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Patrick J Helixon

Patrick J Helixon

Patrick John Helixon, age 85, of Menomonie, passed away at his home on Friday, June 22, 2018.  Pat is together again with his beloved wife of 59 years, Janette.

Pat was born in Marshfield, on November 16, 1932, the son of Timothy and Anna (Stauber) Helixon.  He was the youngest of nine children, graduating from Marshfield High School.

He attended Wisconsin State College at Stevens Point, where he played basketball.  He then transferred to Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire.  In 1953, he enlisted in the Army.  Pat was a fire direction teacher and quickly advanced to sergeant.  He volunteered to be deployed to Korea.  While on leave, he met the love of his life, Janette Pfahning, in Julie’s Bar and Grill in Marshfield.  Not surprisingly, their dates often centered around ball games.

After returning from Korea, he completed his bachelor’s degree in social studies at Eau Claire.  Pat’s college football and baseball teams both won conference championships.  On August 24, 1957, Pat and Jan were married, and they honeymooned on Potato Lake.

Pat spent the first five years of his teaching and coaching career at Augusta High School.  During the summers, they would pack up and move to Madison, where Pat earned his master’s degree in physical education.  In 1963, he moved his growing family to Menomonie, where he was a physical education teacher for nine elementary schools.  He also coordinated the elementary basketball program.  Pat coached the boys basketball, football, girls softball, and girls basketball teams.  Many of Pat’s summers were spent coaching the American Legion baseball, The Main Place women’s softball, and the Menomonie Blues men’s fastpitch softball teams.  Pat’s four children were fortunate to have their dad coach them along the way.

Pat and Jan owned and operated The Pub and My Style.  They were blessed with many years of camping, bowling, golfing, attending sporting events, and visiting cities and towns with casinos.  He retired in 1990 and said, “I have found retirement to be the best job I ever had and want to devote as much time as possible to it.”

Pat suffered a stroke in 2015 while he and Jan were vacationing at their favorite casino city, Laughlin, NV.  He was frustrated with the limitations the stroke put on him, but his love for Jan kept him strong while she struggled with breast cancer.  Pat was by her side in their home when she passed away peacefully on September 18, 2016.  Pat passed away on what would have been his mother’s 129th birthday and just in time for Jan’s birthday.  What a party they must be having!

Pat was truly in his profession to help young people grow.  He was sharp until his passing, completing the crossword and Sudoku puzzles in the daily newspaper.   He remembered every student he taught and every athlete he coached and usually had a funny story about them.  His sense of humor was contagious.

Survivors include four children, Joel (Linda) Helixon of Tucson, AZ.; Lora (Brian) Benrud of Menomonie; Jenny Benedict (Terry Gilbertson) of Eau Claire; and Chris (Tracy) Helixon of Onalaska.

He is also survived by twelve grandchildren, Adam and Heather Bird, and Jay Helixon; Andy (Siri), Matt (Jenny), Nikki, and Jimmy (Maddy) Benrud; Bailey and Kerry Benedict; and Isaac, Michael, and Ellie Helixon; eight great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Gloria Helixon of Phillips, Lavene Helixon of England, Dee Goldbach of Townsend, TN, Laney (Mike) Wohlgemuth of Morgan Hill, CA, Fran Pfahning-Baldwin of Kalispell, MT, Mary Ann Eckes of Eau Claire; brother-in-law Dan (Terrill) Pfahning of Kalispell, MT, and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Pat was preceded in death by his wife Jan in 2016 and his mother in 1983.  His father passed away in 1935, when Pat was two years old.  Four sisters and a brother passed away before he was born: Joseph in 1910, Anna Marie in 1918, Beatrice and Ruth Alice in 1928, and Arnoldine in 1929.  Three more brothers preceded him in death, Tim in 1990, Ray in 1999, and Dennie in 2011; as well as brothers-in-law Jim and Rick Pfahning and Paul Goldbach and sister-in-law Tillie Helixon. 

Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Menomonie, with Rev. John Mano officiating.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at church on Friday.  After the services, a Celebration of Pat’s Life will be held from 5-9 pm at Tanglewood Greens in Menomonie.  A private burial will be held at a later date.


  1. Gianna Bessert

    Dear Helixon Family, Pat was our neighbor and he and Jan welcomed us into our neighborhood with warm hearts. He was willing to help us out when I asked for help. He enjoyed visiting with our children and liked us stopping by when we could. He shared a lot of wisdom with us and we had nice conversations. He will be missed by our family. We will remember how he would stop and visit when he was heading to and fro from the woods. He was a kind neighbor who cared for us. Our hearts go out to you and your family at this time as your mourn Pat. May God give you peace in your sorrow and joy as you remember him.

  2. Scott Watkins

    I remember Pat coaching the Blues when my Dad played with them. Good times and memories. My deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to the family.

  3. Bruce Melrose

    It was easy to see how much Coach added to my parents enjoyment of living in Menomonie as he enriched our whole community. God’s peace.
    Marc, Margaret, Bruce Melrose

  4. Kerm Morgan

    Pat Helixon was a marvelous father, a gifted teacher, and the truest of friends. I suspect that he set mileage records driving to all his gifted children’s athletic events. As I told Joel it is so easy to say good things about Pat because his life defined goodness. His four children’s marvelous success all derived from Pat and Jan’s love and support. A time will come when he and I will share a heavenly manhattan as the ones he made were already of that quality. God bless you Pat for making a profound difference for so many. You made us all feel that we were the best.

  5. Rick Pauly

    Every time I think about Pat I break into a big smile and an even bigger laugh. What good times were had with him and Jan and of course the kids. Pat really help make a positive impact on so many people......thanks Pat for all the good times.

  6. Lois Sipple

    So sorry to read about Dad's passing. He was phy ed teacher when I was teaching at East School, so I was around him many years. At the beginning of the school year, he would make a (daisy) chain and hang it around the walls in our lounge, one chain for each day of school. A chain was removed every day....who needed a calendar when Pat's chain was there???? . After we retired the same year, I would meet him and Jan in an airport going or coming from a gambling excursion. We would sometimes meet at the casinos and check out who was winning...or not winning. If there is a casino in heaven, I hope to meet him and Jan there someday. Hope you all find comfort in all your beautiful memories of your dad and mom. Love, Lois Sipple

  7. Jacquie Moldenhauer Fedie

    I was a high school student in Augusta when Pat began his coaching career; he was a popular new teacher and our boy’s basketball team did well under his leadership. A few years later, Pat and I were colleagues when I began teaching music in the 9 Menomonie elementary schools where Pat taught phy-ed. We shared a central office at this time, and he taught me the ropes about coordinating our schedules and gave me insight into the various schools. I always respected his dedication to the sports he loved and people involved in them. I know Pat and Jan’s legacy will live on in his children and grandchildren. My sympathy to all of you.

  8. Laura Stoeklen

    I had Mr. Helixon as a gym teacher in grade school. We all loved him & thought he was an awesome teacher!!!

  9. Deborah Makiri

    Our heartfelt condolences to Joel, Linda and all the Helixon family during this time of immeasurable loss. Prayers and grace be poured over you all. Much love, Jeff, Debbie, and the Makiri/Woodall family.

  10. Tricia Nevala-Heinecke

    So sorry to hear about your dad. What a great role model & coach he was.... I will never forget how hard he was on me my first varsity game as a sophomore on the softball field..... 3 errors in the field but solid performance at the plate.... the bus ride home from Marshfield was the longest ever .... "Nev you did good at the plate but what the hell is wrong with you on defense?" I'll never forget it.... (I didn't make an error the remainder of the season)! :) You have many memories of a great man! Thoughts and prayers to you all in the days ahead!!

    Lots of love-


  11. Kristen Moegenburg

    Thank you Helixon’s for sharing your dad with all the people he coached. Not only my basketball coach but remember him from grade school gym and basketball for all those years. My favorite advice was either Move or get the hell out of the way and If I ever stop yelling at you, that means I’ve given up you. My thoughts are with you all!!

  12. Mary and Steve Pfahning

    We are so sorry to hear of Pat's passing and wish we could be there with you. Love, Steve and Mary

  13. Cheryl Gilbertson-Merrill

    My heartfelt condolences to Jenny, Bailey, Kerry and your entire Family. Your Dad and Grandpa was a stellar model for the phrase “A Life Well Lived”!

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