American Veteran 04


Richard J. Helfrich

1924 - 2021


Richard J. “Dick” Helfrich, 96, of Petrolia, a well known area resident and retired business man, passed away peacefully on June 21, 2021.

He was born on November 19, 1924 in Bruin.  He was the youngest son of Frank and Margaret Michael Helfrich.  Richard attended school in Bruin.  He was a Corporal in the United States Army and served in World War II in England, France, and Germany.  He was recalled to active duty for the Korean War and served in Korea and Japan.

Dick is survived by his wife, Lois A. Byers Helfrich, whom he married on November 10, 1947 in Evans City.  Dick and his wife were long time members of St. Peter’s Reformed Church in Fairview and are currently members of the Fairview Presbyterian Church.

Dick was employed at Witco Chemical in Petrolia for 31 years and also owned and operated oil wells in Fairview Twp. for 20 years.  He operated Helfrich American Service Station in Bruin for many years.

He was a member of the V.F.W., American Legion in Chicora, and was an Associate Member of the Fraternal Order of Police in Butler for 50 years.  Dick was a life member of the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Dept.
Dick and his wife rode motorcycle for many years.  He also enjoyed golf, bowling, and Nascar Racing.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Coleen Smith and her husband, William, of Aliquippa, Melanie Smith and her husband, Robert, of Coudersport, and Richard Helfrich Jr. and his wife, Dawn, of Karns City; six grandchildren, Matthew, Emily, Michael, Corey, Leslie, and Bryan, and 14 great grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by a brother, William, and a sister, Kathryn Bartoe, as well as a number of brothers in law and sisters in law.
The family would like to thank Quality Life Services of Chicora and Three Rivers Hospice for the excellent and compassionate care they provided.
Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home of Karns City, 128 Main St., Karns City, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Thursday.  A funeral service will follow from the funeral home at 1:00 p.m. with the Rev. Dennis Barger, a long time family friend, officiating.  Interment will follow at Bear Creek Cemetery, Petrolia.  Members of the Chicora and Brady’s Bend American Legion Posts will accord military honors at the funeral home.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Fairview Presbyterian Church P.O. Box 204 Petrolia, Pa 16050.  Condolences may be sent by visiting


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Rosanne Cypher Thrower

June 24, 2021 10:34 PM

Lois. I am very sorry to hear you have lost your dearest companion and love of your life My sincere condolences to you and your family.
Your fellow mail sorter

Sally and Larry Henry

June 24, 2021 2:26 PM

Remembering Church conversations and community dinners we were sorry to learn of Dick's passing.  Our prayers go out to Lois, Melanie, and Bob.

Mitch and Jenn

June 23, 2021 10:20 PM

Deepest sympathies to Dick, Dawn, Mike, Corey, and family. May you reflect fondly on memories and find comfort and peace amongst family and loved ones.
Mitch and Jenn

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A Memorial Tree was ordered in memory of Richard J. Helfrich by Mitch and Jenn.  Plant a Tree

Rebecca Bell

June 23, 2021 1:32 PM

My sympathy to the Helfrich family for your loss.

Jim and Darla

June 23, 2021 12:32 PM

May your heart and soul find peace and comfort
Jim and Darla


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