November 20, 2020, 79
Richard, 79, passed away early in the morning, of November 20 in his home with his family.
He leaves behind his college sweetheart and beloved wife of 55 years, Peggy (nee Minier) and three
children: Trey, Susan (Todd) and Jenny and a legacy of two grandchildren, Will and Hallie Eichler.
He is the eldest of seven children born to and now joined in heaven with William “Dick” Richard Helms
and Hallie Flowers Troutman. He had love for and loyalty to them his entire life. He is survived by six
siblings: Migeon Knowles, Phyllis Helms Zanfordio, Robin Allen (Dwight), Mark Helms (Lisa), Lynn Helms
Easley (Roger), Fleet Helms (Ginny) and lots of super nieces and nephews.
Richard was born in Goldsboro, developed lifelong friends at Goldsboro High School and then graduated
from Duke with a Civil Engineering degree and a letterman’s jacket for tennis. For the next 31 years, he
further dedicated himself to his family and the operations of a grey iron foundry, Dewey Brothers.
By age 35, Richard had become General Manager, taking on operational control, of the plant and later
became Vice President and President. One of Richard’s achievements was the design and
implementation of a new tower to reduce pollution, which allowed the foundry to meet new
environmental regulations and continue operations. Most importantly though is that he loved and
enjoyed all the people that he worked and shared life with at Dewey Brothers. After Dewey Brothers
was overwhelmed with a growing import market and constant new regulations, Richard continued his
career as a regional manager at Stackhouse/Mastec and then retired from NC’s Department of
Transportation. At this point, he could finally be a full-time caretaker of the family farm, which brought
him endless projects and all the wildlife that he wanted. He never really retired but lived life on his own
Richard was the type of man where an official retirement certificate sits in a wheelbarrow and a
certificate from his colleagues hangs over his desk at home. He also always stopped on his way from
work at a streetlight a couple blocks from home so whichever of his children greeted him there could
get in some actual driving practice. There was no age requirement – just a smile and a wave.
Richard was deeply involved with his family. Specifically at Wayne Country Day School, he
designed and built a steel media tower in the gymnasium, replaced boards and
painted bleachers, and after a special need, installed concrete safety barriers in the parking lot. He had
a big heart and was constantly thinking of how he could make things better for others.
Richard was completely devoted and selfless to his family. In loving partnership with his wife, he woke
up at 3am in the morning to prepare for all day fishing trips to Lake Mattamuskeet or a local creek,
drove a packed and loud station wagon all over the US on annual summer vacations, spent thousands of
hours throwing footballs and softballs to his kids, trained his children in tennis while wearing his work
boots, and showed all of his children how to hunt and respect nature and the land. He loved sharing an
interest with his children and grandchildren and would drive anywhere anytime in any type of weather
to watch them perform in sporting events, artistic performances, and of course, birthdays. Never a sip
of alcohol. He cherished life and his family.
A graveside service will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at the Selah Christian Church Cemetery with Rev. Jeffrey Endecott officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be directed to the charity of ones choice.
Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Helms family and online condolences may be directed to www.shumate-faulk.com.