Richard Michael “Mike” Helms

Richard Michael “Mike” Helms, avid adventurer, devoted husband, father, Pop Pop, brother, nephew, and friend, died on November 23, 2023 at Lake Hills Healthcare Center in Brownwood, TX, surrounded by love and the joy of a life well-lived. 

Mike was born March 16, 1950 to Pat and Bill Helms of Jefferson, Iowa, and grew up in a bustling home with his parents, older brother, Wayne, younger sisters, Kathy and Dawna, grandmother, Nan Rosie, whom he called “Mom,” and seven doting elderly patients in the nursing home they operated in their residence. He spent his childhood admittedly neglecting his schoolwork in favor of developing a lifelong love of cars, motorcycles, woodworking, and billiards. He met his high school sweetheart, Janet Helm, his Sophomore year, and they married when he graduated in 1968. They lived in young married bliss until Janet’s death in 1969. 

He met his wife of 53 years, Glenda Geeslin, while completing basic training in San Angelo, TX, where Glenda was enrolled in college. She overcame his shyness, stole his heart with a Hershey’s kiss, and they eloped and married in Brindisi, Italy where he was stationed as a communications analyst for the U.S. Air Force. Thus began a whirlwind six year adventure as they lived in Brindisi, Italy and Altlay, Germany, and traveled to 11 countries with friends and family. 

After his enlistment ended, they settled down in Texas, and he defied all of his early academic pronouncements by graduating cum laude from Angelo State University in 1982. He grew his family, welcoming son, Chris, in 1981, and daughter, Melinda,  in 1984. Mike began a 28 year teaching career at New Horizons Ranch and later Early ISD where his legacy is remembered today by many of his students who loved him well. 

His kids remember him as a dedicated and fun-loving daddy who shared a love for guitar and Tae Kwon Do with his son, and who would accompany his daughter on the guitar to anything she was willing to sing. When his wife began a small business, Mike accompanied her to a million craft shows, jumped right in with any woodworking she was inspired to create, and packed the trailer like a Tetris pro. He drove the drill team bus to every game that his wife coached or his daughter danced. Their annual summer vacations were magical. Mike’s family continued to grow and he was so proud to become a father-in-law to Casey Evarts Helms in 2005 and Pop Pop to Caden Helms in 2009. Over the years, Caden would help his Pop Pop fashion a dozen swords and an awesome Thor’s hammer in his wood workshop.

Mike had a life-long love of 70’s music, and a personal favorite was Time in a Bottle, by Jim Croce. It’s this song that personified him best, and how he chose to live:

“If I could save time in a bottle

The first thing that I’d like to do

Is to save every day ‘til eternity passes away

Just to spend them with you”

Mike’s love language was quality time, and his friends and family never doubted that they were cherished. 

Mike was preceded in death by his mother and father, Pat Helms Goughner and Bill Helms, his brother, Wayne Helms, his wife, Janet Helms, his baby girl, Michelle Helms, and other relatives.

He is survived by his wife, Glenda Helms, his son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Casey Helms, his daughter, Melinda Helms, his grandson, Caden Helms, his sister, Dawna Helms, his sister and brother-in law, Kate and Steve Cuddy, his aunt and uncle, Rita and Larry Pafford, and numerous other family and friends. 

Visitation with be Saturday, November 25th, from 4-6 pm at Heartland Funeral Home, followed by an intimate celebration of life with close family and friends at his home. 

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