Thomas Helms

thomas helms
Master Sergeant Thomas G Helms “Tom” Helms died peacefully in his home on February 2nd, 2016 in Fargo, ND at the age of 56. Tom was born on September 23rd 1959 in Sarasota, Florida to Roscoe and May Belle Helms. He graduated from Hudson’s Bay High school in 1977. He attended Clark College with an interest in Photography. His career was active military in the Air Force from 1979 to 2001 where he earned 6 stripes and earned the prestigious title of Master Sergeant. He was stationed in several countries throughout his career including Bosnia, Greenland, Germany, & Turkey. It was during his time at the Grand forks Air force Base that he met the love of his life, Donna in 1993. Donna and Tom were married July 31, 2004. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol from 1972 thru 2015 and recognized with multiple awards. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Anthony of Padua in Fargo ND. Tom is survived by his wife, Donna A Helms; his son, Thomas Charles Helms; his step-daughter Kelly Steinke (Brad); his step-son Justin Bercier (Michelle); his grandchildren Hunter Steinke, Danielle Steinke, Brandi Bercier, & Kylie Bercier, and his brother Kenneth Helms of Thailand. He is preceded in death by his mother, May Belle Helms & his father, Roscoe Helms of Vancouver Washington. While Tom was a quiet man, he found great joy in the times he spent with his grandchildren. He also enjoyed anything related to Star Wars. He even had his license plate specialized as “Qui Tom”. When he wasn’t enjoying a quick visit with the grandkids or Star Wars, he enjoyed all of his time with Donna. Donna really loved the few times she could drag him out of the house to enjoy a weekend at Dakota Magic! Tom was a “homebody”, and preferred the couch to the car, so they enjoyed watching classic tv shows together such as Happy Days and the Andy Griffith Show. They also enjoyed spoiling and playing with their cat, Angel.

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Memories Timeline


  1. We are so sorry to hear about Tom. He was a special memory from Grand Forks AFB. Our deepest condolences to his family.

  2. Grand Forks was my last duty station before I retired, that’s where I met Tom. Wonderful memories of working together. What a great honor to have met such a remarkable man. Prayers to all.

  3. Tommy was my first trainer in ATC at Hurlburt Field back in 1982. He chain smoked Moore cigarettes and drank Tab in the pink can incessantly. A talented controller with a sharp whit, a patient trainer and a truly good man. He taught me well and his wisdom stayed with me during the course of my 30 year career. No doubt, I’m a better person for having known Tom. His passing is a loss to many who he positively impacted. God Bless you Tommy.

  4. Tom was one of my first supervisors in the USAF and helped me achieve some of my dreams. My sincere condolences to Tom’s family and friends.

  5. I served with Tom at Hurlburt Field when he was just starting in ATC. I am sorry to hear of his passing.

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