Member Biography

Edward William Helfrick 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1981       27 Republican
1982       27 Republican
1983       27 Republican
1984       27 Republican
1985       27 Republican
1986       27 Republican
1987       27 Republican
1988       27 Republican
1989       27 Republican
1990       27 Republican
1991       27 Republican
1992       27 Republican
1993       27 Republican
1994       27 Republican
1995       27 Republican
1996       27 Republican
1997       27 Republican
1998       27 Republican
1999       27 Republican
2000       27 Republican
2001       27 Republican
2002       27 Republican


03/11/1928 - 09/28/2021

Edward William Helfrick (R27) Columbia and Montour Counties 1981-1982 (R27) Columbia, Juniata (Part) Luzerne (Part), Montour, Northumberland (Part) Snyder and Union Counties 1983-1992 (R27) Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Union (Part) Counties 1993-2003

Early Life:

Edward William Helfrick, born March 11, 1928, Pottsville, Schuykill County, Pennsylvania; son of Edward and Elizabeth Rosenberger Helfrick; Mount Carmel High School, 1945; paratrooper, United States Army, 1945-1946; married Rosemarie Ciokajlo, 1952, five children; engaged, anthracite coal business; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1977-1980; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1980-2003; died, September 28, 2021, Maria Saint Joseph Manor, Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania; interment, All Saints Cemetery, Kulpmont, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career:

Paratrooper, United States Army, 11th Airborne Division, 1945-1946; Anthracite coal business.

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships:

Member, Northumberland County Airport Authority, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; member, American Legion Post #804, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodge, Eagles, Moose Lodge; Ralpho, Atlas, Marion Heights, Kulpmont West End Fire Companies; Queen of Most Holy Rosary Church; director, First National Trust Bank, Susquehanna Bancshares, Incorporated.


Pennsylvania State Fish and Game Protection Association, Gold Medal Award, Pennsylvania for Right to Work Statesman of the Year Award, National Federation of Independent Business Guardian of Small Business Award, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Legislator of the Year, Lincoln Heritage Institute Guardian Award.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1977-1980 not a candidate for reelection, 1980, donated his first-year salary, St. Joseph's Children Hospital, Reading. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 27th district, Columbia and Montour Counties 1981-1982, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 27th district, Columbia, Juniata (Part) Luzerne (Part), Montour, Northumberland (Part) Snyder and Union Counties, 1983-1992, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 27th district, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Union (Part) Counties, 1993 - resigned, August 22, 2003; committee assignments, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Environmental Resources and Energy (Vice Chairman), Finance, Game and Fisheries (Chairman), Military and Veterans Affairs.

Authored, the 2002 "Safe Haven Act," that allows hospitals to accept unwanted newborn babies.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:  

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Involvement in the anthracite coal industry began in the 1940s when he and a high school pal, Robert Kerris purchased a truck from a junkyard and started hauling coal to Philadelphia alternating the days they would skip school. In the mid-1950s, when the local coal industry experienced a serious economic downturn, the partners ventured to French Guyana in South America to dredge for gold in the extremely harsh conditions. Sold their profitable venture to a South American firm and returned to Pennsylvania to concentrate on anthracite coal.

By the 1960s, Kerris and Helfrick Incorporated was the largest employer and largest anthracite mining operation in the Shamokin area until 1986 when operations ceased due to a union strike. In 1966, purchased the Glen Burn Colliery from Susquehanna Coal Company, in 1968, started the Bear Gap Stone Quarry and in 1969 they acquired the International Truck dealership to form Norco Truck and Diesel. 

Married, Rosemarie Ciokajlo, Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1952

In 2009, at the age of 81, awarded a world angling record from International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for record catch of 45.3-pound Black Grouper caught on 12-pound test line off the shore of Key Largo, Florida. 


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members H"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

The Pennsylvania Manual, (1999-2000). Crowell, G.; Secretary, Department of General Services. (Volume 114) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 3-36, 3-41; Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-15.

Edward Helfrick | Obituary | The Daily Item

Edward William Helfrick (1928-2021) - Find a Grave Memorial