April 14th, 1970 – August 31st, 2017
At a young age, he developed a keen interest in U.S. military history and stayed passionate about through his adult life. This passion is what led him into what would become a 22 year career with the fire service. In 1995, Gary volunteered with the Pine Valley, California Fire Department and then as a seasonal firefighter on the Cleveland NF. He served on engines and crews with the BLM in Colorado, Yosemite National Park and BLM in Ridgecrest, CA before accepting the opportunity to have his own engine with the BLM back in Grand Junction, CO in 2001.
Over the next eleven years, Gary split his duties between fire suppression and training. In February, 2005, he and fellow firefighter Andrea Mohrhusen, whom he had met while in Yosemite, joined forces in a beautiful wedding ceremony in Marin County, CA.
In 2008, Gary and Andrea’s lives were changed forever (and for the better) with the birth of their son, Riley Jackson Helming. Gary continued his training, becoming qualified as an Air Tactical Group Supervisor (Air Attack), as well as having the honor of becoming a member of the BLM National Honor Guard.
Gary lost his life while returning from the Railroad Fire near Yosemite, after completing an Air Attack assignment. His professional accolades were numerous. He is survived by his wife Andrea, son Riley (10) and twins Walker and Nalani (18 mos.). Parents, Gary and Liz and three sisters, Leslie, Pam and Deanna.