Don Hellwinkel dies Sunday at 83

Businessman Donald Frederick Hellwinkel, a lifetime Minden resident, died Jan. 15, 2006. He was 83.

Services are scheduled Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville.

Mr. Hellwinkel was born June 28, 1922, in Minden to Carson Valley pioneer family members, Fred H. and Josephine (Raycraft) Hellwinkel. He graduated in 1940 from Douglas County High School.

Mr. Hellwinkel attended the University of Nevada until he received an appointment from Sen. Pat McCarran to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

As a 1946 graduate of the academy, Lt. Hellwinkel served on the USS Amsterdam, Saipan, Adirondack, and Mt. McKinley.

He served in the Korean conflict, stationed in Japan as an aide to Admiral John C. Daniels. Mr. Hellwinkel's tour of duty included preparing the site for, and witnessing the exchange of prisoners at Panmunjom.

Upon his honorable discharge, Mr. Hellwinkel returned to Minden and the family business. Along with his father "Brick," and his brother Daniel, and later with his son Robb, the Hellwinkels operated the C.O.D. Garage Co.

The Hellwinkel family held the distinction of being the oldest continuous family-owned franchised auto dealer in Nevada until the sale of the business in 2003.

Mr. Hellwinkel was a member of the Minden Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

He was a volunteer with the Douglas Engine Co. and held memberships in the Carson Valley Nut Club and the Gardnerville Gun Club.

While serving on the Minden Town Board, Mr. Hellwinkel was instrumental in adopting the policy that all new developments provide open space for a park.

Other memberships included the National Auto Dealers Association and the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association.

Mr. Hellwinkel held a lifetime membership with the Douglas County and Alpine County historical societies and the National Pony Express Association.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Hellwinkel was preceded in death by his brother Daniel.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Marlena, son Robert of Minden, daughter and son-in-law Donna and Darrell Armuth and grandchildren Spencer, Lena and Grace, all of Reno, and several nieces and nephews.

Donations in Mr. Hellwinkel's name may be made to the Douglas County Historical Society Endowment Fund, 1477 Highway 395 N., Gardnerville, NV, 89410.

Arrangements were made by Walton's Chapel of the Valley in Carson City.


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