Tommy David Helms

Tommy David Helms

Friday, May 23rd, 1941 - Thursday, October 1st, 2020
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CUMMING — Tommy David Helms, 79, of Cordele passed away on October 1st, 2020 surrounded by his children in Cumming, Georgia. A celebration of life service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, October 4th, 2020 in the chapel of Hughes & Wright Funeral Home in Cordele, Georgia. Burial will follow at Arabi-Antioch Cemetery. The family will receive friends an hour prior to the service. In accordance with COVID-19 regulations, face masks or face covers are recommended and seating will meet social distancing requirements.

Tommy was born in Dooly County Georgia on May, 23, 1941 to Emma Odell Tyson Helms and Russell Thomas Helms. He graduated from Crisp High School in 1959 and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Southern College. Tommy also attended the University of Georgia, Middle Georgia College and earned a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Valdosta State. He went on to teach high-school mathematics for 12 years (being recognized as a Star Teacher all 12 years) and later became a High-School principal, assistant superintendent, and school superintendent for Turner County. As Tommy neared retirement, he also worked for the Georgia State school board where he was in charge of facilities. Throughout his career, Tommy served as a mentor and supporter to students in need across Turner County. While an avid stamp collector, reader and NASCAR enthusiast, Tommy also enjoyed watching his Roll Tide team take the field. Most of all, Tommy was devoted to his children and grandchildren – never missing a family gathering or other important life events.

Tommy is survived by his beloved children: Tonya Lynn Helms Dudman and spouse Darren of Snellville, Georgia, and Thomas (Todd) David Helms Jr. and spouse Isabelle of Cumming, Georgia; and his six grandchildren: Mary Katherine Dudman Robertson, Abigail Leigh Dudman Clayton, Molly Elizabeth Dudman, Logan Jocelyne-Ann Helms, Tyler Cayne Dudman and Ashton Madeleine-Ann Helms.

The family wishes to thank all of Mr. Helms’ former students, colleagues and friends for the impact they had on his life.

In lieu of flowers and in support of Tommy’s life-long passion for supporting the youth, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Online condolences may be left at Hughes & Wright Funeral Home, Inc. is entrusted with these arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, October 4th, 2020 | 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Sunday, October 4th, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm
    Hughes & Wright Funeral Home
    1010 East 8th Avenue
    CORDELE, GA 31015
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Sunday, October 4th, 2020 | 2:00pm
    Sunday, October 4th, 2020 2:00pm
    Hughes & Wright Funeral Home
    1010 East 8th Avenue
    CORDELE, GA 31015
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Jimmy Black
  • Interment

    Arabi Cemetery
    Hwy 41
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Anita Pritchettt Dillard

Posted at 05:36pm
So sorry to hear of Tommy's passing. We gradated from Crisp County High School together and I considered him a friend. He was always a very nice and friendly guy to all. My condolences to all of his family.
Anita Pritchett Dillard

Linda Hurt Kennedy

Posted at 04:46pm
I am so sorry to hear of Tommy's passing. I went to Crisp County High School with him. I graduated in 1960. He was always a nice young guy. I haven't seen him in years however I have good memories of him. His obit sounds as if he did really well in life. Rest in Peace, Tommy.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 06:27pm
With lots of love from your Fleenor Family. May his memory be a blessing.
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Sandy Alberson Parker

Posted at 12:57pm
So saddened to read of Mr. Helms passing. He taught me math every year of high school and his enthusiasm for his subject was always apparent. I remember as a Jr I wasn't doing all that great in his class and had recently taken the SAT. He called me in to talk to him and I thought oh my I'm going to fail. He sat me down and told me he had seen my SAT scores and I clearly had the ability to ace his class so what else was going on. 50 years later I remember him giving me confidence to tackle the tough subjects we girls weren't supposed to be good at or even try plus he help sort out my skewed priorities. That confidence served me well in the years that followed. A quick smile and a ready joke, he was a fine man and educator. These later years his great FB posts exhibited his boundless love for his family. I wish you solace in all the memories and will keep you in my prayers. Sandy Alberson Parker

Posted at 09:11pm
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Tommy Helms. He hired me for my first teaching job at the junior high school. When I moved into administration, he served as a mentor and was also very encouraging in my pursuits. We both served as assistant superintendents under Bill Hardin and Jimm Albertsons. Tommy was the senior assistant superintendent and always advised me and, at times, pulled me out of the fire. He was one the most insightful, methodical, visionary educators that I have ever known. Yet, he was a humble, practical common sense type of leader. He will be missed. Education and the world in general needs more people like Tommy Helms.

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