Gerald “Pat” Helsey

A Family of Wood Carvers
Hannah Wood Carving Exhibit

Born on March 17, 1914 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Being born on St. Patrick’s Day, and living in the predominately Irish borough of Verdun, he was called “Pat’.  He married Edith Madeline Webb (1908 - 1987) on December 12, 1935.  They had four children; Peter, Norma, Judy and Duncan.  Peter and Duncan learned to carve and Norma and Judy painted the sculptures of their father and brothers.   “Pat” became known as the most proficient of the carving family, as well as the most prolific, as he made a living from his carvings.   His talent was influenced by CJ Trygg, and he started his carving career in Canada.  “Pat” moved to America in 1948 with his family, spending half the year in Vermont and the other half in Florida.  He was busy enough to have an agent, who not only helped “Pat” sell his carvings around the world, but also set him up with demonstrations at Expo’s and World Fair’s.  At one Expo in Detroit, the guest of honor was the Queen of England.  She took such an interest in “Pat’s” work, the she spent her allotted time visiting with him.  Two of his carvings were given to the Queen as gifts for young Prince Charles and Princess Ann.  His dream of opening a home studio was cut short by his death on January 27, 1967, at a young age of 52.  Although he passed away in Alachua, Florida, he is buried in Poultney, Vermont.