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RAPID CITY- Robert L. “Bob” Helmer, 86, of Rapid City, passed away Dec. 1, 2016.

Robert was born March 29, 1930, to Ben and Nellie (Williams) Rail in Belle Fourche. Bob was adopted and raised by Theodore Helmer. He attended schools in Belle Fourche.

He joined the United States Marine Corps when he was 18 and was assigned to the 1st Marine Airwing. After his discharge, Bob returned to Belle Fourche and attended Black Hills State Teachers College, graduating with a B.S. degree in Physical Sciences.

He became an agent for State Farm Insurance and worked for them for 40 years. In 1957, Bob joined the South Dakota National Guard. During his time in the Guard he attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. and the Command General Staff College in Leavenworth, KS. He retired in 1986 as Assistant Adjutant General. Bob married Judy Huisenga on December 2, 1999 in Belle Fourche, SD

In 1960, he purchased the first of five ranches near Belle Fourche. He served several terms on the Belle Fourche City Council and also several terms as Mayor of Belle Fourche. He served over the years as the chairman for the Black Hills Roundup, Water and Natural Resources Board, South Dakota Aeronautics Commission, The Old West Trail Foundation and the South Dakota Economic Development Grant Commission.

Bob was a member of Cedar Lodge #24, A.F. and A.M. and the Scottish Rite. In 2008 Bob served as the Potentate of NAJA Shrine Temple and was a member of the NAJA Cowboys and NAJA Greeters and the Belle Fourche Clown unit. Bob was also a member of the American Legion in Nisland, SD.

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He is survived by the love of his life, wife, Judy, sons Brett (Kathy) Helmer, Omaha, NE, Robert (Julie) Helmer, CO, 4 step-children, Tami Nelson, Chicago, IL, Dawn (Tim) Murphy, Tea, SD, Derick Huisenga, Tricia Huisenga, Tioga, ND; 2 grandchildren, Jason Helmer and Kelly Helmer; 3 step-grandchildren, Chris Huisenga , Colin and Brock Murphy.

Visitation was Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, from 4-6 p.m. at Kirk Funeral Home with a Masonic service at 6 pm.

Services were at Calvary Lutheran Church, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, at 11 a.m., and burial at Black Hills National Cemetery at 2 p.m., following a luncheon.

Friends may sign his online guestbook at Kirk Funeral Home’s website.

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