|PLEASE SEND A STORY, POEM, PHOTO, PRAYER, THOUGHT TO US AT
FAMILY@HELMUTHBIGSUR.COM OR MAIL TO 3 PFEIFFER RIDGE, BIG SUR, CA 93920.
You are never far from my thoughts. As
individuals and as a family I care for you very
deeply. It is almost like cousins I never had. You
have welcomed us at your family celebrations.
You have made Chi an honorary cousin You
enrich my life, our community and the world you
live in. I am glad you can be together at this
difficult time. I you each know that there is
nothing you couldn't ask of me. Thank you all for
being a part of my life.
|from John and Anne
Please tell Helmuth and his family for us that he
has made a huge difference in our lives. Not
only has Blaze/he ALWAYS been there when we
need him and guided us in how to manage Big
Sur home logistics but... he and his family have
provided models for us as, albeit very young in
our life here, Big Sur community members.
We realize that he has given much more to the
community and his family but he has also "made
a difference" in our lives to us and many like us
We love and repect him more than we can show.
We will do our best to respect and honor him by
passing our kindness along to others.
I wish I could snap my fingers and make it all
better. Life seems so unfair at times. We are
counting on you Helmuth to lead the way.
Make sure all the roads are graded and ready.
We are all going to travel your road soon.
You are always in our hearts. You have made
your mark, and you have touched so many
lives. You have lived, given life, and you have
given Love. The future belongs to you
Helmuth! Lead the way! We Love you!
I want to say thank you. For your friendship.
For great memories. For your wonderful
family. For your wonderful daughters. I
promise to keep Klein a great grandson in your
memory. I will always be grateful for Skye
being a part of my life and for you supporting
that. Helmuth, you are an inspiration and we
will miss that. We will always treasure our time.
It seems to me the type of community/family
embrace that so many seek on Sunday is what
you already have - certainly not devoid of
human imperfections, frailties, and
shortsomings, but so full of candor, respect,
and tolerance - creating and providing a rare
and cherished place to live and end life.
Helmuth's good fortune, if one can possibly
find any good in this, is to have you all there.
Pain, fear, confusion, and bitterness all attend
our mortality. Facing these alone would be
daunting; confronting them with those you love
does not make time retrievable, but it plants
those moments forever in our hearts.
|from Toby and Linda
Helmuth is one of the kindest and gentlest
people I know. His grace and considerate
smile are two of his greatest outward aspects.
He is well-loved in this community, and has
done so much for it!
Please give our love to Helmuth, and let him
know that we're sending all of you wishes for
strength and tenderness at this time. We also
send some birdsong, sunshine and late spring
wildflowers to you from Partington Ridge.
Certain events or occasions bring us together
and we share ourselves and enjoy being
together, but then we're called back to what we
do and lose touch. But something like this,
something so profound as the transition we call
death, is something that touches us all.
Helmuth is showing us what it means to live
until we die.
My dearest fondest memories started when
Helmuth graciously drove one of our “new”
engines with airbrakes to the DMV so the rest
of us could take our class B driver’s tests. I got
to sit with him while others were taking their
tests before me. I was very nervous. He told
me about his family connection with Esalen,
and about his kids and his family, life and joy.
Aand then we got down to talking about BIG
trucks. That has truly been my fun with him. To
see him driving his big shiny red truck with all
its neat stuff! With that big grin on his face.
Happy and competent.
Or the night he showed up on Plaskitt Ridge in
our huge water tender! That big crazy grin on
his face, but he did admit that he probably
would not do that again. BUT.. HE did do it. It
was especially sweet because two of the fancy
forest service water tenders had broken down
and were out of service. And there was
Helmuth to save the day! Hooray for him!
Thanks Helmuth for all your support.
|from Kirk and Meredith
Sending love to you all in this most difficult
time- I am overwhelmed with emotion when I
think of how strong Helmuth was- how
incredibly wise also. How amazing that he has
been able to inspire us until his very last
moment. How he instinctivly knew what was
most important- and was able to surround
himself with family and love for his last days.
Such a family is a jewel to behold- a true
|from Greg and Susan
In this innovative, high-tech world we've come to
believe we can control all the aspects of our lives, and
in some regards we can. Still, on the fundamentals of
life, death and family, we can feel totally powerless.
Try as we may to manipulate certain realities,
sometimes we just have to surrender. This is one of
those moments despite all the positive focus
of our community we've lost someone who is so
precious to your family and to all of us.
Susan and I admire how your family came together in
loving support, and are happy that Helmuth could feel
all that energy. While we all have to go at some time
or other, when you can witness all the love around
you, one hopes that it can make going to the next
level a little simpler. Our perspective of Death is
obviously one-sided, only the living can comment
on it; but if Helmuth could send us an email, we think
he'd say his life was a great ride!
Thank you, Helmuth, for the beautiful being that you
are, your gentle nature, your generosity. I've always
felt a certain contentment living up here, knowing that
you are here too.
Dearest Helmuth. I want you to know how very much I
appreciate your expert help over all these years. Also
deeply rooted in the garden of my hearts love - along
with all the others who love you so much. The tree of
you will forever bloom from the love you have given to
us all. Those who love you so.
|from Blaze Crew
Helmuth will forever be the fabric of what this company
is all about. He will be missed not only for his
leadership, but for all the intangibles he brought to
the company. We know he will always be watching
and guiding us through each job and event. We will
make him proud.
Dave, Mike, Tevye, Scott, Debbie, Wendy, Jan, Zack,
Tim, Barry, Travis, Jim, Ralph, Timo, Gumaro, Jose,
Raul, Jerry, Andy, Javier
I am so grateful we've shared the Buddhist and shamanic
practices together. Although I can't help but be sad that he was
so young, I am so glad his passing was at home, surrounded
by love and sweetness.
I ask that this initiation for Helmuth, family and all of the many
friends and community members is of the highest good for all
Marty, when things are right for it, I would like to sit in
meditation with you on Monday nights, or to go for walks, or to
be there with you when you feel ready.
I love you so very very much. Thank you for sharing your
healing and loving ways with us all.
|from John and Robin
If one way to measure a man is to list all he has given, then
you must be the wealthiest guy I've ever known. Your
contributions to the Big Sur community, the way you have
touched the land gently and with an enduring vision of the
future, the family you are a part of and the family you, with
Marty, have created are everlasting examples of how great
one's gift can be: how amazing is the gift you have given to
all of us.
When I am weary of how many challenges there can be, I
have said; "The choice we all have, each of us, every day,
is between making the world we live in a little bit better or a
whole lot worse." You, Helmuth, have shown me just how
big that "a little bit better" can be. I can't think of any really
"little" things you've ever done: You are big, your dreams
are big, your number of loving friends is big, your
accomplishments are big, even, as Mara says, "your toys
are big" and the love that surrounds you is enormous.
|from Charly and Lisa
Helmuth was a compassionate and loving teacher in his life and in his path to
death. Although we’ve only known him a short time, he has touched our lives
forever. We think the poet Milosz captures Helmuth in this poem about the end of life.
Marty, Skye, Kendra and Caitlin--I've known your dad for what seems like forever. I
am at such a loss for words. I knew he was sick, I kept him in my thoughts and
hoped that he would have so much more time to spend with all of us, especially you.
I love all the pictures on the website. It brought tears to my eyes to see his smile, it
also brought back so many memories of growing up with you all and feeling like part
of your extended family. He was a sweet, wonderful man that I will miss for the rest
of my life. Hugs and kisses to all of you and my condolences
Only ten days before he left us, Helmuth circled the Ridge at the
controlsof an airplane, touching the sky and dipping his wings at those of us below,
flailing and screaming and crying and jumping. It was more thrilling to us
on the ground than any of us imagined it would be. It thrills of me to think of it now.
Helmuth was the kid who kept my cars running long after they should have.
He knocked the dents out of one of my cars by jumping up and down on it. Why
didn¹t I think of that? He was the 14 year old who asked me to marry him. He was
the sweet guy who laughed at all my jokesŠ..I think because he knew it tickled me.
Helmuth was the guy who towed our very, very long trailer 2 miles up the narrow dirt
road of Pfeiffer Ridge. We watched from above, holding our breath, fearing the worst,
but he made it. He always made it. Even now. He was way too young to leave us,
but he had as complete a life as anyone could hope for. And he left us with the
courage and grace of a truly sublime man.
I read this poem in a book by a young man who had found out he only had
a few months to live:
O, I am weeping, but it¹s stage center for all of us.
Hide in the weeds but come out naked.
Step lightly; we¹re walking home now.
The clouds take every shape.
We climb up the boulders; there is no plateau.
We cross the stream and walk up the slope.
See, the hawk is diving.
The plain stretches out ahead, then the hills, the valleys, the
Keep moving people. How could I not be among you?
|from Mary Lou and Bill
Truly a friend and a brother - He has set so many good examples for us all to
remember: Family, work, community, friendship, leadership and love. He was
grounded in the principles of humility and integrity and inspired those same
principles in those that surrounded him. We found a Prayer with a message
that we believe represents Helmuth's continued presence with us, although we
know there are many:
NATIVE AMERICAN PRAYER
I give you this one thought to keep -
I am with you still - I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still - in each new dawn.
We send you peace, love and caring to you Marty, Kendra, Caitlin, Skye, Greg,
Klein and all the Morgenrath family.
I’m grateful for both of you inviting me into your lives. I feel blessed to receive all
of the gifts that you two have passed my way. Both of you, working together, built
a team at home and at work based on love. Both of you expressed real love, the
ability to dig deep and the courage to really care. You supported each other in
the best ways you knew and you demonstrated the intelligence and humility to
ask for help. Real love is sometimes passionate, heated, fearful, deeply caring,
and messy. Real love constantly demands persistence, a huge capacity to
grow and is always asking you for your best. Our community reaps the benefits
of your love.
Helmuth, one of the greatest gifts you gave me was about a week ago, the day
before your flight. You said, “I want to have an esoteric talk about love.” You and
I had often talked about the difficulty in loving ourselves and you told me you
were getting some major insights and into how to love yourself. Your clarity and
wisdom about yourself echoed in me. It resonates in me and guides me. You
also told me, “You weren’t sure if your heart was big enough to receive all the
love you felt.” I know your heart is so big that all this love was just starting to
give back what you have given over your life. The great thing I know is that your
love is always with us.
|from Margaret, Kevin & Nigel
Helmuth & Marty wrote to us on our wedding day, “May you have True Love &
Healthy Children.” It is a consolation at this time to know that they were
blessed with the same, and now a grandchild!
What a gift it has been to know Helmuth and to share in the joy and
camaraderie he created: the Fire Brigade, candle dipping, and his love of smart
black-and-white dogs. Our dog Mina was a member of your family initially, and
you have made us feel like members of your family as well, even though we
were newcomers not long ago. Tonight we shall pull out another of those
beautiful candles and pray for you, Helmuth, and for all those who love you.
I have been out of the country and just got the sad news. What a
loss to the family and the community. Helmuth had more love and
respect in Big Sur than anyone I know. This makes the fourth friend I
have lost to that insidious disease, all in their early fifties. It isn't fair
to take Helmuth away so soon and so quickly. He had so much
more to give and share with all of us. I miss him already.
I got the news from Sylvia today via email that Helmuth has left us
behind to cope without him. I imagine him out "there" knowing what
is beyond this earthly life. It doesn't seem fair, so many of us who
love him are older and should have been the pioneers for this one.
I am so comforted that he was enveloped in the love and warmth of
his family through this and I look forward to being with you to
celebrate his life at the appropriate time. I certainly don't want to
intrude, but I hope that I will be included as one of his friends. My
memories of him are all very dear and precious as they are of all of
you. Please know that my heart is with you even now and has been
since I heard the news that he was sick. The sense of loss is as
strong as if all the years in between "the old days" of our youth and
now were just a flash of time. In my mind, he stands tall, and thin
with pants that he can't quite fill with a belt that is pulled as tight as it
can go, a shock of blond curly hair and a big grin.
It is so unfair Helmuth, Here I am at 76 and you a bit older than my
eldest. Too young. I was supposed to have died five years ago of
"terminal" advanced prostate cancer and yet here I am still jousting with
the Big C Monster. If I could I would gladly trade places with you Helmuth
I will always be grateful for the wisdom with which you
approached situations, projects, problems, life itself. I
guess I can no longer call you up at Blaze in the
morning and get guidance, reassurance. The
passing of each important person in our lives forces
us to grow up a little bit more. The best leave a clear
message for us to fall back on. I know your voice will
be whispering in my ear when I most need to hear it.
I wanted to send some love and admiration. I
am so touched by what a close loving family
you all have, and I know you all
appreciateit,which is most important. Helmuth
always had a big sweet smile for me, as do
all of you.
|from Ann Pat
How very sorry I am to read of Helmuth's passing. How can this be? Helmuth
was such a rock, so solid and yet wore his responsibilities so lightly. The
beautiful pictures of you and Helmuth make it seem even more impossible. How
blessed he was to have all of you to share his journey.
Marty, it seems like yesterday...all of us watching Helmuth courting you at
Nepenthe. What a joyous coming together it has been! And Helen. What a great
reflection of Mothering your children are. I know you must be inundated with calls
and people in Big Sur surrounding you with their love and caring. Please know
that I send mine too and I will watch for word of the gathering to remember
Helmuth in person and will plan to be there.
My heart is hurting and my mind reeling as I try to reconcile the death and the life of Helmuth.
He was my friend. He helped me with so many big and daunting projects. He always said it
could be done--never if--only when and how. He was quiet and sure. He would just smile his
warm smile, nod a slow deliberate subtle nod and we would be off on another
adventure--creating new dreams at Deetjen's, in the community or at my home on Apple Pie.
I will miss him. When I came up here to Costanoa I called him as soon as I ran into trouble with
our systems. He helped me to find people and equipment that we were missing. From way up
the coast I felt close again. He was so happy to help. He was always so happy to help.
What I remember is Helmuth hugging his family, his friends and knowing without a doubt who
was important to him. He loved fully. He lived fully. He was fearless when it came to big
equipment, steep hillsides and projects that seemed "could not be done". He would do it. He
was dedicated to our community and never hesitated to jump into what needed to be done--no
matter how deep the mud or how steep the cliff. He did this with few words and no need for
recognition. Just there, present and willing.
There is a hole in Big Sur that will not soon be filled--if ever. We were so blessed to have
Helmuth among us. May he continue in the next adventure with great love and joy.
|from Laela and Zad
Laela and I were deeply saddened when we heard of Helmuth's illness, and then shortly
thereafter of his passing. We are so sorry for your loss, but we know you are proud and happy
for the good life Helmuth led, and for the place he held in the hearts of everyone in the Big Sur
We will feel very good about making a contribution to the fund in Helmuth's name at the
|from Hal R.
I read in the paper today about Helmuth and I am very sorry for your loss. I only
remember Helmuth as a tall scrunny blonde kid who could do anything. God bless you
all right now.
I last saw Helmuth a day or two after his first trip to the hospital.....
When I first walked into the room, Celia was standing alongside Helmuth's bed - I think
holding his hand. I was surprised and so gratified to see how well he looked. Helmuth's
complexion was colorful - full of life. He was smiling (of course he was smiling - he was
always smiling!) and his eyes were clear and bright and shining. In my usual nervous
and smart-ass way I said.... "Helmuth, what are you doing here, you look great!" He
squeezed my hand with strength and assurance. We talked for a few minutes and I felt
better for being with Helen and Celia and Ray and Marty and Tara... all so frightened and
all so strong.
I embraced Helmuth. It felt so good to feel his strong body in my arms - and I kissed him
on his forehead - and said to him " Helmuth if anyone is strong enough to beat this . . .
you can beat this thing." I meant it. I was certain he could.
And he did. Not in the way I had hoped and prayed for. But in his own way - the way he
did everything; quietly, in his own way. He challenged and took on the demons that we
must all face, and beat them with fearlessness, acceptance, gentleness and strength
and courage and compassion and love. What a way to go. What a way to win.
Dear Helmuth, I am so fortunate to have had you in my life. Even though I have lost you . .
. even though we have all lost you, you did beat this thing and taught me so much as you
did it. I miss you so much.
HELMUTH IS NOT DEAD!
Helmuth is not dead!
He has only passed us by
Along the roads to destiny
Helmuth has not gone!
He has only disappeared
He lives in our hearts, our minds, a drop of dew
Helmuth is not sad!
It is we who are
Helmuth has passed us by
Leaving us in the dust of his perfection
Blessings Peace and Love Sula
|from Jim S. and Family
Marty & the Morgenrath family, I found this photograph taken on
Christmas Day, 1970. If my memory serves me correctly, Helmuth and Marty
were not a couple yet, but I do believe that Helmuth had an agenda!! God
bless, out thoughts and prayers are with you.
|from Jim D.
To the family of Helmuth, it was a great pleasure to have met you and your
family, along with Ray and Jali. I truly enjoyed my time working in the Big Sur
area, as your building Inspector away back when, you folks always treated me
with respect, and I always tried to treat folks how they treated me.
When I read the paper over the weekend and saw that Helmuth had passed on,
I felt a loss, I am recovering from my own bout with cancer of the prostrate, I am
one of the lucky people.
Take care and we know that Helmuth is in a better place.
|from Brock R
i know that the time i knew Helmuth was short.i was friends with his nephew
tevya and his daughter kendra. i was very lucky to have had the opportunity to
know him, and more importantly the opportunity to have worked with him. (i was
a health inspector for monterey county for two and a half years and Big Sur was
my district).i am east coast born and bred. i have always treated others with the
same respect that they have given me . the first time i met Helmuth was on a
job site to look at septic feasibility for a property (somewhere) in big sur.
i have never had a person talk to me the way he did. i instantly felt like he and i
were friends. this feeling was true. i felt like an apprentice when i was with
him. every time i worked with him my job was not as important as what i could,
and was learning from him. he was and is one of the most respectful and
intelligent people i have ever known in my life. as time went on i was able to
spend time with him in social situations. he captivated my attention, i was
enthralled by the stories he told and most importantly i felt like he was a friend.
i was always excited when debbie would call my office for a site evaluation,
because more times than not, i knew Helmuth would be there. of all the
contractors in the area, when Blaze did a job, we knew it would be done right.
the level of integrity that Helmuth held was and still is unmatched in my mind. i
feel honored and very lucky to have been able to know him. i will always wish
that i could have done something to help with his passing. Helmuth will always
be an "Ace" in my book and in my heart. i wish i could been able to say
goodbye. i'm sure everyone in the area has been made aware of Helmuths'
passing. please make sure that the health department, especially Richard
LeWarne and Jim Finney are shared this sad news. have the ripplewood
family, blaze family, big sur garage and all others in the Big Sur family raise a
pint in a collective cheers to Helmuth Morgenrath. he will be dearly missed, but
always remembered for the person he was.
Helmuth was nothing if not stubborn. Once he dug his heels in, he was hard to
move. Although his physique was not especially daunting,( I heard it said once
when turned sideways he reminded you of a zipper), it belied a wiry strength that
This was made evident one night at a birthday celebration for him held at his
mother Helen's house 25 or so years ago. It was a joyous occasion, as so
many parties at Helen's have been. Friends and family, eating, drinking, dancing,
swimming. The night air was filled with music and laughter, and not a few naked
Unbeknownst to Helmuth (or so they thought), a plot was being hatched by
several of his dear friends to toss him into the pool. At the agreed upon signal,
Helmuth was rushed by several of Big Sur's hale and heartiest.
What followed was reminiscent of one of today's martial arts movies, as the
attackers flew left and right into the pool. You would have thought Helmuth
had sunk roots into the poolside concrete.
It all seemed to happen in slow motion, and to tell the truth, I don't remember if
they ever got him in the pool or not. You can believe whatever you want.
But my memory is this. Helmuth, taking on odds most of us would cower from,
determined, tenacious, and enjoying every moment of it. And so he lived his life.
God bless you buddy. I miss you.
I am so sorry to hear that he is gone. It is so hard to put down words at a time
like this, it seems such an idadequate way to capture the essence of a life well
spent. I don't want you all to think I have forgotten him, I am just having a very
hard time getting the right words down on paper. More will follow.
I have yet to understand why it is the kind-hearted, hard-working, helpful, and
loving people that leave us way too early.
It's been a long time since I've seen Helmuth and Marty, but my childhood
memories are filled with them. Ever since hearing Helmuth's humorous fish
eye comparison at age 5, I still cannot eat Tapioca pudding at age 32!
Spending summer weekends on Bass lake and learning to ski with your family
was like winning the lottery back then. What a privilege. Thank you.
Remember it's o.k. to cry now and it's o.k. to cry 10 years from now when you
hear a song that fills your heart with warm memories of a wonderful man. He'll
forever be remembered.
|from Jocelyne and family
Since 1959 we have known each other in this lifetime. You, Helmuth were 9
years old and already your care and gentleness were remarkable. We adopted
each other as relatives who came from different worlds to share in the beauty of
Big Sur and the wonderful life we had chosen, hugging the Land. Dear Helen,
you were my best friend as we mothered and shared our broods. I've always
admired you and our quality of life today still comes out of your heart, hands
and dreams. Now we share one more thing, dearest, the gift of our sons in the
Spirit, enriching our lives in a magical way, still in Love. I can't wait for the
celebration of Helmuth's and our Lives. Let it be a dance!! Thank you Helmuth
for the Gift you are and will always be.
I love you, dear Family and thank you for your love and awesome generosity.
I am grieving along with you. Helmuth was as big and extraordinary as Big Sur.
He was a kind and caring friend, and really took the time to listen and engage.
He inspired me to think about what was possible if only I dare dreamed
big enough. I loved him dearly, and will miss him. My thoughts and prayers are
|from Nina and Terry
It's his smile. It is memorable, and always there. Some people have ups and
downs, but Helmuth was always on an even path, with the smile. Thanks
Helmuth. Love to all.
I have a warm smile in my heart as I remember Helmuth and the many
family affairs I've been fortunate to share in. Blessings and love to
you Marty, Skye, Kendra, Caitlin and to all in your family.
thank you helmuth for all the skills you taught me , If it wasn't for you I wouldn't
be who I am today, thank you for treating me like family, i wanted you to
know always looked up to you and dave in a fatherly way. I am so grateful have
I was scared to come and see you, afraid that you would see me cry. Scared
to make you cry, to take your energy, as i have so many times in the past...i was
scared that it really would be you dieing, that soon you too would be gone... i
hope you forgive me...im scared now, knowing that you are not here, i still talk
as if you are...i feel you here with me, looking over my shoulder telling me to be
ten percent smarter then the metal im working with...guiding me...teaching
me..all that you have said was not wasted, i heard you, i hear you...where are
you now? who is looking after you? why couldnt i have been strong enough to
tell you how i feel, strong enough to give you my energy instead of taking from
you all the time... i wanted to see you, to love you as you did me, give you back
in an instant what you so freely gave to me... hope...understanding...a future...
things i could not have had with out you...there are no words that i have that can
convey my feelings... i just hope you can accept that i am here for you..that you
know i miss you and hold you in my heart as family...where ever you are my
angels will be with you, but may be you are one of them already.... love zack
When I think of Helmuth now my memory flashes back to the night of
Branham's wedding... After the ceremony and wedding festivities had winded
down in the makeshift "Ripplewood courtyard" he helped create, there were a
few lively souls that hadn't quite had enough celebrating even though the wee
hours of the morning approached. The party was to continue at Tevye's house.
Only a handful of the most dedicated celebrators showed up. I remember
Helmuth showing up with Caitlin. Helmuth was the only "older adult" to show
up but there he was, beer in hand and that trademark smile, soaking up the
moment with the rest of us. I had a memorable conversation with him that
night. I told Helmuth that night how wonderful his daughters were, that he was
a lucky man for having them, and that I envyed him for that. Helmuth seemed
genuinely touched and he thanked me for my words. He assured me that he
indeed felt lucky for each one of his girls. There seemed to be a certain glow
about Helmuth when he was around them. So through you strong surviving
women he still gleams. Helmuths strength cascades down from the heavens
and his love will only continue to shine through you all like diamonds.
|from Peter and Tarasa
We arrived back in Big Sur recently and everyone we came in contact with
asked "have you heard about Helmuth ?". All were shocked, stunned, and
saddened...we felt the same when we heard the news.
While we did not know Helmuth as well as long-time friends, we had both
business and personal contact with him over the last 7 years. We shall miss
his smiling, quiet presence and friendship at our parties and wherever we
came in contact him.
We will never pass Blaze again coming or going to town without thinking of
Helmuth and waving and doffing our caps in our own humble tribute to his
Helmuth...I met him at the front desk at Air Trails the first time and I felt an
immediate bond, a quality I'm sure he extended to all who knew him.
To my delight, he also possessed the eye, brain, muscle coordination to make
flying an airplane easy, a quality only found once in a rare while with student
When we flew together it was fun. There were never the moments of terror other
students created learning to land where I had to really earn my money. Helmuth
was in control with only minimal help from me in the beginning. His flying was
from the first day precise, deliberate, and smooth. The same skills that got him
up those hairy mountain roads in Big Sur described in several of these emails.
Helmuth and Marti had that awful experience in Florida last Fall and after that
he didn't fly for a while. I considered Helmuth a very special friend and ,at the
risk of being a nuisance, kept calling him every week or two, trying to get him
back in the air.
Finally, when Spring came he called. Helmuth was back! Our first flight was
what's called by Air Traffic Control "the Bay Tour". On a magnificent day we flew
from Salinas up to San Francisco, right over San Francisco airport, out over the
Cliff house to the ocean, and then into San Francisco Bay, right over the center
of the Golden Gate Bridge at 1000 feet, over and around Alcatraz Island, and
back. Helmuth flew the plane, I ran the radios and took video and pictures. A
photo is attached.
What a great memorable day. The beauty of flight set our spirits soaring. We
loved to fly, he loved to fly. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity with
Helmuth. He was my friend.
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of your beloved husband, father
and friend. Helmuth was such a truly kind and gentle spirit, and I feel thankful
and honored to have known him even a little. I feel at a loss of what to say,
words seem so empty...but know that my heart is full of caring and my thoughts
and prayers are with you and your family.
To know Helmuth was to love Helmuth and to love him was to admire him.
From the early days at Rocky Point to the magical and precious days on Pfieffer
ridge the Morgs will always be the gtreatest loves of my life . Helen is the most
beautiful and most wonderful mother in the world. thank you for our wonderful
Helmuth, thank you for the happiest days of my life on your magical mountain
over looking the sea. my love to Helmuths precious family whom he adored
with all of his heart. You are Big Sur's golden treasure, rare and precious . The
joy and honor of knowing Helmuth will remain in my heart forever.
I met the Morgenrath family during visits with my dear Uncle Joe in Big Sur in
the 60s and 70s. After my uncle died in 1976, I thought my dream of moving to
Big Sur would never come true. While on vacation in Big Sur in 1988, I looked
up Helmuth and in passing told him I had always wanted to live in Big Sur. He
asked, “Well, why don’t you?” Then I asked him, “Where would I work? Where
would I live?” Helmuth opened his arms and family to me and my 8 year old
daughter, Alana. He said there were jobs available and I could stay
temporarily with him and his family. I couldn’t believe his generosity and his
trust and faith in me. He helped me realize my dream after I lost hope. I will
never forget the twinkle in his eye and his way of making me feel like anything
is possible. I am so grateful to have known Helmuth and my “Big Sur family”
and will be forever thankful for all they shared with me.
You may not remember me, I was very young with Helmuth and your family in
Big Sur many years ago. You are all in my childhood black and white photos.
Smiling Helmuth with the sun in his hair, on the porch at Mill Creek. Being run
over by the lady that owned Gorda. You all dug your own pool by hand! And
when I saw you many years later you had moved and dug another!
Please take comfort that Helmuth's being has made a lovely and lasting
memory on all who knew him.
|PLEASE SEND A STORY, POEM, PHOTO, PRAYER, THOUGHT TO US AT FAMILY@HELMUTHBIGSUR.COM
OR MAIL TO 3 PFEIFFER RIDGE, BIG SUR, CA 93920.
|by Tonya Creamer
for Helmuth Morgenrath
You rose to leave
with a splintered whisper
then the rush of a deafening crash
and the thud of thunder.
The forest floor sits stunned in silence,
drenched with grief,
and an empty gulf remains
where last you stood.
Like a majestic redwood,
you lived with branches outstretched above—
shelter and providence
to your family and village roots—
extended with the reach of your quiet smile.
I see you still,
soaring beyond us now
answering heaven’s call
and flying across the sky—