Obituary: Jim G. Helms (11/25/22)

Jim G. Helms, 86, of the Mars, died Saturday, November 19, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Society of the Mars.

James Gerhardt Helms was born on the family farm on January 25, 1936 to George and Margaret (Lawther) Helms near Randolph, Nebraska. He graduated from Belden High School in 1953, then moved to Albany, Oregon to apprentice with his uncle who was a carpenter and cabinetmaker.

Jim became a journeyman cabinetmaker before enlisting in the US Army in 1955. He met the love of his life, Jeanette Schaefer, shortly before leaving for the Army. After completing his military service, they married on November 26, 1957.

Jim and Jeanette moved to Yankton, South Dakota where Jim went to work for Means Dry Cleaners. In 1965, he bought his own dry cleaning business, Valet Cleaners in Le Mars and Cherokee. Jim sold the business in 1973 and went to work for Harker’s Wholesale Meat Company. In November 1998 he retired after 25 years at Harker’s as one of their top salespeople, earning many trips which he and Jeanette enjoyed together.

Jim and Jeanette have traveled most of the 48 states with their RV and have enjoyed camping for over 40 years. Jim used the skills he learned from his uncle, Ernest Helms, and spent many hours in his workshop making furniture, clocks, crooks, birdhouses and other items too numerous to list.

He was a member of Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion. Jim was a fourth degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus and a life member for over 50 years.

He was good at making the rosary starting with Job’s tears that he had grown in his garden. Later he changed to a simpler beaded rosary so he could make more and often donated them to the Gehlen Mission in Honduras. Jim was also proud to be a hospice volunteer and deliver Meals on Wheels. He also volunteered for many years at Queen of Peace in Sioux City where he tended the grounds and served as a board member.

He will be fondly remembered by his four children and their wives, Gary Helms of Kansas City, Kansas, Ron and Julie Helms of Overland Park, Kansas, Kathy and Mike Ream of Westfield, and Bill and Pam Helms of Le Mars; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

His parents predeceased him; wife of 57 years, Jeanette Helms on September 12, 2014; one daughter-in-law, Rita Helms; one grandson, Dywane Lowrey; a great-grandson, James Kraft, Jr.; and his brothers, Don and Dean Helms.

The Christian funeral mass will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, November 28, at the Catholic Parish of All Saints – Church of St. Joseph of Mars. Reverend Bruce Lawler will celebrate mass. Burial with military honors by Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion will follow at Calvaire Cemetery in Le Mars.

Visits will begin at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 27, at Saint-Joseph Church. The family will be present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 5 p.m. followed by a presentation of the chalice and a Bible prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will resume at 1 p.m. Monday at the church.

Arrangements are with the Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars.

Expressions of sympathy can be directed via

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