Burial will be at Davenport Memorial Park. The family will greet friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main St., Davenport, where a prayer service will be offered at 4:30 p.m. There will be an additional visitation at church one hour prior to Mass time.
Mr. Helms passed away Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, Davenport, following a brief illness.
Thomas H. Helms was born Dec. 4, 1924, in Kokomo, Ind., a son of Roscoe "Steve" and Grace Marie Hart Helms. He was a 1942 graduate of Davenport High. Tom served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, SHAEF Headquarters in England, France and Germany from 1943-46. Tom was united in marriage to Joan T. Johnson on Nov. 16, 1949, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.
In his years in the auto business, he owned and operated several dealerships including Strieter Motor Company, Davenport. He received many awards including repeat President's Awards, and Strieter Motor Company was recently honored by Ford Motor Company as the nation's oldest Lincoln dealership. In 1975, he received the Quality Dealer Award from Time Magazine. In 1973, he served as president of the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association and continued to serve on their management board, and also as president of Scott County Auto Dealers. He also served two terms on the Lincoln Mercury National Dealer Council; Chicago and St. Louis Lincoln Mercury Dealer Advertising board member, National Automobile Dealers Association Industry Relations Committee and Hawkeye Insurance Board.
Mr. Helms was also very civic minded and actively participated in several leadership roles which included the original Transit Authority, City Reorganization Committee, City of Davenport 1st Consumer Affairs Committee, City of Davenport Plan and Zone Commission; served two vice-president terms for Chamber of Commerce, chairing the Transportation, Local Government and North Davenport Committees; vice-president Mississippi Valley Fair Board and he continued to serve on their board for many years; vice-president Underwriters Group, served on the Davenport Park Advisory Board, Tax Assessor's Review Board, served two terms as president Crow Valley Country Club, member of Palmer Chiropractor College Board of Directors. He was an original founding member of North Scott Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow; received the Bob Fry Award for his work in establishing the First Tee Program. Tom was a member of St. Anthony's Church, where he served on the parish council and the finance committee. While wintering in Naples, Fla., he was a member of Foxfire Country Club, serving on the Architectural Review Committee and Road Safety Committee.
Tom enjoyed playing gin rummy with his friends and had been an avid golfer for many years.
Memorials may be made to the Kahl Home, 6701 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, IA 52807; or Handicapped Development Center, 3402 Hickory Grove Road, Davenport, IA 52806.
He is survived by his loving wife, Joan; and their sons, Jeff (Mindy) Helms, Davenport, Jack (Kate) Helms, Minneapolis, Minn., and David Helms, Davenport; six wonderful grandchildren, Anne, Maggie, Tom, Joe, John and Andy Helms.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Jack, who died in Korea in 1952; and his beloved German shepherd, Rocky.
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Tom's obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.
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