For more than half a century, Helmut Huber has been Susan Lucci‘s right-hand man and beloved husband. Sadly, that partnership came to an end on Monday (Mar. 28) after Helmut died peacefully in Long Island, New York, according to a family spokesperson. “A family man, he was a loyal friend, and loved them deeply,” the official statement reads. “With a roaring sense of humor, larger-than-life personality, and a practical problem-solver, he lived his life to the fullest.”
“Mr. Huber, who formerly raced motorcycles in Austria, was a first-rate skier, and avid golfer, belonging to the Garden City Golf Club and Westhampton Country Club,” the statement concluded. Susan Lucci’s publicist, Jessica Sciacchitano, also issued a statement on behalf of her client. “Helmut’s passing is a tremendous loss for all who knew and loved him. He was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather, and friend. The family kindly asks for privacy during this incredibly difficult time.”
No cause of death was given at the time. Helmut married Susan, 75, in 1969. He’s survived by Susan, his two sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his brother. The family requested that fans could honor Helmut by making contributions to the American Heart Association in support of stroke awareness and research, per PEOPLE.
In addition to being Susan’s husband, Helmut worked as her manager and the CEO of Pine Valley Productions. The two met when 18-year-old Susan was working as a waitress at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island, New York, according to Woman’s Day. Helmut worked as the hotel’s chef and head of the food and beverage service. It was love at first sight.
“The first time I saw Susie, it hit me,” he told PEOPLE in a June 1999 interview. “Still today, she walks in a room, and I just light up.” However, Susan didn’t feel that way. Helmut was nine years older than her – and her boss. She actually became engaged to another man, and in 1968, she and her fiancé held their engagement party at the Garden City Hotel. During the bash, she ran into Helmut and started to have second thoughts.
“Helmut leaned over to my mother and said, ‘This thing between Susie and this boy is never going to last,'” she told People. “I heard about that much later. And my mother agreed with him, but she didn’t tell me that.” Months after the party, Susan broke off the engagement and began dating Helmut. They married on Sept. 13, 1969, and were by each other’s side since.