Timothy Helck, age 64, of Cranbury, NJ died Wednesday December 29, 2021, from complications related to COVID-19. He was a graduate of Summit High School and Rutgers University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Patricia; his daughters, Emily (Matt), Miranda (Spencer), Lizzie (Kevin), Olivia, and Penelope; his step-son, Ethan Halo; his father, Jerry and step-mother, Linda; as well as his six siblings and their families. He is predeceased by his mother, Eileen.
He loved his wife and children deeply and was very proud of them. He was a quiet, constant presence through joy and sorrow. Even if he argued about their music choices in the car, and even if he made his daughters eat peas before enjoying their pizza, he simply was always there.
After working in the family business (Summit Tech Horseshoe Supply) for more than two decades, in his 30’s he reinvented himself, teaching himself to code and becoming a programmer. He was an employee of The New York Times for over 15 years.
Unfailingly hardworking, Tim was proud to be the historian of the artwork of his grandfather, Peter Helck, building and maintaining an extensive archive of his art and writings at www.peterhelck.com.
Tim was gifted in so many ways, with special talents in carpentry, painting, and drawing. He was a voracious reader, and especially loved the works of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Annie Proulx. He was a fiend for puzzles, particularly word puzzles. Think of him next time you do The New York Times crossword or the NPR Sunday Puzzle (and know that he probably would have solved it faster than you).
If you had a question about almost any subject — architecture or physics or geometry or Byzantine mosaics or the history of the ball bearing — Tim was the place to start, and usually, finish. His encyclopedic knowledge was both broad and deep, and he shared it generously. Sometimes that was exactly what you wanted. Other times, well…at least you came away more informed than you ever imagined.
From being a docent at traveling museum exhibitions, to building charming and theatrical creations for a wide range of organizations including Families with Children from China — Tim’s three youngest daughters were adopted from China — and St. Paul’s Vacation Bible School, as well as for events at his daughters’ schools, Tim’s volunteer work was superlative and irreplaceable.
Tim made a difference in the lives of so many. Those who had the great fortune of knowing him will always remember his generosity, gentleness, intelligence, and talent. He will be missed dearly.
A Memorial Service was held virtually at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Tim’s memory may be made at https://gofund.me/ e136ed29.
Arrangements are under the direction of the A.S. Cole Son & Co., 22 North Main Street, Cranbury, NJ.