Former Lugar aide Mark Helmke dies at 62

Mark Helmke. (WANE Photo, file)

ANGOLA, Ind. (AP) — Mark Helmke, a longtime aide to former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, has died at age 62.

Helmke was found dead Saturday at his home near the northeastern Indiana city of Angola, where he was a faculty member at Trine University.

Walter Helmke tells The Herald Republican that his son’s death was a shock. Former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke tells The Indianapolis Star that his brother was sick with bronchitis a few days earlier.

Mark Helmke worked for Lugar during much of the Republican’s six Senate terms, including as a spokesman and senior aide. Lugar says in a statement that Helmke “contributed compelling communications and diplomatic savvy” in the fights against apartheid in South Africa, for democracy in Latin America and to create a new government in post-Soviet Ukraine. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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