James Carl Helms, 88, of Enterprise, AL passed away June 11, 2012 at home following a lengthy illness.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2 pm at Hillcrest Baptist Church with Rev. Don Young and Dr. Michael Mynatt officiating.Burial with full military honors will follow at Meadowlawn Cemetery with Sorrells Funeral Home of Enterprise directing.The family will receive friends at Sorrells Funeral Home from 5 until 7 pm and also one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the church.Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Hillcrest Baptist Church Building Fund, 900 Alberta St., Enterprise, AL 36330.
Mr. Helms was born on April 18, 1924 in Valparaiso, FL, the eldest of two children of the late Alter Lee and Charlotte Myrrah Brunson Helms.In 1936, he and his sister, Evelyn, came to live on the farm with their widowed grandmother, Emmie Helms, near Coffee Springs, AL.He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1940 and served until after the attack on Pearl Harbor.He then worked at Tyndall AFB for a short time before entering the U.S. Army in 1942.Following training in 1943, he was shipped overseas to England.He participated in the D-Day Invasion and fought in all five campaigns of the ETO.After the war, he served with the occupation forces, both in Europe and Japan.In 1952, James was discharged from active duty and joined the National Guard.He was recalled to active duty several times over the years and retired as a Captain.James became a Department of the Army Civilian and served as the Consolidated Property Officer for Fort Rucker until his retirement in 1979.He was one of the charter members of the Enterprise Country Club and was an avid golfer most of his life, but gave up the outdoors for the bowling lanes after his eyesight began to decline.James and his wife Lavinia are charter members of Hillcrest Baptist Church where they raised their family.He taught the men's Loyalty Sunday School class for many years and was elected Deacon Emeritus in 2006.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Lavinia Jordan Helms; two daughters, Marie (Steve) Koach of Enterprise, AL and Shirley (Jim) Edberg of New Brockton, AL; one son, Kenneth (Heather) Helms of Fayetteville, GA; one sister, Evelyn Roney of Montgomery, AL; thirteen grandchildren, Sharie (Tony) Lowman, Heather (Jason) Lowrey, Kristin (Jeremy) Smith, Thomas (Salina) Guess, Kellie (Bryan) Lunsford, Bethany (Rob) Thomson, Havilah (Andrew) Teel, Canaan (Tim) Worley, Jordan, Shaphan, Josiah, Kerith and Micaiah Helms; and thirteen great-grandchildren, Stephen (Kendra) Lowman, Christopher and Jesse Lowman, Siegen and Tyler Marie Smith, Emily Guess, Zachary Puerto, Mary Margaret and Easton Lunsford, Henry, Davis and Lillian Mae Thomson, and Ethan Worley.