OBITUARY

Thomas Helgeland

August 11, 1929May 24, 2018

Thomas Helgeland, a long-time resident of New Bedford, died Thursday the 24th of May at Sacred Heart Home. Born on August 11th, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York, Thomas was the son of Oscar & Pauline Helgeland. He was married to Aud Karin ‘Kina’ Helgeland for nearly 60 years and they raised their family on Coggeshall Street. A man of strong faith, he was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and previously of Elim Baptist Church where he was a deacon.

Tom moved to New Bedford in 1938. He served his country in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 and was honorably discharged with the rank of chief petty officer. He worked for several years as a commercial fisherman as his father had before him fishing on boats that included The Pearl Harbor and The Edgartown. A back injury ended that career at which point Thomas returned to school, graduating from SMU in 1971 with a degree in Mathematics. He began a second career as a social worker, first in the Fairhaven Welfare office and then as a supervisor at the Long Term Care unit in Taunton. Over the course of nineteen years he found his calling helping families and seniors.

Tom pursued many hobbies over the years including tropical fish, model ship building and playing the violin and piano. His greatest passion was singing. He loved opera, performing in several amateur productions. An accomplished vocalist and vocal teacher, Tom sang at local weddings and often for the New Bedford Seamen’s Bethel at maritime functions. He was a member of the Port Society. His singing career culminated when he sang the National Anthem in the 2015 film ‘42’, the story of Jackie Robinson.

Tom’s illness was brief and his death follows that of his beloved wife earlier this year. He was loved and is survived by his children Katherine Vezina and her husband George, Brian Helgeland and his wife Nancy, and Karen Davis and her husband Paul; also by his grandchildren Ian and Martin Helgeland, Spencer and Emma Vezina, and Sean and Erik Davis all of whom brought him great pride and joy. He also is survived by his sister Eleanor Brown of Florence, MA. He is predeceased by his sister Odda and brothers Leif Martin, Christian and Walter. He also leaves his good friend Emile Fournier and his brother-in-law, Oivind Ulland.

His Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, May 31th, 2018 at 11AM in Trinity Lutheran Church, 16 Temple Pl., Fairhaven. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Trinity Lutheran Church, 16 Temple Pl., Fairhaven, MA 02719. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Sacred Heart Home for the loving care of their parents. For online tributes please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com.

  • FAMILY

  • The late Oscar Helgeland, Father
  • The late Pauline (Aarstad) Helgeland, Mother
  • The late Aud Karin (Ulland) Helgeland, Wife
  • Katherine Vezina & her husband George, Daughter
  • Brian Helgeland & his wife Nancy, Son
  • Karen Davis & her husband Paul, Daughter
  • He is also survived by his grandchildren Ian and Martin
    Helgeland, Spencer and Emma Vezina, and Sean and Erik Davis all of whom brought him great pride and joy. He also is survived by his sister Eleanor Brown. He is predeceased by his sister Odda and brothers Leif Martin, Christian and Walter. He also leaves his good friend Emile Fournier and his brother-in-law, Oivind Ulland.
  • DONATIONS

  • Trinity Lutheran Church

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Memorial Service Thursday, May 31, 2018

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Burial is private
REMEMBERING

Thomas Helgeland

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Mara Brown

May 31, 2018

I loved my uncle Tommy's smile, his laugh, and his kind eyes. I loved his voice, his telling of family stories, and his sense of humor. I remember as a kid his egg on my head trick left a big impression on me. Amazing! :) To Kathy, Karen, Brian, and families, I admire your dad's loving and devoted nature. I'll miss him. I'm sorry for the loss of both your parents this year.

Michelle & Mandy Teixeira

May 29, 2018

Kathy, Brian and Karen
Our sincere sympathies and deepest condolences to all of you
Tom was a gentle giant with a great personality, who loved and adored his wife (Kina) and children (Kathy, Brian, and Karen) and expressed it many times. Tom and Kina are rejoicing being together. Tom is singing loudly.
Love lives on forever in the heart.

Bob Chase

May 29, 2018

I worked for many years as the organist of the Seaman's Bethel and Tom was my number one soloist. I will always remember him fondly. May God bless you all at this difficult time and may he rest in eternal peace.

Annemarie Espindola

May 28, 2018

Dear Kathy,Brian and Karen,
So terribly sorry to hear of your father's passing. To lose both your dear parents so close together is doubly heartbreaking. Our love and sympathy to you and all your family and to dear Frenchy as well. You will always be in our prayers and our hearts.
With love, Annemarie & Steven Espindola

Kathy Conlon Thoren

May 27, 2018

My family went to Elim Baptist Church for four generations. There two things I remember most about Tom Helgeland - his height because I was a child and his tremendous voice. When I finally got to join the adult choir, it was a thrill to actually sing with him every week.

May God give your family peace and keep you close to Him at this time.

Pauline Desrosiers

May 27, 2018

It is with great sorrow that I learned of his passing, and that of his beloved Kina earlier this year. I worked with Tom for many years at the Fairhaven Welfare Office - it was the best time of my entire career in state service because of Tom and the fine people we worked with. I remember visiting Tom & Kina at home many times, including the Holidays and meeting their children, who were a source of great pride for them both. (I recall that they were a little concerned because Brian and his friends were constantly playing Dungeons and Dragons - who could have imaged where that would lead him) I remember the duet Tom sang with Joan Beltran , also from our office (You don't bring me flowers) at the Welfare Conference in Provincetown which brought down the house. Tom was my right hand man, whom I could always count on. His strong faith and his devotion to his loved ones was an inspiration and an example. His beautiful voice will only enhance the choirs of angels he has joined. I am so glad to have a record of his voice when he sang the Ave Maria in The Assassins and the National Anthem in the movie about Jackie Robinson. May his family find comfort in the knowledge that he lived a full and meaningful life and that he will always be in the hearts of those who have known him. Pauline Levasseur Desrosiers, Sarasota, Florida

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Thomas Helgeland, a long-time resident of New Bedford, died Thursday the 24th of May at Sacred Heart Home. Born on August 11th, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York, Thomas was the son of Oscar & Pauline Helgeland. He was married to Aud Karin ‘Kina’ Helgeland for nearly 60 years and they raised their family on Coggeshall Street. A man of strong faith, he was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and previously of Elim Baptist Church where he was a deacon.

Tom moved to New Bedford in 1938. He served his country in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 and was honorably discharged with the rank of chief petty officer. He worked for several years as a commercial fisherman as his father had before him fishing on boats that included The Pearl Harbor and The Edgartown. A back injury ended that career at which point Thomas returned to school, graduating from SMU in 1971 with a degree in Mathematics. He began a second career as a social worker, first in the Fairhaven Welfare office and then as a supervisor at the Long Term Care unit in Taunton. Over the course of nineteen years he found his calling helping families and seniors.

Tom pursued many hobbies over the years including tropical fish, model ship building and playing the violin and piano. His greatest passion was singing. He loved opera, performing in several amateur productions. An accomplished vocalist and vocal teacher, Tom sang at local weddings and often for the New Bedford Seamen’s Bethel at maritime functions. He was a member of the Port Society. His singing career culminated when he sang the National Anthem in the 2015 film ‘42’, the story of Jackie Robinson.

Tom’s illness was brief and his death follows that of his beloved wife earlier this year. He was loved and is survived by his children Katherine Vezina and her husband George, Brian Helgeland and his wife Nancy, and Karen Davis and her husband Paul; also by his grandchildren Ian and Martin
Helgeland, Spencer and Emma Vezina, and Sean and Erik Davis all of whom brought him great pride and joy. He also is survived by his sister Eleanor Brown of Florence, MA. He is predeceased by his sister Odda and brothers Leif Martin, Christian and Walter. He also leaves his good friend Emile Fournier and his brother-in-law, Oivind Ulland.

His Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, May 31th, 2018 at 11AM in Trinity Lutheran Church, 16 Temple Pl., Fairhaven. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Trinity Lutheran Church, 16 Temple Pl., Fairhaven, MA 02719. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Sacred Heart Home for the loving care of their parents. For online tributes please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com.