John Helmuth, 70

    John Lockman Helmuth Jr. died on May 15 in Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, two days after having a massive stroke. The former East Hampton resident was 70 years old.
    Mr. Helmuth was born on March 28, 1941, to John Helmuth Sr. (Jack), a painter and naturalist who died in 1983, and Adele Walker Helmuth, who died in 1951. The senior Mr. Helmuth was a frequent guest at Grey Gardens, the house of the Beale Bouviers, and was known to drive around town performing errands for Big and Little Edie.
    Mr. Helmuth grew up in East Hampton and graduated from East Hampton High School in 1958. He attended the University of Rochester, then moved to New York City, where he lived for the rest of his life.
    Mr. Helmuth spent his career in several areas of the medical profession. He worked at Cabrini Medical Center, and later was a senior project assistant in the gerontology department at New York University Medical Center. In the early 1980s, he and a friend established Synapse, a company that computerized medical information. His last position prior to retirement was as office manager for Dr. John B. Montana, one of the first New York physicians to identify and treat people with AIDS.
    Mr. Helmuth was also closely involved with the founding of Senior Action in a Gay Environment (S.A.G.E.) over 30 years ago. The organization provides social services to older gay people whose needs are not met by traditional agencies.
    “John loved music, especially choral music,” said his cousin, Caroline Helmuth of New York City. “And he loved cars and racing. In his younger days, he raced go-karts.” She said that upon learning of his death, a friend commented, “John liked to go fast, and when he died, that’s the way he went.”
    Mr. Helmuth was active in Franklin Lodge 195 of the Masons, and he served in the National Guard.
    His longtime partner, Maurice M. Duncan, died in 1997. He is survived by his sister, Victoria Helmuth of St. Louis Park, Minn.
    A service will be held on June 18 at 11 a.m. at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields on Hudson Street in New York City.