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06/23/08 - NNHS Newsletter - Bill Helms

Bill C. Helms
(16 June 1933 -  21 June 2008)

Newport News High School Faculty

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

The sad news is compounding once more.
     Coach Bill Helms passed away in Yorktown on Saturday, June 21, 2008 just five days after his 75th birthday.

  From Dee Hodges Bartram ('66) of VA - 06/22/08:

I was notified today by 
  Terri McAfee Artman that Coach Bill Helms passed away last night, Saturday, June 21st.

Arrangements are incomplete, but the service will be this week.

Dee Bartram

   I'm so sorry to hear this news, Dee.  Thank you for letting us know.

From the Daily Press - 06/23/08:

                   Bill C. Helms

  YORKTOWN - Bill C. Helms, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 21, 2008.

He was born in Monroe, N.C., on June 16, 1933, the son of Odessa Craig Helms and Roy C. Helms.

Bill received his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University while on football scholarship, and his master's degree from William and Mary. He and his wife, Nancy, came to the Peninsula when he started his career as a coach and physical education teacher at old Newport News High School. From there he moved to York County, where he became Principal of Bethel Manor Elementary School. He retired from Tabb Elementary School as Principal.

For many years Bill was active in the Exchange Club and at one time served as State President. He was a U.S. Army veteran, having served during the Korean Conflict.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend to all who knew him.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Nancy Eddins Helms, formerly of Rockingham, N.C.; two sons, Kyle Helms and wife, Dana of Newport News, and Craig Helms of Williamsburg; grandchildren, Kellie Helms Rush and husband, Steven of Quantico, Amy Helms McQuaig of Newport News, Cody Helms of Williamsburg, Lyndsay Hagedorn and husband, Rob of Pensacola, Fla., Brandon Ward of Newport News; two great-granddaughters, Avery McQuaig and Aubrey Rush; a brother, Jerry Helms and wife, Carolyn, of Belmont, N.C.; and a sister, Betty Bivens and husband, Charles, of Monroe, N.C.

Visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, 2008, at W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home.

A graveside service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, 2008, at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, 1247 Sandhill Road, Rockingham, N.C.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Cemetery Fund, 1247 Sandhill Road, Rockingham, NC 28379-8858.

Arrangements by W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at .

Published in the Daily Press on 6/23/2008.
Guest Book

The Helms family will be in my prayers during this time. Mr. Helms was a GREAT principal to work with! He made my transition to York County an easy one. Mr. Helms was always supportive in my career choices. He will remain a fond memory of my teaching career at Tabb Elementary School.
Cindy Burns (York County, VA) - June 23, 2008
Dear Nancy, Kyle, Craig, Jerry and Betty,
We will miss Bill so much. Our thoughts are with you and your families.
Margaret and Eddie
Margaret and Eddie Chengiah (Newport News, VA 23601) - June 23, 2008
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My sympathies to Nancy and family. I have kept up with Nancy and Bill's life experiences through my friends Margaret and Eddie. You will be in my prayers
Bettie Syverud (Arden Hills, MN) - June 23, 2008
God bless you, Coach. I played football under you in 58,59,60.

George Helliesen
George Helliesen (Harbor Springs, MI) - June 23, 2008
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Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. Our family appreciates them dearly. My dad is still a great man and will never die in my heart.
Thanks again;
Kyle Helms (Newport News, VA) - June 23, 2008
I am so very sorry for your loss. It has been too long since we saw all of you. We shall keep You All in our thoughts and prayers.
John H. Dixon (Gwynn, VA) - June 23, 2008
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Nancy, Kyle and Craig & families,
Bill and I are sorry to learn of the home going of someone so dear to your hearts. Keep the memories alive that not even death can take away. We loved you and your young family while at Newmarket Church. Nancy, I will always love you, you are a true child of God. Remember He always takes care of His own.
All blessings and love to you, keep the faith BELIEVE always Bill and Robbie Beasley
Robbie Beasley (Daleville, VA) - June 23, 2008
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Dear Nancy;
Our prayers and wishes for God's blessings are asked for you and your family in the loss of your dear husband.
Sincerely, Bill and Fannie Walls
(Hampton, VA) - June 23, 2008
Want to say how much I thought of Bill Helms at Newport News High in the late fifties. I had him for my teacher in my gym class, and he was a great person to keep you motivated and keeping you in shape. He will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to you the family.
Glenn Dye (Grand Prairie, TX) - June 23, 2008
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Dearest Nancy, Kyle, and Craig,
You are my second family and my dearest friends. I was so shocked and so sad to hear about Bill. He was loved by everyone and will be missed very much by all. Holly and I will see you tomorrow night.
With Much Love and prayers,
Christina (Tina) Colley (Winterville, NC) - June 23, 2008
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My prayers to all of you at this difficult time.
Coach Bill was my first coach at NNHS in 1958 when I started playing Basketball, Football and Track and I have many great memories of his keeping me and the rest of us straight and out of trouble. He taught us life lessons that I will always be grateful for ,and I share in some small way your fond and loving memories of him.
God just needed another good man to help with "Heaven's Team"

Owen Smith
Class Of 1963
Owen Smith (Newport News, VA) - June 23, 2008
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Wishing the family great memories and smiles as you remember your dad and granddad. He was principal the entire time I was at Tabb Elementary. I can still see him walking the halls. I have known the family for quite some time, also having Brandon and Lyndsey at While Away. God Bless You All.
Rhonda Guilliams (Yorktown, VA) - June 23, 2008
Nancy, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. Please call me if there is anything I can do for you. My deepest sympathy.
Beth Kane (Seaford, VA) - June 23, 2008 
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Dear Nancy, Kyle, Craig, and families,
Ronnie and I are so saddened to learn of Mr. Helms' passing. It was so good to see and visit with him on the 15th and to personally wish him an early "happy birthday". He was pleased to have the family together to celebrate Father's Day and his birthday. He was so proud of his family. Mr. Helms was not only a great principal, but also a leader, mentor, and most of all, friend. We have such good memories of stories and jokes that he used to tell, and recipes that he used to share. We will miss him. Our prayers and sympathies go with you all during this most difficult time. Love to you all, Verdis and Ronnie
Verdis Knight (Yorktown, VA) - June 23, 2008 
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Dear Nancy & Family:
I was shocked to hear that Mr. Helms had passed away. I saw him only a few weeks ago and he looked pretty well. I know how much his family meant to him and I know you will miss him.
Mr. Helms (I'll always call him that) was a fine man and a great principal to work with.

I cannot make the viewing this evening because of a prior commitment. Sorry I won't see you.

Wanted you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and comfort you in your time of sorrow.

Paulette Aycock
Paulette Aycock (Seaford) - June 24, 2008
Dear Nancy,

I learned of Bill's passing from my aunt Terri and just wanted to send my condolences. My prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.

Laurie Artman
Laurie Artman (Williamsburg, VA) - June 24, 2008 
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Helms' Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of grief. I'm a teacher at Tabb Elementary. Mr. Helms was the person who hired me. For that, I will always be thankful. He was a terrific administrator to work for, and he made me laugh.
Pat King (Williamsburg, VA) - June 24, 2008
Dear Kyle and family,

Our prayers are with all of you at this time.

Kevin & Elaine Roberto-McPartland
Williamsburg, Va.

Kevin McPartland (Williamsburg, VA) - June 24, 2008
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Nana, Kyle & Craig:
I am so very sorry for the loss of Papa B. I will never forget all the special times that I was fortunate to share with him. I am so saddened of his passing and I know that Cody will now have a special guardian angel always looking over him. Cody and I shared many special times with Papa B that I will hold in my heart forever. One of my fondest memories is him taking Cody and I to the Virginia mountains to get fresh apples. I will truly miss him. Nana, I love you and please know that you are in my heart always. God bless all of you. Love, Jenn
Jenn - June 24, 2008
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Nancy and family,
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Bill's passing. Although it has been many years since I visited with him, I will always remember him as a kind and funny fellow. How he put up with our "girlfriend" antics! I am so very sorry for your sad times now, but remember better memories and let this be your strength.
With sympathy,
Lyn Marie Figel (Ashburn, VA) - June 25, 2008
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We thank everyone for their support in the loss of our Papa B.
He was a great man that will always be remembered. He will always be in our hearts. The memories with our Papa B will never fade away.
Papa B, we love and miss you, but we know you are in a better place now. We'll take care of Nana for you<3
Cody and Amy Helms (Williamsburg/Newport News) - June 25, 2008



   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to the entire Helms family and their friends at this difficult time.

   This information is also posted here:


  From Ed Nichols ('62) of Northern VA - 06/24/08, 12:28 PM - " Coach Helms":

I was saddened to see the passing of Coach Bill Helms. He was my gym teacher for 3 years I believe. He always acted tough and loved barking his orders in gym classes. But, at least the way I saw him, he was really a softy and quite caring of his students. I see he was an elementary school principal for several years so this shows the kind of man he must have been.

One of the things we had to accomplish in gym, the boys at least, was to climb "the rope". You had to climb it to the top of the gym, touch the top, and scoot back down. Coach Helms had worked with getting me further up the rope each time I climbed. Finally, it was either 10th or 11th grade, I made it to the top and started down. Well, I fear heights terribly so about three feet from the top I froze. Coach Helms and
Coach Range were yelling, trying to get me down. I clutched harder to the rope. Coach Range was mad and fussing but Coach Helms saw this a big problem. Everybody was tense and I was just plain old scared. Coach Helms said that I had to come down one way or the other. So I just let go and plunged toward the floor. Coach Helms braced himself and the moment I hit bottom he grabbed me breaking my fall. I went to the floor but not hard. Coach Helms was shaking and Coach Range shared his temper with me a bit.

As the gym was winding down for the day Coach Helms came over to me putting his finger in my chest and said "Nichols - don't you ever touch this rope again, and if anyone tries to make you tell them to come see me". But from this adventure came a loose coach/student relationship that I have always held fondly. I think he was a very good man.

Ed Nichols, NNHS Class of 1962

   What a great memory.  Thank you, Eddie.

  From Joe Drewry ('58) of VA to the Members of the Class of 1958 - 06/24/08, 7:51 PM - "Obituary for NNHS Coach Bill Helms":

Coach Helms died Saturday, June 21, 2008.  He had just turned 75 years old.  When we graduated in June 1958, Coach Helms was 25 years old.
I recall that most of the girls in our class had a crush on Coach Helms.  He had the looks of a movie star a great smile, and was very personable.  Heck, he was hardly older than we were!  The guys recall what a smart guy he was to accept a football scholarship to play for East Carolina right after it converted from an all-female teachers college. I'll never understand how a good looking guy like Coach Helms managed to get a degree from a University that was about 75% female.  How did he concentrate on his studies?
Let me know your favorite Coach Helms story.  Was he your coach or teacher?  What class and/or what sport?

   Thank you, Joe.

   Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

Amazing Grace

Words by John Newton, 1779

 Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.

"Amazing Grace" mid courtesy of - 03/15/05

"Amazing Grace" lyrics courtesy of - 03/15/05

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of 03/15/05

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06
Thanks, Al!

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

Animated Army Flag courtesy of - 06/18/03

Exchange Club Logo courtesy of - 06/23/08

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