Editor’s note: Helmuth was a member of an immigrant family from World War II that settled in Racine Wisconsin. Most of his family is still there.
Helmuth Beutel, husband, father, grandfather and engineer, died peacefully at his home in Upland, CA on November 14, 2015 due to complications from a head injury. Helmuth was born February 1, 1940 in Misurken, Lithuania to Franz and Adele Beutel. In 1944, he and his family travelled from Lithuania to Germany during extremely violent times. From the age of 4 until 12, Helmuth grew up in post World War II Germany. While times were hard and resources were scarce, it is here that Helmuth developed the principles of community, sharing, family and love that became the core of his adult beliefs. With the guidance of his father, Helmuth and family emigrated to the United States of America in May 1952 and became a naturalized citizen in 1958.
In 1961, Helmuth started undergraduate school at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1964 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He worked as an auto mechanic to support himself through college. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he worked for General Dynamics in Pomona, CA for a number of years before deciding to go to graduate school. In 1971, while on a leave of absence from General Dynamics, Helmuth graduated from Northwestern University with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. A strong believer in both higher education and the puritan work ethic, Helmuth instilled within his children the ability to set clear priorities, successfully chase goals, and value one’s family.
Helmuth was an avid snow skier, water skier, hiker and bicyclist. He shared these passions with friends and family alike. He taught his children how to water-ski through trips to the various lakes along the Colorado River and how to snow ski at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort (which is more resort today than it was when Helmuth started snow skiing). Through participation in Boy Scout Troop 623 and other camping adventures, Helmuth taught his children how to hike and camp. Later in life, Helmuth became an avid bicyclist. He was active in the hiking, skiing, and biking community until he was unable to continue due to Parkinson’s disease.
Helmuth is survived by his wife, Joan, his children, Darrell Beutel (Midori), Kurt Beutel (Emily), Martha Phelps (Adam), his grandchildren Ray, Samantha, Rick, Ryan, his sister Irma (Bob) and his brother Harry (Barbara). He was also the adopted grandfather of Alicia Mariscal.Helmuth is preceded in death by his brother Eddie (Helga).
The memorial service for Helmuth will be Saturday, December 19, at 6 p.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church on 21st street and N. Euclid Ave in Upland. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family welcomes donations to Helmuth’s preferred charity, the Friends of Upland Animal Shelter.