Robert V. Helde, 80, of Margaretville died July 20, 2012 at his home.
He was born in the Bronx on August 4, 1931, the son of Carl and Henrietta (Finger) Helde.
He graduated from Saunders Trade and Technical School in Yonkers in 1949 after receiving a Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award.
Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1950 and served until November 1954. During this period of time, he held billets at NAAS Oceana, VA and aboard the U.S.S. Wm. M. Wood DD-715.
He married Sandra C. Griffin in Scarborough in 1956. They had two children, Diane L. and Steven R.
Before entering the Navy he was employed as a technician by NY Telephone. Upon discharge from the Navy he returned to NY Telephone and continued to work for that company and other Bell System companies, including Bell Labs and AT&T, until 1986.
Meanwhile he purchased property in the Town of Middletown in 1980 where, after he retired, he built (by himself) the home he lived in until his death.
Bob was a volunteer fireman and fire commissioner in the Arena Fire District for more than 20 years.
He was a past chairman of the Town of Middletown Republican Committee, a member of Post 10550 VFW, a member of the Tin Can Sailors, the National Association of Destroyer Veterans and Past Vice President of the U.S.S. Wm. M. Wood DD-715 Association.
Fondly known by his cousin as Mountain Man Bob, he was a person that loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, and skiing.
He had a great sense of humor, a dry wit, and loved a laugh with family, friends and neighbors, especially over cocktails and dinner. He will be missed.
One friend said, “He was a rock and the Go To Guy, for family, friends and neighbors.
Bob is survived by his former wife, Sandra; a son, Steven R. and daughter in law, Melanie, her son, Caleb Slaght and grandson Robert G. Helde, all of Florida; his daughter, Diane of Tarrytown and several cousins, nieces, great nephews and a great niece. He leaves behind his dog, Rebel.
As per Bob’s wishes, internment will be at the Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 1 p.m.
The family would like to invite all who knew Bob to join them at the Inn Between on Route 28 in Margaretville on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 from 5 to 7 p.m. to raise a glass to Bob and celebrate his life.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s name may be made to the Arena Fire Department or a charity of your choice.