Dr. Dale Michael “Mike” Hellwege, devoted husband and father, passed away at his home in Edmond, OK, May 30, 2015. Mike was born to Dale and Elsie (Went) Hellwege August 2, 1940, in Enid, OK. He made a career of one of his passions, teaching chemistry, spending almost 40 years as an organic chemistry professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, retiring in 2009. As a professor, he was known for his distinct techniques (most notably his multicolored arrows), a strong dedication to passing along his enthusiasm for chemistry, his antics dressing up as the chemical elements, and as one student put it his “whimsical” hair. His chemistry magic shows thrilled kids and adults, helping to spread his love for connecting people with chemistry.
Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School and held a PhD in Chemistry from Oklahoma State University.
His other passions included music, reading, and astronomy. Many people remember him for his star-gazing sessions, which would take you from science to theology and back in a heartbeat. He was a faithful member of the church choir for over forty years and loved singing and listening to barbershop quartet music. His contributions to Sunday school classes as a teacher, student, and friend will be missed.
Mike is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Bruce, and his daughter-in-law, Glenda “Gigi” Knowlton. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jane (Roberts) Hellwege. For several years after he retired, Mike acted in an increasing role as Jane’s caregiver after she had been disabled by strokes. For the past year, he has been at her side several hours a day in a skilled nursing facility. He is also survived by his brother, Jim, his children, Darren Hellwege (and wife Bonnie) of Columbia, MO, Roger Hellwege (and wife Elizabeth) of Edmond, OK, and Mindy Hellwege of Oklahoma City, OK, and his grandchildren, Grace, Miguel, and Aidan Hellwege of Edmond, OK, Kristian Hellwege of Columbia, MO, and Janie Lavelock (and husband Jake) of Kansas City, MO. His grandchildren lovingly called him “PopPop.”
A memorial service for Mike will be held Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 3:00pm at Southern Hills Christian Church, located at 3207 S. Boulevard, Edmond, OK.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be given to one or both of these:
UCO Foundation at 100 N. University Drive, Box 133, Edmond, OK 73034 (please put on memo “Dr. Hellwege, chemistry professor.” The process is underway for a fund which will benefit future UCO chemistry students).
Southern Hills Christian Church at 3207 S. Boulevard, Edmond, OK 73013 (if not otherwise specified for the music department or for Christian education, gifts will go to the “Tree of Life” fund, details of which can be found at http://www.southernhillschristian.org/wordpress/tree-of-life).