Eric Tanner Helland, D.D.S., 77, of Divide, Colorado, passed away surrounded by his family, January 30th, 2020.
Eric was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 28th, 1942 to Erling and Thordis Helland. The family moved to Springfield, Ohio and later to Tulsa, Oklahoma where he graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1960. Throughout his childhood, he was very active in Scouting, proudly receiving the rank of Eagle Scout before graduating from high school.
He then attended Brown University, University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. In 1967, Eric graduated from the University of Missouri, Kansas City College of Dentistry. In 1968 he received a Presidential Commission to the Navy and worked as a dentist aboard the USS John F. Kennedy.
Eric moved to Woodland Park, Colorado in 1970, and was one of the first dentists to establish a practice in town. He loved dentistry, and was proud to work in the community he called home. Eric cared very much about all of his patients, many becoming personal friends. During his 42 years in dental practice, he received many recognitions, including Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry in 1981, and Fellow of Pierre Fauchard Academy in 1990.
He was very active in organized dentistry at both the state and local level. He served on the board of Delta Dental of Colorado and assisted in the formation of the Intermountain Dental Society, including Teller, Chaffee, Park and Lake Counties. He remained the Society’s president for 20 years. In June 1973, he served as Teller County Commissioner, and always strove to improve the area.
Eric loved being in the mountains, enjoying camping and skiing with his family, and llama trekking through the Colorado wilderness with his longtime friends, the “llama dudes”.
He ran several times in the Pikes Peak Marathon. Eric was kind and compassionate, putting others needs before his own, and always saw the beauty in his surroundings. He had a brilliant sense of humor, and could easily brighten a room.
He loved to host parties, cook and be surrounded by those he loved.
Eric is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Lisa Helland; beloved children, Jason (Melissa) Helland, Kirsten (Andrew) Gould, Amy (Dan) Cravens, Kelsey Helland and Christopher Helland; cherished grandchildren, Jonathan Helland, Elizabeth, Madeleine, Harper and Katherine Cravens; great-grandson, Wyatt Gould; adored brothers, Doug (Margarete) Helland and Bob (Trish and son, Andrew) Helland; and best friend since childhood, Rob Ferris. He is preceded in death by his parents and his granddaughter, Molly Helland.
Eric’s Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 pm on May 23, 2020 at Mountain Memorial Funeral Home, Divide, CO. Officiation: Dieter Rademacher - Pastor and neighbor.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Eric can be made to either: Colorado Parkinson Foundation, Inc co-parkinson.org Parkinson Association of the Rockies parkinsonrockies.org
Though his energy and love still remain, he will be deeply missed.
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