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Michael Brian Helgeson

Born: Thu., Jun. 6, 1968
Died: Mon., Dec. 21, 2020

Celebration of Life - Date Pending

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Michael Brian Helgeson

Michael Brian Helgeson, 52, of Plainfield, IL transitioned peacefully into the next life surrounded by his loving wife and children at 4:12AM on Monday, December 21, 2020 at Edward Hospital in Naperville. Mike fought a valiant battle against Retroperitoneal Liposarcoma for over two years. Cancer took his body from this Earth, but as his spirit remains within us, we will continue to speak of him in the present tense.

Born on June 6, 1968 in Neenah, WI to Leslie Walton Helgeson, Jr. and Mary Kathleen "Maureen" Helgeson, Mike graduated from Schaumburg High School in 1986. He obtained his degree in Nuclear Engineering from University of Wisconsin at Madison. Mike later obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from North Central College, and spent over 18 years as a software developer for the Optum division of United Health Group, where he made lifelong friends. 

Mike created a large loving family with his best friend, soulmate, and wife of 8 years (although it took him 6 years to propose), Linda, and his treasured children Colin, 27, Kayleigh, 25, Mackenzie, 21, and Aria, 7, who are his greatest joy and source of pride.  He is also an incredible step-father to Sarah Bakshis, 23, and Noah Bakshis, 21. Mike also welcomed into his home as two more sons Joseph Dench (fiancé of Sarah), 26, and John Sullivan (partner of Mackenzie), 22. He deeply loves his parents Les and Maureen, his brother Mark, sister-in-law Ana, and nieces Sarah and Amy. He is a beloved son-in-law to Thomas and Patricia Svoboda, and to Michael and Jennie Madsen. Mike shares his three oldest children with their mother, Michelle Madsen. Michael is now joyously uniting with his infant sister, Diane Helgeson.

Mike’s favorite days are spent watching Badgers football or basketball and playing games on his tablet in his recliner. He loves all things cheese, Portillo’s double cheeseburgers (plain), Diet Coke, Rush, Star Wars, Family Guy, and every good or bad dad joke. Ever the genius, he also does math ‘just for fun’. Mike has a twisted sense of humor, which is why Linda fell so deeply in love with him and will remain so for the rest of her life. He likes playing poker with his work friends, and playing Blackjack (although he ‘hits’ way too often). He hates spending money and will probably not like that Linda spent money on an obituary. He led us on great family cruises to the Caribbean, and one his favorite moments was taking a helicopter to land on an Alaskan glacier and getting to see the whales. He loves us all deeply, always putting his family first. He is the greatest man we have ever known. 

Because his time here was so cruelly cut short, Mike left a lot of dreams still unrealized. While we will never be the same without him here, we will honor him by fulfilling those dreams for him. Everything we do, we will do it for him.  

We would like to thank the doctors and incredible nursing staff at Edward Hospital in Naperville and the Edward Cancer Center in Plainfield, as well as Dr. Samuel Singer at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York. They gave him the gift of time.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Sarcoma Foundation (www.curesarcoma.org) are appreciated, so that others may be saved from this relentless disease.

Due to COVID-19, no funeral services will be held at this time. A Celebration of Life  gathering will be scheduled for a later date. 

To celebrate Mike's life, her family invites you to visit the “Condolences” and “Photos” sections of this memorial to leave a message or memory or to upload a photograph.



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Condolence Booklet

Aunt Sue, Uncle Ed, and Jenni
   Posted Thu December 24, 2020
Every time we come over for parties and holidays you always make us feel so welcome. I know we will always feel your presence forever. We will always do our best in the interests of our Goddaughter, Cousin, and the whole family.
Thank you Mike for being in our lives.
Love, Aunt Sue, Uncle Ed and Jenni

Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her. And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

And that is dying...

Tom Banaski
   Posted Thu December 24, 2020
I first met Mike when he came to work at what was then ComCoTec, now Optum. Back then our office was pretty wild—we had a lot of laughs, and Mike was not a stuffy developer like I run into these days. Always in a good mood, he always had time to talk and we became friends. A group of us hung out sometimes after work, and I learned Mike was the kind of person worth staying in touch with after I left there. I also realized what a good athlete he was— we
Played basketball a few times with a group I played with on Sundays and Mike was definitely among the guys you would be happy to get on your team. After he and Linda got married they hosted poker games at their place, and Mike found my cheat using Oreo cookies to make my chip stack look bigger amusing—it was not a hardcore poker game but rather an excuse to get together and talk trash. I can say with complete certainty Mike will be missed, and I look forward to seeing him again sometime. I will bring the Oreos Mike, you get the cards and chips ready!!

Horace Cartwright
   Posted Fri December 25, 2020
I worked with Mike at ComCoTec/SXC. As a Technical Support manager there, I liked to identify key people in different sectors of the department that I knew I could count on to get prompt, professional answers to my questions and inquiries. Mike was one of those people. I could always depend on him to not only give me what I needed but to also be available when I needed him. Mike was definitely a Pro! I will miss his kind, funny and positive nature. He was one of the nicest guys I've run across in my life. He will truly be missed by all. My sincere condolences to his wonderful family. I will pray for your strength going forward. - Horace

Sharath Ulthoor
   Posted Sun December 27, 2020
I worked with Mike in OptumRx starting from June 2017 until his final days. Besides being the most humble and a soft natured teammate, he was a very caring human being personally. He lead our team by example and always worked towards betterment of us.

Mike, Each and everyone feels your absence and I personally miss you very very very dearly. You are one of those besties I have earned in my career who is always dependable and I will never forget the smile you always had on your face whenever we met. You are an irreplaceable pal of my life. May your soul rest in peace my brother.

Linda and family, I am deeply sorry for the pain you must feel as you grieve in this tough time. Please accept my deepest condolences and sympathies on your loss. Take care.


Renee Kabella
   Posted Mon December 28, 2020
I am a long time childhood friend of Linda for 42 years. I have never seen a woman so much in love like these two were. Mike definitely was the love of her life and she his for a life of his was cut way too short. Mike was like a brother in-law to me and he took very good care of my "sister". I'm glad for the good times I got to spend with him getting to know him and his kids. Brother you will forever be loved but most of all missed. Peace and rest come to you for you are home in the arms of God.

Trudy and Bob Helgeson
   Posted Wed December 30, 2020
Michael’s personality was like that from his birth and we always laughed at the things he would say and do as he was growing up. Because he lived in Illinois and we were in Florida we didn’t get a chance to see him often but always enjoyed him and it was so much fun watching he and Mark grow to be adults. We are so saddened that his life on the earth was cut so short but he leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten. I prefer to believe that the Lord has something specific that only Michael could fulfill and he is busy doing the Lords work. We all will miss him and know that he is watching over you and will always be there. Our prayers are with you during this very difficult time for strength, stamina and peace. Love Aunt Trudy and Uncle Bob

Tony Miller
   Posted Sun January 03, 2021
Helgeson Family

My condolences to you on the loss of Mike. I used to work with Mike pretty frequently in the SXC/Catamaran days (optum now). Mike was such a kind soul and always such a friendly face in the office. I loved talking to and learning from him.

I had no idea of his battle as our paths had not crossed in the past several years, but have always thought very fondly of him.

Your family should be very proud of the positive impact Mike made on those around him.

Tony Miller

Pamela and Tracy Wagner
   Posted Sun January 03, 2021
Tracy and I are so sorry for the loss of Mike. I know you and he were soul mates who were lucky enough to find each other. Even 1 day with a soul mate is better than never finding one. Mike was a great guy with a big heart and although we had moved away before we got to really know him, we enjoyed the time we had when visiting you, Mike and the rest of your amazing family.

Our thoughts are with you and the kids.

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