Joseph Helm, 57, born Thomas Joseph Helmbrecht, passed away in Guangzhou, China, Oct. 12, 2009.
Joseph was born in Havre July 11, 1952, to Vern and Toby Helmbrecht. After graduating from St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic School and Havre High School, he attended Northern Montana College, the University of Montana and San Francisco State University where he received his bachelor of arts degree in music in 1979. Joseph also received a master's in music history from San Francisco State in 1985. In the 1970s, Joseph worked for the U.S. government at Hunters Point Naval Shipyards as a clerk for four years. The next two decades he worked at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco as a waiter and vocalist. In 1997 Joseph moved to Mexico City to begin his career teaching music and English as a second language. Joseph moved to China in 2009 to assist his partner, Ernesto Cespedes, ambassador for Mexico to Guangzhou, China, and teach English as a second language there. Joseph loved music and loved to travel. He visited dozens of countries. One of his favorite pastimes and passions was opera. He visited many of the great opera houses in Europe and around the world and enjoyed many performances. He was a member of St. Jude's choir when he visited Havre. Many friends remember his Christmas choir visits and solos. Joseph left many friends in Mexico City, San Francisco, Havre and wherever he traveled. He will be dearly missed by all. He is survived by his partner of 13 years, Ernesto Cespedes; his mother, Toby Helmbrecht; his sister, Kathy and Gary Enneberg; and brothers, Dennis Helmbrecht and Steve Helmbrecht. He is also survived by nieces and nephews Melissa, Mark and Jason Enneberg and Jade, Keegan and Anders Helmbrecht. He was preceded in death by his father, Vern Helmbrecht. Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service was held in Mexico City Saturday, Nov. 7. There will be a memorial service in Havre at noon Friday, Nov. 13 at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church.