Katherine "Kathy" F. Helmbock (nee Fryer)

August 26, 1932 - June 22, 2020
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Katherine "Kathy" F. Helmbock (nee Fryer), 1932-2020, age 87 years, born August 26, 1932 to Kathryn Zempter Fryer and Ercel Ray Fryer in Winchester, KY. Wife of the late David Helmbock, sister of the late psychiatrist John E. Fryer M.D., LGBT civil rights pioneer, and survived by son Steven Helmbock. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Kathy came to Cincinnati to take a job at a brand group at P&G. She later worked at the advertising departments of Baldwin Piano and Shillitos/Lazarus until 1995. An activist with the National Organization for Women since 1972, Kathy served the local and Ohio chapters as president, vice-president, and treasurer. She was a charter member of the Cincinnati Women's Political Caucus and served a term on the Planned Parenthood Board in the 1990s. She was president of the Women's City Club in 2007 & 2008. Kathy volunteered for many Democratic campaigns over the past four decades and served on the Democratic Party Executive Committee. A lifelong member of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ, she served the Walnut Hills Church as elder and board chair in the 1990s plus the Norwood Church as elder from 2012 to 2018. Graveside Service at Spring Grove Cemetery on Tues. June 30, at 2:30 PM. Friends may visit at T P WHITE & SONS Funeral Home 2050 Beechmont Ave. Mt. Washington on Tues. from 1-2 PM.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    T. P. White & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.
    2050 Beechmont Ave.
    CINCINNATI, OH 45230
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 2:30pm
    Tuesday, June 30, 2020 2:30pm
    Spring Grove Cemetery
    4521 Spring Grove Ave.
    CINCINNATI, OH 45232
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Spring Grove Cemetery
    4521 Spring Grove Ave.
    CINCINNATI, OH 45232
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Planned Parenthood & Lauren Blauvelt sent flowers to the family of Katherine "Kathy" F. Helmbock (nee Fryer).
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Tim Collins

Posted at 09:06am
I am very sorry to hear of Kathy's passing. She was a delightful gem of a person.

I met her when I worked at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in Alumni and Development. Her brother, John Fryer, was an alum, and a mostly unsung hero in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. He was the famous "Dr. H. Anonymous," whose testimony at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in 1972 led to the APA removing homosexuality as a mental illness from their diagnostic guide. I corresponded with Kathy for a year plus, and met her in person when she drove to Lexington to attend a reception and the (surprise) unveiling of Transylvania's Fryer Fund for Diversity and Inclusion, named for her brother. The Fryer Fund was endowed by 3-4 generous alumni, including Transy alums Cole Rucker (Malibu, CA), Chris Sauer (New York, NY, and Steve Adams (Louisville, KY).

Later, I kept in touch with Kathy about a play written about her brother, "217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous" written and directed by Ain Gordon, and a just-released documentary film, "CURED," from Patrick Sammons and Bennett Singer. She was delighted about all of these projects, and so proud of her brother and the important role he played.

May she Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory.

Planned Parenthood & Lauren Blauvelt

Posted at 11:11am
Rest in Power Kathy. You made difference for women and children everywhere. We will miss you-
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Planned Parenthood & Lauren Blauvelt purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Katherine "Kathy" Helmbock. Send Flowers


Lea Görgülü Webb

Posted at 04:18pm
I am so sad that Kathy is gone. She was a kind a nurturing friend and mentor to me for the last 3 decades. How blessed I am to have known her. Never have I known a better human: cheerful, thoughtful, polite, wise, kind to all, patient beyond imagination, committed to creating and maintaining a Just and humane world, and she could be incredibly witty, too. Cincinnati, Ohio and the USA were so fortunate to have her. There was no greater citizen than Kathy Helmbock. She made a difference that improved our lives, everyday. She defied gender roles and norms, championed Black sisters and brothers, supported women of all backgrounds as we advanced the development of a more equal society- one without abuse - one full of love. She was like family to me (and to anyone else who needed family or who dug into the struggle for civil rights), and I loved her. I’ll do my best to keep her alive by carrying on as near to her example as possible. Rest in peace Kathy. Thank you for all you’ve given, so incredibly generously, to this world.

Pamela Daniels Posted at 10:17am

Lea I couldnt have said this better. She was my friend and mentor and made such an impact on my life. I have known her half my life and I'm lucky, grateful,blessed to have been her friend. I will miss her dearly.

Deborah And Helen

Posted at 06:02am
In memory of a lovely woman who was a delight to know. You will be greatly missed, Kathy Helmbock! We love you!
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Posted at 11:11am
At this sorrowful period in your life, please accept my sincerest condolences for the death of your loved one.  Reflecting on the divine promises found in the Bible will give you hope and strength to keep going until all of God's promises are fulfilled. (John 5:28, 29; Romans 15:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17).

Rina Posted at 12:42pm

Kathy was a true teacher, mentor, role model and wit. We will miss her greatly.

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