Bruce Philip Helmes, an architect, World War II veteran and a native of Katonah who was active in the community for 70 years, died on May 8. He was 95.
Born April 25, 1922 on a kitchen table in a second-floor apartment over a woodwork shop at 223 Katonah Avenue, which 50 years later he renovated into offices now known as The Courtyard.
He was the third child of Charles and Louise Tucker Helmes. Predeceased by sister, Marion Covey and brother, Charles T. Helmes, former superintendent of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District. His father was the "wire chief" of the New York Telephone Co. in Mount Kisco.
Heis survived by his wife, Margaret (Peggy Healy). Although married for 70 years, they were going together since they were 16 years old. Bruce attended Katonah High School and Margaret, also a native of Katonah, went to St. Mary's School.
In September of 1947 Bruce and Margaret were married at St. Mary's in Katonah and had eight children, six sons and two daughters and now 24 grandchildren: Philip (Kathi), of Marblehead, MA; their children: (Brian, Julie, Jessica, and Caroline); Peter (Marjie) of New Fairfield, CT.; (Sean, Alexandra, and Molly); Bruce (Andrea) of Cedartown, GA. (Bruce, Scott, Kyle, Michael, and Rachel); Steven (Rosa) of Katonah, NY; (Cristina, Charles, and Briana); Kevin (Digna) of White Plains, NY (Ashley); Peggy (Nicholas and Emily); Barbara (Van Muller) of Pound Ridge, NY; (Stephen, Timothy, Kevin, and Kate); and David (Yummy) of South Salem, NY (Maggie and Annie).
His daughter Peggy died of brain cancer in 2010.
He worked in New York City and White Plains with Architectural offices and further studied Land Planning and Structural Engineering at Columbia University and New York Structural Institute. He received his Architectural License in 1952 and started his own practice. Examples of his work can be seen throughout Northern Westchester and Fairfield County, varying from large custom homes, to commercial buildings, along with numerous renovations and additions on a variety of projects.
In 1985 his sons, Peter, Steven and Kevin, joined him and they continue "The Helmes Group, Architecture, Engineering and Project Management," at their office at 184 Katonah Avenue.
Bruce was dedicated to serving his community with 70 years in the Katonah American Legion, (past finance officer); 70 years with the Katonah Fire Department (past finance officer); President of Katonah Chamber of Commerce; President of the Katonah Rotary; Schaeffer Award recipient; President of the Katonah Memorial Park; 32 year Board of Managers for Lincoln Hall; Member Emeritus of the America Institute of Architecture (past finance officer); Town committees, including: Chairman of District 8 Republicans; Low Cost Housing Committee; Community Board of County Trust Bank; Board of Directors of NY Federal Savings Bank; and Board of Directors of the Village Improvement Society. Bruce was the recipient of the 2009 Civic Award by the Sisqua Council 1862 of the Knights of Columbus.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Katonah Fire Dept., the Katonah-Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corp., or to St. Mary's Church.