Alfonsus Helbling and Mary Larkin

Alfonsus Helbling and Mary Larkin

The name Helbling originates in Innsbruck, Austria and means "Half Penny." Alfonsus Legorius Helbling Sr. was born on August 16, 1866 in Ohio, the oldest of seven brothers.

Mary Gertrude Larkin was born in Pittsburgh on November 24, 1875 to Charles and Catherine Larkin. In 1880, the family was living on Fayett St. in Pittsburgh. At the time, Charles, born in Ireland was 35. Kate, Charles' wife, also born in Ireland was 33. Six children were listed, all born in Pennsylvania: John, 11, Joseph , 10, Gennie, 8, Mary , 6, Charles Jr., 4, and Kate, Jr., 2. Also enumerated with the family was Sarah Sullivan, 17, born in Pennsylvania.
Source: 1880 Federal Census for Allegheny County, Enumerator District # 128, page 16, line 34. Catherine and Charles Larkin Sr. are buried in Section X of St. Mary's Cemetery, Lawrenceville.

In 1905, Alphonsus Helbling married Mary Gertrude Larkin. Their Marriage License is recorded in Volume 69, page 298 of the Allegheny County Marriage License Docket. The 1905 Pittsburgh City Directory has a listing for "Larkin John E, engineer 3447 Melwood," so Mary was living with her brother John at that time.

Alfonsus and Mary Gertrude had six children. Alphonsus began his education as a medical student, but felt financial pressure when his family began to grow. He left medical school and became a nurse, caring for a member of the Mellon family. Alphonsus and Mary Gertrude's children were:

  1. Charles L Helbling born on February 7, 1906. Mary Gertrude may have named her oldest son after her father and brother. Charles married Irene Hoolahan. Charles and Irene had eight children: Charles L. Jr, David, Mary Jo, Charleen, Jane, Suzanne, and twins Linda and Leo.
    Charles died in 1970. His obituary read:
    On Wednesday, July 22, 1970, Charles L. Helbling, beloved husband of Irene Hoolahan Helbling; father of Charles L. Jr, David, Leo, Mary Jo and Linda Helbling, Charleen Picone, Jane Mischler and Suzanne Kalson; also survived by 19 grandchildren; brother of Vincent and Albert Helbling, Betty Wenner and Kay DuFresne. Funeral from McCABE BROS., INC. FUNERAL HOME, 6314 Walnut St., (Shadyside) on Saturday, July 25, 1970 at 9 a.m. Funeral mass in Sacred Heart Church at 10 a.m.
    Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday July 24, 1970 Page 20
    Irene died in 1973. Her obituary read:
    Suddenly on Thursday, May 10, 1973 Irene Hoolahan Helbling, beloved wife of the late Charles L. Helbling; mother of Charles L. Jr., David and Leo Helbling, Charlene Picone, Jane Mischler, Suzanne Kalson, Mary Jo Kuhl and Linda Lincoln; also survived by 24 grandchildren; sister of Thomas Kenneth and Richard Hoolahan. Funeral from McCABE BROS. FUNERAL HOME, 6214 Walnut St., Shadyside on Monday, May 14, 1973 at 9:30 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection in Sacred Heart Church at 10:00 a.m. Visitations with the family 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
    Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Saturday May 12, 1973 page 14
    Sue Helbling Kalson's daughter is Paula C. Suzor mailto:[email protected].

  2. Alfonsus and Mary Gertrude's second child was Betty born on April 30, 1907. Betty married Minor Wenner. Betty and Minor had two daughters: Sally and Nancy.

    Betty died in 1983. Her obituary read:
    Elizabeth H. (Betty) on Wed. Oct 26, 1983 of Pleasant Hills; wife of E. Minor Wenner; mother of Sally Couch of Atlanta & Nancy Cunningham of Pgh; sister of Mary Catherine DuFrosne of Milwaukee; four grandchildren. Friends received at the JOHN F. SLATER FUNERAL HOME, 4201 Brownsville Rd., Brentwood Thurs. 7-9 and Fri. 2-4 & 7-9. Service Sat in the Chapel of the Pleasant Hills Community United Presbyterian Church, Old Clairton Rd., at 11 a.m. Private burial in Jefferson Memorial Park.
  3. Alfonsus and Mary Gertrude's third child was Vincent P. Helbling born on March 31, 1910. Vincent married Mary "Jane" Sander born May 11, 1915 in Wilkenburg PA. Jane's parents were Oscar Sander from Pittsburgh, who died in 1940 and Elenore Gibson born October 25, 1887 in Apollo PA. Eleanore died in 1979, and was buried in Vandergrift PA.

    Vincent operated a bar. Vincent and Jane had four children: Vincent P. Helbling Jr., Judy, Bobby and David.

    Vince Helbling died on May 10, 1976. Jane Helbling died on January 29, 1977. Both are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

  4. Alfonsus and Mary Gertrude's fourth child was Alphonse Legorius Helbling, Jr. born on January 25, 1912. Al worked as a plumber and married Catherine Kelly, the oldest daughter of John J. Kelly and Marie Dickert. Catherine was a nurse at Pittsburgh Hospital at the intersection of Frankstown Road and Washington Road. Catherine and Al had three children: Carol, born on June 28, 1938, Jack, born on July 26, 1941, and Nancy, now Mrs. Terry Conway, born on December 16, 1946.

    This picture, taken about 1960, shows Al Helbling, center top. Clockwise from Al are his daughter Nancy, his mother-in-law, Marie Dickert [1894 - 1979], Marie's mother, Elizabeth Meyer Dickert [1873 - 1963], Catherine's sister, Mae Kelly McAdams [1918 - 1966], and Catherine next to Al.

    Al Helbling died on September 8, 1976. His obituary read:
    On Sunday, September 5, 1976 Alphonse (Albert) L., of Hampton Twp.; husband of Catherine Kelly; father of Carol Siford, Nancy Falconer and John Helbling; brother of Betty Wenner and Kay DuFresne; also survived by eight grandchildren. Visitation with the family 2-4 and 7-9 at the HENRY C. BOCK FUNERAL HOME, 1500 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Ursula's Church on Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.
    Source: Pittsburgh Press Sept. 7, 1976 Page 36
    Catherine died on April 24, 2000. She was buried in St. Mary's of the Assumption Cemetery Pine Creek with her husband.

  5. Alfonsus and Mary Gertrude's fifth child was Kay, born on December 9, 1917. Kay married Lou DuFresne. Kay and Lou had three children: Sue, Patty, and Lou, Jr.

  6. Alfonsus and Mary Gertrude's sixth child was Joseph who was a twin to Kay. Joseph survived the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, but was a victim of Infantile Paralysis, which left him confined to a wheelchair. Joseph never married.

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April 29, 2000
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