On February 27, 2019, Don Carlton Helm passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. He passed away in Midland, Texas at the age of 87.
Don was born July 10, 1931 in El Paso, Texas to Elsie “Bill” and Winfield “Sonny”
Helm. The family moved to Pecos, Texas where Don graduated from Pecos High
School. He earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University.
While at Texas Tech, he was enrolled in the Air Force ROTC and a member of the
Texas Tech Saddle Tramps. Don married Mary Elizabeth Biediger of Marfa, Texas.,
while in college.
Don served his Air Force time in Oxnard, California and went to work for the
Standard Oil Company of Texas. In 1972, Don became an independent petroleum
engineer. Midland was his primary base of operations. He continued in the business
of oil and gas drilling production for the next 30 years.
The Helm family lived, worked and played in many oilfield areas of the southwest.
Colorado City, Snyder, Midland, Farmington, Hobbs and Shreveport were scenic
stops along the way. All three of his children graduated from Midland High School.
In 1997, Don married Patricia Pirtle Wood of Marfa, Texas. For the next 22 years,
Don and Pat shared a wonderful life of family, friends, church and travel. They
found deep joy together. Their active life included church functions, distant travels,
fishing, time at the Colorado cabin and grandchildren. The John Sunday School
Department provided faithful and fun friends.
Don Helm was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter Joy
Helm Cobb (Steve) with their children Naomi Cobb, Abby Christensen (Kevin) and
Zac Cobb, as well as great grandson Sam Christensen. Don is also survived by his
son Ron Helm (Janet), as well as daughter Joni Helm Powers (Tim) with their
daughters Hannah Parker (Ryland) and Kate Powers.
Don was cherished and loved dearly by Pat’s children Martha Finger (Richard) with
their children Quentin Baxter and Arianna, Ava and Anabelle Finger, as well as
Becky Ehrlich (Bubba) with their daughter Kandace (JT) West, Kelsey Cartel
(Colton) and great grandson Klay West. Vernelle Pirtle, Don’s 97 year-old motherin-
law, held a special place with him.
A graveside service will be held in Marfa at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 1. A brief
reception will follow at the Hotel Paisano. A memorial service will be held in
Midland at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 2. All are welcome to either or both. Alpine
Memorial Funeral Home in Alpine, Texas is handling arrangements. Please direct
any memorial donations to Benevolence Fund at The First Baptist Church of
Rube Evans and myself broke down at my ranch 30 miles South of Marfa. Rube called Don and he came and picked us up in his Avalanche. Was the smoothest ride I had ever had on that road. The two men kept me entertained all the way home. I will never forget his kindest. I appreciated it then and always will. My condolences to all the family and my love to all. Patti Godbold
Patti GodboldMarfa, TX
Gene and I are friends of Joy and Steve Cobb's family and want to extend our deepest sympathy to them, Pat, and the entire Cobb and Helm families in the passing of Mr. Helm. Don's mother and dad, Bill and Sonny, were very special to us at First Baptist Church, El Paso, Texas. We join our hearts with you in your sorrow, but rejoice with you that Don is with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We send our love and prayers.
Gene and Eleanor HillAustin, TX
Sorry to hear of your great! Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. My the Lord comfort you.
Will, Parker and Mark CowdenKerrville, TX
Pat, we are so, so sorry about Don. We are praying for all of the family.
Ed & Marylynn WolfMidland, TX
Such a dear, sweet man and such a wonderful couple. Thank you for being the best of friends to Buddy and Juanell. Our love and deepest sympathies Pat in the loss of your beloved. Everyone should have a marriage filled with such love and devotion. God Bless You...
Love Mitch and Donna Raindl
Donna RaindlLubbock, TX
I loved my cousin Don so much and extend my love and condolences to Pat and all the family. Although distances kept us apart and we did not often see each other, I will miss him. There's a great Helm family reunion going on in heaven right now.
Sandra KirkFrisco, TX