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Charles "Cush" Cushing Helfrich

October 29, 2020
Charles "Cush"  Cushing Helfrich
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Obituary for Charles "Cush" Cushing Helfrich

Alburgh – Charles Cushing Helfrich Jr (Cush) of South Alburgh Vermont, passed away Thursday, October 29th at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester at the age of 71. After three years of battling cancer and the last few months of declining health, Cush died peacefully with family by his side. He left this world exactly the way he lived in it, simply, quietly, when he was ready.

Cush was born in Vermont to father Charles Cushing Helfrich and mother Katharine Holden Helfrich. He was the third of four children growing up together in Essex, and in the summer on the shores of Lake Champlain at Rock Point. In his youth Cush was a boy scout, one of the few to attain the recognition of order of the arrow. He loved spending time with his siblings, cousins and friends, always the quiet and kind guy who wanted everyone to be happy. At the age of 14 he attended summer camp at Rock Point where he met Patty Stata, who would become his wife in 1969. This is where his journey to Alburgh began! It all started with trips to the Stata Family Camp, often with his siblings, to visit Patty and her family. Cush attended Essex High School where he excelled in Varsity Soccer and Track. He was co-captain of the varsity soccer team when they defeated rival CVU and became state champions. Cush
graduated from Essex in 1967 and continued his education at Castleton State College and then the University of Vermont. There, he quickly discovered that his passion was not in a classroom, it was working with his hands, it was in building and constructing.

After marrying Patty in 1969 she and Cush began their lives together in Alburgh. They had two children together, Tara in 1973 and Cush in 1975. Although they later divorced, they would remain connected throughout their lives as friends and parents.

Cush started his own business, C. Helfrich Construction, and became the carpenter you would want to make your house dreams come true. He used his carpentry skills to build many houses around the community and beyond. He had a knack for taking what his customers described and making it happen. He had quite the work crew, who called him “Poob.” He continued to be friends with many of them throughout his life. Later in his career he used his woodworking skills to build solid furniture and custom cabinets.

Cush was an active member of the community. On Sunday’s you could find him and his buddies playing basketball at the Alburgh school. He was often the Grand Isle county ref for middle school games when his kids were in middle school. He was a member of the Son’s of American Legion, a role he took very seriously. Pretty sure there is still a stool at the end of the bar that people in our community consider his.

Family was the most important thing to Cush. He loved his parents, his siblings, his children and his grandchildren. Throughout Cush and Tara’s life he was there - at games, graduations, weddings, births of their own children, in times of need, and times of celebration. The big events and the small moments. Always a kind, gentle presence. Same holds true for his grandchildren. He rarely missed anything. Kane, Landon, Mac, Reid & Jake were the center of his world and they knew it. He was the grandpa you could count on for the simple things. Attending your game. Getting you to your best friends house. Trips to the store. Sunday comics. A ride to Chuck’s. Hitting balls at the driving range. Spotter in the boat so you
could kneeboard. They asked, he said yes. They could always count on Grandpa.

Cush lived a simple low key life in his little house he built for himself in the woods in South Alburgh. He was happy to just be and did not need material items to be content. A simple session of “college of knowledge” on a Thursday night around the bar in his kitchen with his favorites made his week complete.

Cush is survived by his; daughter, Tara Couture and husband, Darcy, of Alburgh and their children, Kane, Landon and Mac; son, Cush Helfrich and wife, Tracy, of Colchester, and their children, Reid and Jake; his big brother, Otis Helfrich and wife, Brenda, of Fletcher; big sister, Cathy O’Neil of Starksboro; little brother Craig Helfich of Westford and Nancy; as well as countless nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and friends. Cush was preceded in death by his parents, former wife and friend Patty Helfrich, and brother-in-laws, Richard O’Neil and Richard Stata.

A family ceremony will be held at the family’s convenience with a celebration of Cush's Life planned for the Spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Cush’s name to C.I.D.E.R. P.O. Box 13, South Hero, Vermont 05486.

To send Cush’s family a message of condolence or share a memory, kindly go to his online guest book at www.healdfuneralhome.com .

To plant a tree in memory of Charles "Cush" Cushing Helfrich, visit the Tribute Store.

Events

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Services are private

Memorial Contribution

C.I.D.E.R.

PO Box 13
South Hero, VT 05486
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