Edward William Helfrick (R27) Northumberland, Snyder, Montour Columbia Luzerne (part) and Dauphin (part) Counties, 1980-2003
Edward William Helfrick, born March 11, 1928, Pottsville, Schuykill County, Pennsylvania; son of Edward and Elizabeth Rosenberger; Mount Carmel High School, 1945; United States Army, 1945-1946; married Rosemarie Ciokajlo, 1952, four children; engaged, anthracite coal business; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1977-1980; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania Senate, 1980-2003; died, September 28, 2021, Maria Saint Joseph Manor, Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania, interment, All Saints Cemetery, Elysburg, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. (i)
Paratrooper, United States Army, 11th Airborne Division, 1945-46; Anthracite coal business
Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:
Member, Northumberland County Airport Authority, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; member, American Legion Post #804, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodge, Eagles, Moose Lodge; Ralpho, Atlas, Marion Heights, Kulpmont West End Fire Companies; Queen of Most Holy Rosary Church; director, First National Trust Bank, Susquehanna Bancshares, Incorporated.
Pennsylvania State Fish and Game Protection Association, Gold Medal Award, Pennsylvania for Right to Work Statesman of the Year Award, National Federation of Independent Business Guardian of Small Business Award, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Legislator of the Year, Lincoln Heritage Institute Guardian Award.
Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1977-1980 not a candidate for reelection, 1980, donated his first-year salary, St. Joseph's Children Hospital, Reading. (i)
Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania Senate 27th district, Northumberland, Snyder, Montour and Columbia counties and sections of Luzerne and Dauphin counties, 1980 - resigned, August 22, 2003; chair, Game and Fisheries Committee; vice-chair, Environmental Resources and Energy Committee; member, Agricultural and Rural Affairs, Finance, Judiciary, Military and Veterans Affairs Committees. Authored, the 2002 "Safe Haven Act," that allows hospitals to accept unwanted newborn babies.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:
Involvement in the anthracite coal industry began in the 1940s when he and a high school pal, Robert Kerris purchased a truck from a junkyard and started hauling coal to Philadelphia alternating the days they would skip school. In the mid-1950s, when the local coal industry experienced a serious economic downturn, the partners ventured to French Guyana in South America to dredge for gold in the extremely harsh conditions. Sold their profitable venture to a South American firm and returned to Pennsylvania to concentrate on anthracite coal.
By the 1960s, Kerris and Helfrick Incorporated was the largest employer and largest anthracite mining operation in the Shamokin area until 1986 when operations ceased due to a union strike. In 1966, purchased the Glen Burn Colliery from Susquehanna Coal Company, in 1968, started the Bear Gap Stone Quarry and in 1969 they acquired the International Truck dealership to form Norco Truck and Diesel. (i)
Married, Rosemarie Ciokajlo, Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1952
In 2009, at the age of 81, awarded a world angling record from International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for record catch of 45.3 pound Black Grouper caught on 12-pound test line off the shore of Key Largo, Florida. (i)
Pennsylvania Manual, Biographies of Members of the Senate, pg. 3-15; Volume 114, December, 1999.