Gene wrote his memories for his brother Sheldon, who was writing a family book titled "As I Remember My Family, Plus a Way of Life in the 20thCentury." A few excerpts from this book follow: "Memories include going on Sunday picnics, fishing or hogging the wagon load of fish and dividing them up. (In hogging fish, the fishermen are swimming or wading in the water with the fish and sneak up on the fish and grab them with their hands). Then there were the trips every spring, pushing a stick and wheel all over the neighborhood, and in the Fall going barefoot until we walked home in the snow. And of course there were the many whippings I got in school. I quit school after a half year of high school and set up a mill southwest of Wyoming at the age of 17. I put a lot of Dad's worn out pieces together. "

Sheldon wrote about his brother Gene: "Gene was the best little kid and never bothered anyone. As he grew older, he was very good help on the farm and sawmill. He was a little on the stubborn side though. I remember his first year at high school. There was a rule that all freshmen had to wear green on St. Patrick's Day and use the south door. Gene refused to do either. He told them bigger kids that he would do as he Da## well pleased. He also informed them that he'd fight first, but they backed down."

Gene was a teenager when his parents and younger family members moved to Bureau County in northern Illinois. Gene and his brothers Verle and Gail, double dated all through school. They also worked together for several years until World War II separated them. Gene served in the US Navy for three years, (1942-1945) most of that time in the Pacific Theater. 1968-82 Gene and his family set up and operated a sawmill in Maui, Hawaii. They shipped logs all over the world.

Lee Helle: "To me these uncles stood seven foot tall barefooted and there was nothing they could not do. At the age of three I spent many weeks at my grandparents, Uncle Gene being the youngest always seemed to be lucky enough to have me sleep in his bed. I can well remember one morning telling everyone that Uncle Gene had wet the bed and peed all over me. How else would I have got wet? Uncle Gene had a Ford logging truck1934-36, when ever that truck was parked out front you could always find me there driving it. Now those old Fords had a two part ignition system, a keyed lock that locked the steering and a toggle switch that would put juice to the coil and with a push button starter switch on the dash. Seems like one day Gene came home and parked the truck out front, a little bit later they heard this noise. I had watched long enough to know to flip the toggle switch and then hit the push button. being left in low gear, the engine started, the truck went forward till the bumper came in contact with a tree. I was found happily standing on the seat driving the truck with the back tires digging holes in the yard. In those days an incident like this was just another family story, no big deal, just another Helle boy growing up. Not to many years later Uncle Gene had a 1940black Ford pickup with Helle Lumber Company, Oregon IL painted on its doors. Now that is a separate tale all by its self."

Lorraine: "Uncle Gene and Aunt Maxine took me with their family on a vacation to Minnesota. We went out in a boat in the middle of a lake. Now I do believe Uncle Gene took his fishing seriously. But the further out we went the more frightened I became. I was so scared and I think I was crying. Uncle Gene took me all the way back in to the dock and stayed with me. He never made me feel bad for ruining his fishing vacation."
In 1946, after the war, Gene and Verle Helle, started Helle Hardwoods at Oregon IL.  (Sharon Bearce)