, 1957, in Worland, WY to Loretta and Don Helmboldt. His family later moved to Allegan, MI where he attended Allegan High School. After completing trade school, he worked at Parker Hannifin Brass, where he met his soon-to-be wife. Bob married his best friend Lorie Lester on November 24, 1994, in beautiful Gatlinburg, TN. Together for 29 years, they had two daughters, Stacy (Dan) Gearhart of Three Rivers and Kara (Daniel) Ratcliffe of Grand Rapids, and three sons, Jake (Jessica) Helmboldt of Martin, Tyler (Zoe) Lester of Gobles, Luke (Angela) Helmboldt of Plainwell, and twelve grandchildren. 

Bob loved his wife, kids, grandkids, faithful dog pal Yoda and 3 kitties, and spent as much time with them as he could, creating cherished memories with his family and friends. Springtime mushroom hunting trips, summers spent camping at Miller Lake Campground were some of the highlights. Though he struggled in his final years with severe back pain, Bob was an avid hunter, fisherman, occasional golfer, and he wanted to share these passions with everyone he loved as often as he could. As he had trusted his life and eternity in the hands of Jesus Christ, he is now sharing these passions with his Savior today in Heaven. 

Those blessed enough to know Bob know that he was loyal, easy-going, he had a big, compassionate heart, and a classic "dad" sense of humor, and he made the best venison jerky anyone had ever tasted! In addition, he was a big Michigan fan, loved the Detroit Tigers, and had an unwavering loyalty to the Lions, cheering them on through every victory and defeat.

In recent years, Bob had been struggling with his health, but it had taken more of a downturn in his last few months. His family takes comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain and is at peace. Bob is survived by his wife Lorie, their children and grandchildren, his father Don, his father and mother-in-law Bernard and Louise Lester, his sisters, Jenny (Mark) Anderson, Krys (Rick) Dutkiewicz, sister-in-law Julie (Bob) Taylor, brother-in-law Rod Lester; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends, such as his long time, dear friend Joe Baldwin. Bob is preceded in death by his mother, Loretta Helmboldt, and brother Mitch Helmboldt.

Cremation has taken place, and the family invites all who knew and loved Bob to join them for a celebration of life later in the spring of 2024 (specific details on time/place, etc, are TBD). This gathering will be a time to share stories, celebrate his life, and support one another through this difficult period of loss.

Bob Helmboldt will forever be remembered for his warm heart, dedication to family, and his passion for the things he loved. His memory will live on in the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him, and he will be greatly missed.

While visiting Bob’s webpage at please sign the guestbook  and/or share a memory with the family. The family is being cared for by Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, Plainwell Chapel (269) 685-5881.

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)


The Celebration of Life event for Bob is now scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 2024 from 1:30pm-4:30pm at Gun Plains Township Hall on 381 8th Street in Plainwell, Michigan. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert "Bob" Helmboldt, please visit our flower store.


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