Fred Marvin Helm
August 30, 1924 - May 15, 2021
Fred Marvin Helm, 96, of Fort Scott, Kan., formerly of Paola and Kansas City, Kan., died Saturday, May 15, 2021 at Presbyterian Village in Fort Scott.
He was born Aug. 30, 1924 at Miles, Okla., the fifth of eight children of Isaac and Lillie Mae (Moulder) Helm.
He graduated in 1942 from White Oak High School at White Oak, Okla. He met Phyllis Ann Curtis at Parsons, Kan., and they were married on June 20, 1954 at her parents’ house.
They became the parents of two children, Anthony Scott and Tammy Lou.
He worked as a switchman for the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad at Parsons, Kan., and in 1962, transferred to Kansas City, Kan., where he and Phyllis raised their children. In 1987, he and Phyllis moved to Osawatomie, Kan., where after 33 years, he retired from the Katy.
He enjoyed traveling and made sure the family took a vacation each summer. After the kids were grown, he and Phyllis continued taking as many trips as possible, often with friends Frank and Juanita Folsom. Together, they traveled to Mexico, Canada, Alaska and many states in between. His favorite and most memorable trips was when he and Phyllis drove to Alaska in 1985.
He also enjoyed gardening and fishing, becoming a member of the Katy Rod and Gun Club at Moran, Kan., where the family spent several weekends during the summer.
He began dabbling with woodworking and in his retirement, spent hours in his shop making furniture he would give to his children and grandchildren for Christmas. He made smaller items, which he enjoyed giving to other family members and friends. Years later, those items are cherished.
His favorite time of the year was the annual Helm Reunion, held the first weekend in June.
He loved meeting new people, laughing and making people laugh, and was never short on words.
Phyllis preceded him in death on May 19, 2011. Her cremains will be buried with him.
He then married Mary Lou Debrick on June 16, 2012, and moved to Paola. They traveled while their health allowed, once taking a cruise to the Panama Canal. They divorced in 2020.
Fred moved to Fort Scott in June 2020 to be near his daughter. He moved to the Presbyterian Village in March.
He was a member of the First Methodist Church at Vinita, Okla., and more recently the First Lutheran Church at Paola.
Besides his parents and wife Phyllis, Fred was preceded in death by his siblings: brothers Arthur, Clarence, Francis, James, William Albert and Isaac “Bud”; and sister Thelma Jones.
He is survived by his two children, Scott Helm and Debbie Jones of Desoto, Kan., and Tammy Helm of Fort Scott; daughter-in-law Roberta Helm; two grandchildren Alicia (Helm) Hafley and her husband, Joe, of Kansas City, Kan., and Michael McHenry of Gladstone, Mo.; one great-grandson, Caden “Oscar” Hafley; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Cremation graveside services will be held at 11:00 AM Friday, May 21st, in the Fairview Cemetery, Vinita, OK. Memorials are suggested to the Presbyterian Village Good Samaritan Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main St., Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
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