Obituaries » Harry Walter Helft
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December 31, 1928 - December 18, 2020
Helft, Harry Walter
December 31, 1928 -December 18, 2020
Our Dear father, grandfather and great-grandfather Harry Walter Helft, born in Atlanta to Tedd and Blanche, passed away on December 18, 2020 from complications related to Covid-19. He was just shy of his 92nd birthday.
After growing up a star athlete in Indianapolis, where he had been the state tennis champion, Harry came to UCLA on an athletic scholarship where he played both tennis and basketball. He was a member of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity. It was in Los Angeles where he met the love of his life Joan to whom he was married 70 years. Harry was an entrepreneur. He owned Helft’s clothing’s career centered on the retail business. He owned Helft’s clothing stores from the 1950’s until his retirement in the early 2000’s. Throughout his adult life he continued to compete in sports, with multiple tennis games weekly, participation in a softball league, and as the host of an irreverent annual basketball tournament. When he picked up paddle tennis in the 1960’s, he soon became, with his doubles partner, a State champion. When he took up skiing in the 1970’s he became a competitive racer. In recent years golf became his sport. However, Harry’s true passion was his family, his tight knit group of friends, and Reform Judaism. For many years he was on the Board of the World Union of the reform movement and an active member of the movement’s Religious Action Center.
Harry is survived by his wife Joan, his loving children Bruce Helft (Tania), Jody Moss (Dennis), Wendy Barness (Daniel), his grandchildren Ari, Emily, Sophie, Julia, Sara, Joey, Hanna and Rosie; great grandchildren, McKenzie, Daphne, Jacob, Isaiah, and Sammy.
Donations in Harry’s memory can be made to the Religious Action Center, RAC.org, or Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills 300N. Clark Dr. Beverly Hills , CA 90211
A virtual memorial service will be held in the near future.