Kay Michael Helsabeck

November 16, 1936November 19, 2020

Kay Michael Helsabeck, 84, of Raleigh, peacefully passed away Thursday, November 19, 2020 surrounded by loved ones at her home.

Kay was born November 16, 1936 in High Point, North Carolina to the late Daniel James Michael and Edna Garrison Michael.

Kay married the love of her life, Ralph, on June 14, 1958. They were married at Green Street Baptist Church, where they were members before moving to Raleigh. Having been together for more than 64 years, and married for 62 years, their love was a testament to their commitment and devotion. That love was shared with all of those whose lives they touched.

Kay spent her professional career employed by the High Point Enterprise and later Exxon Mobil. But, there was nothing more important to Kay than her family. Her main focus was her children and she spent many years as a full-time mother. She was always very involved in her children’s schools and activities. She was a devoted stage-mom, band-mom, and constant chauffeur to dance, soccer and music lessons. Kay was warm and welcoming, becoming a second mom to neighborhood children. With friends and family, she was loyal to a fault. She was full of love and compassion for animals. Kay cherished her children and loved her grandchildren with a passion. She will be forever loved and missed. Kay loved music, enjoyed playing the piano and had a lovely singing voice. Before meeting Ralph, she sang locally on the radio. Later she enjoyed taking part in jam sessions with Ralph and her brothers-in-law.

Kay also had a great sense of adventure. She and Ralph loved to travel and were able to see the world. They ventured around Europe, visited North Africa, explored Puerto Rico and spent time in many other places. Topsail Island was especially near and dear to her heart.

Kay is preceded in death by her father, Daniel James Michael and her mother, Edna Garrison Michael; her brother, Daniel James Michael II; and her sister, Billie Sue Key.

Kay is survived by her husband, Ralph; her daughters, Betsy Helsabeck and Julie Helsabeck; her son and daughter-in-law, John and Misty Helsabeck; her beloved grandchildren, Katie, Maddie and Michael Helsabeck; and her God-daughter, Lauren Baker.

The family will hold a private inurnment for Kay at Millbrook Baptist Church. A memorial service will be planned at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Kay’s honor to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation at



No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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Mary Newman

November 24, 2020

On behalf of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, I would like to express our condolences to Kay's family. She was a supportive member of our community and will be greatly missed.

Betty Key

November 22, 2020

We were childhood friends. Found each other again on Facebook. I loved my friend. Will miss her . Praying for the family

Shaun Slattery

November 22, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear of Mom Helsabeck's passing. John and I have been close friends since high school and his family became an extension of my own and Kay like a second mother. John and I were always at each other's houses and our families even co-hosted dances for our friend group.

What always struck me was how close and loving the family is -- I remember them saying, "I love you" to one another whenever someone went out. And yet, I was always made to feel such a welcome part of it. Kay was a lovely human being and I'll miss her very much.

Lauren Baker

November 22, 2020


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