About Tammie Helmick

Author Archive | Tammie Helmick


It’s been over a year since mom passed, but I think about her everyday. There is always something around me to remind me of her. Today it was this photo:



This picture is from the 70’s and was pulled from the State Archives of Florida. I came across it while reading an article and I immediately recognized the area where the photo was taken.

Before we moved to Orlando we would come here for vacation. We would stay at the Knights Inn off International Drive. Knights Inn was next to the tall hotel in the photo. Having stayed in the same hotel for years, my parents knew the large hotel fairly well. When we finally moved here, we could still see that hotel from our house.

Of course back then we didn’t have GPS, but mom was clever and used the hotel as a landmark when she would go out shopping. I remember her making comments about how we couldn’t go too far because she had to be able to find her way back to the house, so she needed to keep the hotel in view.

I’m sure lots of people use landmarks to find their way around, but it’s just another fond memory of mom that I have.


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Closter Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Corps, Inc.

The Closter Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Corps, Inc hereby sadly acknowledges the passing of Life Member Karen Fritsch.

Karen will always be remembered by many of the “old timers” for her individual achievement as becoming the first female member of the Corp almost 40 years ago. The world of volunteer emergency medical services was far different than today and Karen was pioneer in her achievement, setting the foundation for today when all female EMT crews are commonplace and not even thought twice about.

Karen dedicated herself early on to becoming a first rate EMT and was “first through the door” on many a call, calmly taking charge of a varied assortment of true emergencies, as back in the 1970’s paramedics were still an unheard of entity in Closter and the Northern Valley. There is no doubt that people lives were extended by Karen’s quick action and comforted by her compassion.

Karen will also be remembered as a true friend with a quick wit and a big smile. (She had to have that, she was married to Carl!) The Fritsch home always had an open door and a fresh pot of coffee on, and all were welcomed.

God bless you Karen, and Carl, Bobby, Tammie & Wesley. You have answered your final call. Rest in the peace of God, and have a place ready for the rest of us to respond.

Closter Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Corps, Inc

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I have so many memories about Karen..she was my next door neighbor for over 15 years. The first day I met her, I asked her for advice on buying the house next to hers. She was kind & honest and I felt so fortunate to be her neighbor. She put up with all of my young, silly, inappropriate behavior. Loud music, loud friends etc! And. ..taught me me so many things about taking care of my house.
I was never alone as a single girl, because i had the best Lady in the world looking after me next door!

Tish Simpson – Neighbor

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Old friends

We remember the fun times that we had going out with the group from Allyn and Bacon. Kathi enjoyed working with Karen at Allyn and Bacon. On a whim Kathi wrote to the both of you when we discovered that you lived in Orlando and that we were in Tampa. We are thankful for the times that we spoke on the phone. Again Karen you were a friend, wife, mother and grandmother watch over us all, we will miss you,our prayers are for Carl and his family.

Tom & Kathi Firenze

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Memories of Karen

We were visiting Orlando with my Mom and the kids. Joe and I were attempting to get to see our dear friends while in town. Karen had a busy schedule at Universal especially since it was a holiday week and many of us “Northerners” had come south for some warmer weather.I think we visited with Carl for a bit one evening and he told us to come back in the morning so we could see Karen-but he wasn’t going to tell Karen we were coming. He told Joe to ring the doorbell and say he was coming to look at he pool. Joe had a golf hat on and sort of pulled it down over his face. If I’m not mistaken, Karen was having trouble getting someone to actually come look at the pool so it could be repaired. Karen showed “the pool guy” into the backyard never suspecting it was really Joey. I’m not sure how he didn’t burst out laughing but she really was very surprised to find out that the pool guy was really Joey (and Carl) playing a practical joke on her. I’m pretty sure she was happy to see us – not sure how long it took for her to get the real estimate! I have many other fond memories of times spent with the Fritsch family and as I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to write, I kept coming back to this particular memory. Love and hugs to all, Ginny and Joey

Ginny Talmo

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Surprises after Mom was gone

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was a magazine called Highlights. My mom had it delivered to the house so I never missed an issue. She would even make copies of the pages so I could do the puzzles and hidden pictures over and over again. About 3 years ago as a joke she bought me a subscription to it again. I saved all the copies for when I had children.

She knew how much Wesley loves to read and look at books. She always bought him books to give him when he visited and she always wrote, “Love Nana” in them. It’s been over two weeks since my mom passed away and today in the mail a magazine arrived called Highlights Hello, made by the same people that made the magazine I loved so much. It’s for kids under 2. I had no idea she had bought a subscription for him. It just reminds me how much she loved us all, especially Wesley. I will write “Love Nana” in each of them. Thank you Mommy, I miss so much you everyday.

Tammie Helmick

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