The Helmericks Boys
wilderness bred: tough, capable, and
confident. Northern Alaska is their home, and they have a
strong heritage of Arctic knowledge and outdoor skills, besides being
topnotch in both work and academic endeavors. (Are we parents
proud or what?)
at right taken August, 2000.
The Foursome in days past:
Boys in 1982
Boys camping 1989
Biking winter 1992
Boys summer 1994
Son No. 1...(written in 2003) Derek graduated from the
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in 1996 and is currently working
as an engineer for the Alaska Department of Transportation in
Fairbanks. He has worked in mining engineering, surveying, hydrology,
and various environmental sciences, and claims he is still
wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He is also a highly
skilled taxidermist and
the main contributor to the many mounts in the family's museum
the Museum page, linked from the Photo page.) Derek married the
girl of his dreams, Elizabeth Tallman, on January 1, 2004. When not
busily building on their new home in Fairbanks, they can be off
most anywhere in Alaska conducting field work, or enjoying their
favorite outdoor activities such as snowmachining or kayaking. Beth
has a civil engineering degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage
(UAA) and practices the management and environmental side of
engineering in her position with URS Corp. Beth's many
talents include cooking, carpentry, and car mechanic, so she has no
trouble keeping busy between those field trips.
Derek kayaking on the
Derek ready to fly wild-life survey
| Beth & Derek
Jan. 1, 2004
|Derek & Beth
updates for all the kids are in the family newsletters each year.]
is now a registered professional engineer (#11547) in the State of
Alaska! He is currently employed by Arcadis-us in their Alaska
office as field environmental engineer. One of the more interesting
aspects of this job is the varied work and extensive travel
the project taking up the majority of his time involves environmental
compliance oversight for the oil exploration work being done in the
National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). As with all North Slope
work, this means working a "2-week on / 2-week off" schedule.
Although being away from home in Fairbanks for two weeks at a time is
difficult, it is countered by
two weeks at home. This is one of the main advantages slope
have with this type of schedule. Beth is employed by Watterson
Construction, and currently
working as a construction manager on several 100 million dollar
projects for the
This happy couple continue to build and
develop on their property outside of Fairbanks, including beautiful
landscaping with creative flower covered rockeries, new trees, and a
vegetable garden. Their orchard isn't doing as well as hoped since the
local moose think
the trees were planted just for them to browse on, so a tall fence may
be a future project. Derek's love of birds is manifested with an indoor
aviary boasting numerous bird species including his special bred zebra
Derek and Beth maintain their lovely home
on the outskirts of Fairbanks, while continuing with their various
engineering jobs. Derek has worked mostly on environmental
compliance oversight for several different oil exploration projects,
and Beth continues her job with Watterson Construction. A new
venture for them has been purchase of some new land in Washington State
for developing as a winter get-away.
Derek and the whole family suffered a
heartbreaking loss several years ago when Beth decided to divorce Derek
and go her
own way. Derek has since sold his Fairbanks land and moved to
Anchorage. He now has a lovely home on a hill above Turnagain Arm
at a place called Indian. He took a beautiful house and location
and has steadily been making many new improvements.
There is a beautiful view of the bay and
mountains across the way.
Gorgeous sunsets are frequent views from the
large kitchen and livingroom windows.
Derek has worked full-time for Pioneer Natural Resources on the
North Slope as their Environmental Specialist for several years
It is great to have both Derek and Aaron working in the oil field for
the company that is our closest neighbor in the Colville River Delta,
plus have them stationed at work-sites near the family "homestead".
is also the company that launched Teena's "oil field work" career when
she started her Logistics job in 2006.] Pioneer is fortunate to
such terrific employees who know the operating area like the back of
Besides moving to Anchorage and many other changes in Derek's life in
recent years, Derek met and recently become engaged to Cynthia Milligan
together they are carving out a new life together. Cindy works for HDR
Alaska, Inc. as a water Quality Specialist, and has lived in Anchorage
a number of years. Cindy grew up in Wyoming and studied Rangeland
and Watershed Management at University of Wyoming. Both Derek and Cindy
Aaron and Autumn were able to spend Christmas on the Colville homestead
past Christmas 2011.
Cindy and Maggie cat
Christmas time on the Colville
(feral) peacocks are often visitors to Derek's deck and yard. If
you know Derek, you know that birds are always a big part of his life.
Derek and Cindy enjoy the many wild birds around their home both
winter and summer, plus enjoy fresh eggs from their chickens.
in 2004) Jay
is a full-time employee and special projects engineer for the
Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska in
Fairbanks, where he also earned his Master's degree in
engineering. He loves mechanical things... and is our rocket
scientist (literally), having designed and built rocket
payload systems for real rockets for UAF and even NASA. Jay
married Amy Jane Wilcoxson in August, 2000,
and they live in Fairbanks. Amy completed her degree in
photo journalism at
UAF spring 2002. This active couple is enjoying their second year in
new house purchased in 2002, and are busy parents with Natasha Joy, now
a year and a half old, and Melody Hope, three months old.
Amy and Jay
Wed Aug., 2000
arrived January 11, 2003 at 5:17 P.M. into her Daddy's ready hands,
weighing 7 lb. 14 oz. Jay, Amy and baby were home the evening of
her birth. She
continues to bring joy to all who have been blessed to see or hold her.
What a wonderful gift from God!
6 days old
Amy and Natasha
Jay & Amy have their
own 2003 newsletter if you care to read it. Click: HERE
Easter Day 2003
Spring 2004 Picture:
you would like to view more pictures of Natasha click HERE.
(Click on individual pictures
to view enlargements.)
(July 2004) Melody Hope arrived June 28,
She weighed 8 lb. 4 oz. and looked much like a chubbier version
her sister Natasha at the same age. Jay, Amy and baby were back home
the Fairbanks Birth Center the afternoon of her birth. Another
gift from God!
|Melody Hope: newborn
|Melody kissed by big sis Natasha
you would like to view more pictures of Natasha, and new baby Melody,
go to the link that takes you to Jay's family albums by clicking
(May 10, 2006)
Elisha Peace was
born on May 7, 2006. He weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz. and was 21.5 inches
long. Big sisters Natasha and Melody were amazed with his little
tongue, nose, fingers, eyes....and all the rest, so very perfect.
Thank you, Lord!
|Mom and Dad (Amy and Jay) have posted more
pictures on their own website. To go view them, click HERE.
May 16, 2006: The cutest Trio you ever saw!
Living in Fairbanks, Jay,
(2 1/2), and Elisha (8
months) stay as busy as ever. Jay finished a new fenced yard last
year that opened up a whole new play area for the children. Never
a dull moment in this household! Big excitement for Jay this year
was the acquisition of a snowmachine so he could occasionally get out
and "play" with his brothers on sled-riding escapades.
The family is
growing-up rapidly as all do. Jay and Amy's "Cute Trio" are quite
the 3 musketeers. Natasha (5) started home-schooling this
fall and Melody (4) is close behind. Elisha (2) is sure to keep
the pot boiling as most 2 year olds do.
Below is a rare shot of the three sitting still:
home life stay busy as ever for Jay and Amy. Jay moved up into a
managerial position in the Geophysical Institute at the University
and Amy keeps
exceedingly busy with home, kids, homeschooling, and her writing
projects. They were able to enjoy some travel together this year with a
trip to Bermuda where Jay
gave a presentation at a big electronics conference. Jay has also
made his annual trip to Antarctica to service his equipment for a big
project down there.
and Amy sold their house in town and bought land a little ways north of
Fairbanks near Fox on the Steese Highway. It is an old
"homestead" with a number of buildings and lots of outdoor room for the
children and farmyard animals. The house is a "fixer-upper", so
stays very busy with remodeling and building projects, besides his
continuing job at the Geophysical Institute at the
university. The family has acquired rabbits and chickens
and are thinking about a goat.
Amy walking in the yard....
Natasha is 9, Melody 7, and Elisha 5.
love their big yard in which to play, enjoy having many new pets and
they continue to do well in homeschooling.
visited Jay and family in September, 2011, and enjoyed walks with the
kids through the beautiful woods
around their place, and the beginning fall
The trees by Jay's firewood pile.
3...(written in 2004)
Isaac is an employee of Alaska
Airlines, working as Ramp Service Agent in Anchorage, Alaska, and also
attending the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he is pursuing a
Bachelor's degree with a double major in Aviation Administration and
Isaac married Crystal Blish on February
21, 2004, adding another girl to the family. Since Isaac is an outdoor enthusiast
who loves to hunt, hike, ride snowmobiles, go boating, or tackle any
adventure that presents itself, Crystal married into a very active
lifestyle. This couple have a townhouse in Anchorage, and rent rooms to
brother Aaron and cousin Nick.
Crystal & Isaac wed
Feb. 21, 2004
Crystal & Isaac
Isaac and Crystal continue to live in
Anchorage townhouse, which Isaac has been refurbishing as time
Isaac has his degree in Aviation Administration and Professional Piloting now, plus has moved up into a
management position with Alaska Airlines. His new job is still based at
the Anchorage airport but it entails a lot of traveling as he trains
at many other of Alaska Airlines' stations. Crystal is now working in
a medical billing office as a billing clerk and is working toward
her CPT coding license.
is now the full-time Station Manager in Adak for Alaska Airlines. He
and Crystal bought a house and moved there in October. This
after Isaac had worked for a year with a 2-weeks on and 2-weeks off
thus spending half his time in Adak and half home in Anchorage. Being away from home half the time
was hard, especially with a baby on the way. Crystal left her CPT coding job in an
Anchorage medical office in September and joined Isaac in Adak,
but she had to
return to Anchorage late October to await the birth of their
Isaac joined her mid-November where they stayed at brother Aaron's
Rhianna was born November 16.
Belle in Mom's arms.
Rhianna with G-ma Teena
Our sleeping angel, 7 days old
Rhianna and Autumn
beautiful Helmericks Girls
on Thanksgiving Day, 2008
Isaac, Crystal, and new baby Rhianna will return home
to Adak the first week of December. Rhianna's Grandma Teena hopes
to accompany them for a visit at their new home, plus get
a little more "Grandma" time in before returning home to the Colville
are now in their fourth year at beautiful Adak. Besides continuing his Alaska
Airlines Customer Service Management job, Isaac started an outfitting, birding tours and rental
business to accommodate the many birders and hunters that flock to
Isaac has housing and off-road vehicles for rent, plus he has made
a name for himself as one of Alaska's premier authorities on birds,
especially in Adak. Here is his
business link: http://adakbirding.com/
Isaac has been able to host his brothers and Mom and Dad
often at Adak:
Teena fishing at a beautiful
stream on Adak.
Jim, and Derek at Adak ready to head out on a photography walk.
Isaac and Aaron on a caribou hunt on Adak.
Little Rhianna turned 3 years old shortly before she welcomed
a new little brother, Danian James, born early Thanksgiving morning
November 24, 2011. He weighed 7 lb. 9 oz. and was 20 inches
was born in a birthing center in Anchorage and Isaac and Crystal were
back home where they were staying in less then 6 hours after his birth
(which included an hour drive up
(Teena) was there with others from
Crystal's family, to greet the newest Helmericks. What a joy to
hold such a precious, new gift from God, to bring in our Thanksgiving
OUR ADAK FAMILY
4...(2003) Aaron is a senior at the University of Alaska
Fairbanks, majoring in computer science and working part-time as a
Resident Assistant (RA) at one of the campus housing units. He
graduates May 9, 2004. His recreational activities include
captaining a intramural football team, and playing on volleyball and
ultimate frisbee teams. Although the "baby" of the family, he is the tallest and most outgoing...always a
for the whole family. He loves being Isaac's cohort in outdoor
adventures, and together they have conquered many miles and
Aaron graduated with honors
from UAF on May 9, 2004, with a degree in computer science, spent the
summer traveling in New Zealand and Figi, and is presently renting
a room at Isaac and Crystal's house in Anchorage. He plans to
be contributing his computer skills within Alaska's work-force
UPDATE: Over the past few years Aaron
has tucked many new experiences under his belt. He worked on the
North Slope in warehousing and materials receiving for over a year, got
his Commercial Drivers License and drove fuel trucks to deliver fuel
Alaska's northern Oil Field, got his private pilot's license, and flew
single engine airplanes to and from Alaska and the "Lower 48" for his
Uncle Jeff. After three years of soaking up other job skills,
got back into computer or "IT" work when he accepted a job with Pioneer
Natural Resources as their North Slope Field "IT" Support
Like Derek, he now works a "2&2" shift on the Slope, with Anchorage
being his home for R&R. He shares his apartment with his
Nick Bennett, for now, but new things are on the horizon since Aaron
asked his college sweetheart to marry him. Newly engaged, Aaron
Autumn are busy making wedding plan, and big changes are ahead for this
and Autumn on their wedding day,
Aug. 12, 2007
As the pictures above show, Aaron
August 12, 2007. Aaron had purchased a house west of Wasilla
in the summer and the newlyweds were soon settled in. Much of our
family's annual updates are recorded in the family newsletter, however,
to recap here: Due to both Autumn and Aaron’s work schedules,
honeymoon to Hawaii was postponed until December, 2007.
started his own IT consulting company this year and his main contract
the continuing work as field technician for Pioneer Natural Resources
on the Oooguruk Project, the same project Teena works on. Most of his work time
has been divided between Anchorage and the North Slope, however, Aaron did work for
Pioneer in Tunisia in north Africa for 10 days in November. Autumn continues to work in
Wasilla as a case manager for SED (Severely Emotionally Disturbed)
She does home visits, works with both the kids and parents, and
any help needed.
Autumn and Aaron took
Crystal and Isaac into their home in mid-October when they needed a
place to stay while they waited for the birth of their new baby. When
Rhianna finally arrived, Isaac and Crystal were eager to get back home
to Adak, but were very grateful for the comfort of the wonderful "home
home" that Aaron and Autumn so graciously provided.
Aaron and Autumn moved to a new house between
Wasilla and Palmer the summer of 2011. They expect this house to
be their permanent home for some time, with room to raise a
family. The house is new and finished, but considerable
landscaping is still to be done. Aaron has already moved a lot of
hill behind the house to enlarge the
front yard, and is building a long retaining wall in the back, plus has
visions of a large deck off the back of the house someday. Various
and plans are in the works, but most can only be accomplished during
Both Aaron and Autumn remain in their same jobs, Aaron is now working
directly for Pioneer Natural Resources, instead of by sub-contract, and
an office in Anchorage, while still working part of the time on the
Slope. He frequently makes trips to Texas or other places for
for special jobs or training. Autumn still works in Wasilla as a
case manager for SED (Severely Emotionally Disturbed)
Aaron enjoys hunting and fishing trips with family and friends, such as
hunting caribou with his brothers in Adak, or fishing down in
southeastren Alaska. Autumn loves her visits with her family in
she grew up, and she also gets to the Colville "homestead"
Christmas Party -