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Robert “Bob” H. Helmink



Age 82, passed away at home unexpectedly on October 14, 2019. Bob was born on November 20, 1936, in Holland, Michigan and he served in Germany with the US Air Force.  Bob was a lifetime resident of West Michigan. He owned and operated several successful motorcycle & snowmobile dealerships and was well known to most people as Honda Bob. He also founded Leather Express, a specialized motorcycle leather apparel retail & repair shop.  Bob’s Leather Express store was a business landmark in Grand Rapids for nearly five decades. His expert knowledge, integrity and honesty combined with his products and services served a wide variety of people. Bob strongly supported and sold leather made products “Made in the USA.” Bob had a great sense of humor, gracious smile and good heart. He enjoyed spending time with close friends, fishing, road trips, and attending local venues. He was passionate about sports, and jazz music.  His loss is truly profound to his family, friends and the many people he knew throughout his life and his presence will be deeply missed.  Bob is survived by his daughter, Tracy L. Helmink and her mother, Dolores  and cousin, Missy Mannes. He was preceded in death by his parents Willis and Harriet (VanderBie) Helmink, and son, Robert (Todd) Helmink. Private services were held. Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the West Michigan Jazz Society online at:



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