A hard working man, Dr. Robert Helmholdt lived an extraordinary and full life before going to be with the Lord on January 25, 2020. He spent his time giving generously to the community, and practicing as an orthodontist for 52 years. Remembered for his ability to create bright smiles - both through his practice and his light hearted humor; Bob was a loyal friend, disciplined student, and a prestigious leader. His greatest joy was his family – his beloved wife, Margie, of 42 years and two children, Maggie (25) and Ryan (21).
Bob was born in Grand Rapids, MI on March 31, 1930. He made Florida his home as soon as he completed his education at Hope College, Holland MI, University of Marquette, Milwaukee, WI, and University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. In the midst of his education, Bob served as a Captain in the United States Army and received the Commendation Ribbon for meritorious service.
At the height of his orthodontic career, Dr. Helmholdt was invited to multiple countries such as China, Russia, South Africa, Central America, Japan, Tai Wan, Thailand, and Nicaragua where he lectured and shared his knowledge and inspired others. He went on to win multiple noteworthy awards and lead multiple associations, committees and foundations:
Director of Ft. Lauderdale Jaycees; Director of the T. B. Association of Broward County; President of Ft. Lauderdale Beach Rotary Club; President of Broward County Dental Association; President of the Executives' Association of Ft. Lauderdale; President of the Atlantic Coast District Dental Association; Director of the Atlantic Federal Savings & Loan Association; Co-Chairman of the Tower Forum Club; President of the Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce; Vice Chairman of Ft. Lauderdale Blue Ribbon Bond Committee; President of Broward Citizen's Committee; President of the Wilton Manors Business Association; President of Ft. Lauderdale Tower Forum; CEO of the Lou Church Educational Foundation and member of the Advisory Committee to Senator George LeMieux.
He was a Recipient of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County award: "In Deepest Appreciation for 20 Years of Board Leadership, Commitment and Belief in our Children"; Recipient of the Broward County Dental Association's Jon R. Adair Award in recognition and appreciation of dedicated leadership and continuous service to the dental profession and conscientious service to the community; Recipient of the Southern Association of Orthodontists Citizenship Award
At Broward General Hospital – Member of the Cleft Palate Team; Member of the Superintendent's Committee on Public Education; Member of Broward County Governmental Efficiency Study Committee; Member of the Editorial Board, Ft. Lauderdale Magazine; Member of the Foundation for Orthodontic Research and the State, Regional, and National Orthodontic Associations; BETA Industrial Council Board Member; Mayoral appointed Trustee General Employees Disability and Pension Trust Funds Board; Mayoral appointed Municipal Policeman's and Fireman's Disability and Pension Trust Funds Boards
Regardless of his many accolades, Bob loved the simplicities of life. He was happiest in the sun with a good book or winning points on the tennis court. Many have spotted him cruising around town with the top down in his favorite set of wheels. His other activities included swimming, biking, and skiing. He valued an active, balanced, and healthy lifestyle and vowed that he would never stop learning.
Bob Helmholdt was a revered pillar in our community and will be remembered by the joy he brought to all who knew him. His Memorial Service will be held on February 8th at First Baptist Church, Fort Lauderdale at 11:00 am, 301 E Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
His family is beyond thankful for the overflowing love and support from their community, friends, and family.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. Robert Helmholdt may be made to Compassion International through www.compassion.com/donate