Former Allen County prosecutor, state senator dies

Walter P. Helmke (courtesy Helmke Beams, LLP)

ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) – A former lawyer and politician has died at his home on Lake James. Walter P. Helmke, 88, died Wednesday, January 20.

Helmke had an extensive political career in the state and Allen County. He was elected into office as an Indiana state senator and Allen County prosecutor from 1962 to 1972. He started practicing law in 1952.

Walter P. Helmke (courtesy Facebook)
Walter P. Helmke (courtesy Facebook)

Helmke was also the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in Indiana’s Fourth District, now called the Third District. The politician ran for the office in 1970 and 1974, losing both times to Democratic U.S. Representative J. Edward Roush.

His father, Walter E. Helmke, was also a prominent Fort Wayne attorney and a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor in 1948. He also served as Allen County Prosecutor. In 1977, IPFW’s library was named in Helmke’s honor.

The lawmaker’s sons, Mark and Paul, also had successful political careers. Paul Helmke was the mayor of Fort Wayne for 12 years.

Mark Helmke was the press secretary for Senator Richard Lugar. Helmke died in 2014 at age 62, a shock to his father and family. He had apparently been sick with bronchitis a few days earlier.

Funeral arrangements are pending at the H.E. Johnson & Sons Funeral Home in Angola.


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