David Helbach, founder and former president of Baysek Machines, Inc. and corrugated industry giant, died unexpectedly on July 30. Upon his passing, Baysek shared the following tribute:

“It is with great sadness that we share on Sunday, July 30th, our founder of Baysek Machines, David Helbach, passed away at the age of 87. Dave was a leader and mentor to many, not only in the office and shop throughout his extensive 65 years as an owner of multiple corrugated industry businesses, but also within his immediate and extended family.

“Gathering people together to work and play was his gift. A generous man who treated others the way he wished to be treated, Dave was a giver. He put others first and operated with a ‘go the extra mile’ and ‘do the right thing’ attitude. And given Dave’s persistence and will, he always found a way.

“A pioneer in the corrugated converting equipment industry, with the business partners he always chose, Dave met the needs of converters the globe over by researching and developing innovative equipment that was not available for his own needs in the industry when he was a box maker himself. It was his true passion to serve and assist others through his faith, his personal life, and his work.

“Dave was a kind, professional, and genuine man who is already greatly missed by our Baysek family.”

Dave’s obituary describes him as a family man, a handyman, and a caring man. He was born on November 18, 1935, in the bedroom of the Helbach family farm in Lanark, Wisconsin to George and Neva “Merle” Helbach. As one of ten children, he could sometimes be found sleeping in school after morning family chores.

Though Dave was not overly excited about classes and schoolwork, his inquisitive mind for innovation was vast and bright. He graduated from Amherst High School in 1953 and shortly after headed to the “paper valley” to begin his career in the printing and corrugated industries.

Dave married Elizabeth “Betty” Sopa on September 20, 1958, at St. James Catholic Church. He then served in the U.S. Army in Würzburg, Germany, from 1959-1960.

Between having five children with his supporting wife, Dave began, successfully managed, and eventually sold several businesses during his 65 years in the corrugated converting industry. In 2017, he turned the reins over to his son, Mark Helbach, who has been president of Baysek Machines since his father’s retirement.

Work, and sometimes pleasure, took Dave on adventures around the world. Some of his fondest trips were taking all of his grandkids to Europe. But he always came home to Amherst.

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