Clete was born February 24, 1921 in Scotts Mills, Ore. He married his wife, Coleta Schonbachler, November 6, 1944. They had seven sons and five daughters.
Clete was a logger and started the Helvey Log Company with lifelong friend, Carl Skirvin. In 1957, Clete moved his family to Washington and lived for several years in the Naselle area.
In 1973, Clete moved his family to Forks, Wash. He logged for the Mayer Brothers for about six years.
He retired to Montana in 1978 where he bought a ranch and built a log house. Clete and Coleta loved raising lambs and baby goats. They made many friends and enjoyed the laidback life style. Sadly, in 1985, Coleta passed away.
In 1987, Clete met and married Genny Miller. They moved to Missoula and enjoyed dancing until her death in 1996. After Genny’s passing, Clete married La Vonne Sloan, who had been a dear friend of theirs. They were happily married until her death in 2004.
Clete resigned himself to living alone for the rest of his life but then he met Lucille Kaufman and her wonderful family. Lucille’s sons, Bob, Rick, and John, and daughters, Barb and Linda, have become like an extended family of the Helveys. Sadly, Lucille passed away December of 2011.
Clete is preceded in death by his four wives, son Walt, and baby daughter, Marie.
He is survived by his children: Joe (Jeannine), Carolyn (Vern), George, Clete (Barbara), Arlene (Fred), Vernon (Samie), Robert (Terese), Viet (Bill), Mike (Sandy), and Susie (Raoul). He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Clete enjoyed playing the accordion and guitar and spent many hours entertaining family and friends. He will be remembered for his beaming smile, his many acts of kindnesses, his love of his family, and his strong faith. He will also be remembered for his bright orange stocking cap.
Services will be held at Holy Rosary Catholic church in Crooked Finger, Ore. at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 14. Reception to follow the services.