The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 21, 2016 2:29 pm

Walter P. Helmke, former prosecutor, state senator, dies

Frank Gray | The Journal Gazette

Walter P. Helmke, Fort Wayne attorney and former Allen County prosecutor, state senator and congressional candidate, died Wednesday afternoon at his home on Lake James. He was 88.

Helmke was born in Fort Wayne and graduated from Indiana University and received his law degree from Valparaiso University in 1952. He began practicing law in 1952, served as the Allen County Prosecutor from 1962 to 1970, and was an Indiana state senator from 1970 to 1974. He was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 4th District in 1974.

He was president of the Allen County Bar Association in 1982 and served on the Indiana State Bar Association Legislative Committee from 1976 to 1986. He also served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Criminal Justice Planning Agency, the YMCA, Law Enforcement Training Academy and the board of Lifeline Homes Inc.

Helmke's wife, Rowene, died on Dec. 24, 2015.

He is survived by a son, former Fort Wayne mayor Walter Paul Helmke Jr. of Fort Wayne, and a daughter, Marsha Shirk of North Carolina.

H.E. Johnson and Sons Funeral Home in Angola is in charge of arrangements.

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