Royce R. Helmbrecht, 75

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Royce R. Helmbrecht, 75

Royce Ralph Helmbrecht, age 75, of Austin, Minnesota, went to be with the Lord on Monday, November 13, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. Royce was born December 7, 1947, to Ralph and Phyllis (Wyttenbach) Helmbrecht in Owatonna, Minnesota. He was raised on a farm in southeastern Minnesota and attended country school through the 6th grade. Royce graduated from Hayfield High School in 1965, then went on to attend Augsburg College, where he graduated with a degree in Mathematics education in 1969. Royce then continued his education at the University of Minnesota, where he finished his advanced degrees. In December of 1969, he was drafted into the United States Army, serving during the Vietnam War. In 1971, he was honorably discharged from the service.

On June 24, 1972, Royce was united in marriage to Karen Jenkins at the Central Free Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their union was blessed with six daughters and 51 wonderful years of marriage. In 1977, they moved to a farmhouse in Foreston, MN and became members of Milaca Evangelical Free Church, and served in various leadership roles.

Royce began his education career in 1972 with the Minneapolis Public Schools, where he taught math for 8 years at Franklin Junior High. He was then transferred as a teacher on a special assignment, where he was involved in the establishment of the Area Learning Centers in Minnesota. In 1993, Royce became the assistant principal for the Austin Public Schools. In 2002, he accepted the principal position at Lyle Public School. Royce retired in 2009. He continued teaching in the GED program at the Mower County Jail. Throughout his educational career, he also raised beef cattle.

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Royce served as the Red Cross Regional Shelter Coordinator, the Freeborn/Mower County Disaster Assistant Team (DAT), and as an Elder at the Faith Evangelical Free Church in Austin. He also served as the Minnesota Membership Coordinator for Gideon’s, as well as camp president for the local Gideon camp. Royce was a member of the Rochester Music Men Barbershop Chorus and the American Legion Post 91, where he served on the Austin Honor Guard for military funerals. He was also a member of the Austin Morning Lions Club and the Evening Lions Club. Through the years, Royce and his wife, Karen, hosted 15 different exchange students, who gave their family many great memories of appreciating the many cultures of this world. Royce was a mentor through the Mower County Mentor Program. He was most recently a member at Crane Community Chapel in Austin, MN.

Survivors include his wife, Karen Helmbrecht of Austin, MN; daughters, Bonnie (John) Daugherty of The Colony, TX, Patricia (Aron) Meyer of Oceanside, CA, Angela (Erik) Stone of Blaine, MN, Kari (James) Thomas of Corvallis, OR, Katie (Timothy) Wiertzema of Hastings, MN, and Jena (Randy) Klouse of Austin, MN; 15 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; two sisters; and one brother. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Phyllis Helmbrecht, and grandsons Gabriel and Oliver Thomas.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at Crane Community Chapel in Austin. Visitation will take place from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 17, at Worlein Funeral Home Chapel and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Interment will be held at a later date in Grandview Cemetery, Austin, Minnesota. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Gideons International or Youth for Christ. Services are prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at