Helmut Lutsep

Obituary of Helmut Lutsep

With a heavy heart we announce the passing of Helmut Lutsep, who died peacefully at his home on Bass Lake near Hudson, Wisconsin, on Saturday, January 29, 2022. The cause was complications from anemia. Helmut was born on September 12, 1927 in Vé¤injé¤rve, Estonia to Jaan and Aliide Lutsep. As Germany was retreating and Russia was reoccupying Estonia, Helmut was forced into the German Air Force Support Service, leaving his home and entire family at the age of 16. Helmut eventually arrived at a Displaced Persons camp in Geislingen, completed Estonian high school, and began studies at the University of Té¼bingen. He assisted with the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 before emigrating to the United States in 1949. After serving in military intelligence at Fort Bragg during the Korean War, Helmut looked for work in New Jersey and instead found love at a Baltic dance. He and Ligita married and relocated to Minnesota, where Helmut worked as a chemist at 3M after obtaining a degree in chemistry from Macalester College. He left Minnesota to obtain a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and then worked as a scientist at 3M for over 30 years, where he particularly enjoyed collaborating with his colleagues in the Twin Cities and at 3M's lab in Italy. Helmut was known for his caring and concern for his immediate and far-flung family and was a fierce protector of Estonian culture, serving as President of the Minneapolis Estonian Lutheran Church and Estonian School for many years. He loved Beethoven and Sibelius and was a member of the Minneapolis Estonian choir. Helmut was ahead of his time in warning against the dangers of air pollution, carcinogens, and chemicals of all kinds; his chemical-free lawn in St. Paul was the envy of the neighborhood. He loved animals and they loved him; often the neighborhood dogs would accompany him on his daily late-night walks along Mississippi River Boulevard. Helmut's dream was to live in the peace and quiet of nature, and with the help of an Estonian friend and architect, he designed his family home on Bass Lake in Hudson, Wisconsin, where he would spend countless hours outdoors. Helmut devoured books about science and history, and until a few weeks before his passing, read the Pioneer Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Economist daily cover to cover. Though deaf late in life, he particularly enjoyed discussing history and geography with the wonderful nursing staff of Hudson Hospital during his blood transfusions for anemia. His family would also like to thank the caring neighbors, nurses, and paramedics who made his last few weeks comfortable and serene. Preceding him in death are his parents and sister, Ilme Ani. Surviving are his wife of 62 years, Ligita Lutsep, and his daughters Helmi Lutsep and husband David Robinson of Portland, Oregon and Marja Lutsep and husband Michael Halloran of St. Paul, Minnesota; his sister Ilse Tammeké¤nd of Té¼ri, Estonia; his brother Herbert Lutsep and his wife Valja of Sillamé¤e, Estonia; and two grandchildren – Mattias and Mikael "My Little Buddy" Halloran of St. Paul. Helmut had a special kinship with grand-nephew Meelis Tambla, and he treasured the years Meelis spent working and studying in the United States before settling in Tallinn, Estonia. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Joseph Township Volunteer Fire and EMR department of Hudson, WI (checks payable to St. Joseph Fire Department, 1337 County Road V, Hudson WI 54016) or to the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org). Donations of blood are particularly welcome at this time. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Joseph Township Volunteer Fire and EMR department of Hudson, WI (checks payable to St. Joseph Fire Department, 1337 County Road V, Hudson WI 54016) or to the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org). Donations of blood are particularly welcome at this time.
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