Henry (Fred) Frederic Helmholtz, M.D.
Henry (Fred) Frederic Helmholtz, M.D.
Get Notifications:
Get Notifications:

ROCHESTER: MN, Henry Frederic Helmholz, Jr., universally known as Fred, 100, passed away peacefully January 7, 2012 at his residence surrounded by family.

Fred was born December 27, 1911 in Evanston, IL to Dr. Henry Sr. and Isabel (Lindsay) Helmholz. On September 17, 1935 Fred married Mary Balfour. Fred graduated from Rochester Public Schools and the Shattuck School in Faribault, MN. He entered Dartmouth College in 1929, receiving the degree of bachelor of arts in 1933. Fred then enrolled in the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, from which he obtained the degree of doctor of medicine in 1937. Fred served as an intern in the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Helmholz returned to Rochester to become a fellow in physiology of the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. His graduate studies were concentrated upon experimental physiology and pathologic anatomy. In April of 1942 Dr. Helmholz became a research consultant and physician to flying personnel, test pilots and engineers at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego, CA conducting research in the physiological aspects of flying at high altitudes at the Aeromedical Research Unit of the Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Foundation. In 1947 he became a member of the Section of Physiology at the Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Graduate School. He worked in circulatory and respiratory physiology and in consultation with others in clinical medicine. From 1943 to 1967 Dr. Helmholz was in charge of the Basal Metabolism Laboratory and Inhalation Therapy at Mayo.

Dr. Helmholz was a member of the American Medical Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Zumbro Valley Medical Association and the American College of Chest Physicians.

Dr. Helmholz was also the Chairman of the Joint Review Committee for Inhalation Therapy Education and was appointed to the National Board of Respiratory Care and later served as President of that Board. For many years he served as a judge for that professions national quiz bowl competition, the Sputum Bowl.

For his work in his field he received many awards, including the Jimmy A. Young medal, the highest award given by the American Association of Respiratory Care, the Distinguished Emeritus Faculty Award from Mayo Clinics School of Health Sciences, and election as an Honorary Member of the American Association for Respiratory Care.

His interests were broad, including art, poetry, architecture, jazz music, photography, theater, swimming, tennis. He said cooking was just chemistry; if so, why was his mushroom soup the best ever?

He touched the lives of so many people; family, friends, colleagues, that he will be greatly missed. But we are all better for his having been among us.

Dr. Helmholz is survived by his children, Donald Balfour Helmholz (Janet) of Lafayette, CA., Anne Lindsay Helmholz of Seattle, WA; Martha Mayo Anderson (David) of St. Paul, MN; 7 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, and sister-in-law, Mrs. August Carl Helmholz (Betty). Dr. Helmholz was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary; 2 brothers, Lindsay and Carl Helmholz and sister, Margaret Burchell.

The family wishes to extend their grateful thanks to the caregivers at Home Instead and Seasons Hospice for the compassionate care they provided.

Because Fred was able to attend and enjoy his recent 100th birthday celebration where many family members, friends and colleagues were able to share memories with him, there will not be a memorial service. Memorials can be sent to support the HFHelmholz, Jr MD Scholarship Award, c/o Ms Anne Uttermark, 14434 Aurora Ave, Rosemont, MN 55068.


There are no events scheduled.

There are no tributes yet.

We encourage you to show your support by adding a tribute above:

  • Share your favorite memory of Henry (Fred)
  • Offer your condolences to the family
  • Light a virtual candle



Add a photo
Iframe toggler
Send Sympathy Gifts
Find Us On Facebook
Plan Ahead

Share Photo/Memorial Tributes

Henry (Fred) Frederic Helmholtz, M.D.

Add to Your Calendar

Henry (Fred) Frederic Helmholtz, M.D.

Obit Checkin

Get Obituary Notifications

We will notify you soon.

Grief Support

Henry (Fred) Frederic Helmholtz, M.D.

Get Updates - tribute notifications

Get SMS Notifications

You will receive a notification text whenever there's an update to this obituary.

Thank you for sharing!

Care, Commitment, and Compassion. Our funeral directors are here for you 24/7.