Melba Ann Helmkamp

Bethalto | Monday, February 13 2012

Melba Ann Helmkamp, went to be with Jesus, at 11:55 am on Monday, February 13, 2012 at Rosewood Care Center in Alton.  She was a loving daughter, wife, mother and grandma. 

She was born on September 27, 1930 in Alhambra, IL, the daughter of Fred H. and Rika (Brakhane) Schumacher. 

On September 17, 1952 she married Ralph Edward Helmkamp at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, IL.  He preceded her in death on October 2, 2007.  They shared 55 years of marriage before his death.   

Melba completed the 8th grade at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Hamel.  She worked side by side with her husband in owning and operating a successful dairy farm with her family until her husband’s retirement in 1993.  She was a devout Lutheran and very active in her church, Zion Lutheran Church in Bethalto where she was a member of the Ladies Aid, helped put out the monthly Herald and sang in the mixed choir.  She enjoyed bowling and was a member of several leagues for many years.  It was while bowling in one of these leagues that she and her husband met.

She is survived by two children and their spouses, Alan and Pamela Helmkamp of Bethalto and Beverly and William Smith of Jerseyville;, one granddaughter, Nadia Helmkamp three step grandchildren, Alex Taylor, Mike Smith and Debbie (Scott) Blackorby; three step great grandchildren, Brett, Elese, and Nikki Smith; one step great, great grandchild, Samantha Smith; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Harold (Marilyn) Schumacher and Frederick (Marg) Schumacher; two sisters-in-law, LaVerne Schumacher and Norma Schumacher and several nieces and nephews. 

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three sisters, Anita Schumacher, Dorothy Prante and Doris Gusewelle, two brothers, Norman Schumacher and Glenn Schumacher and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Earl and Elda Helmkamp.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, February 17, 2012 at Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home in Bethalto.

Visitation will continue from 10 to services at 11 am on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at Zion Lutheran Church, Bethalto with Pastor Mark Hofferber officiating.

Burial will take place at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Bethalto.

Memorials may be given to Zion Lutheran Church.

An on line guest register can be located at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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