Billy Paul Helms

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Billy Paul Helms, age 68, of Tuscaloosa, died May 31, 2013. Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013, at First United Methodist Church with Dr. Ken Dunivant, Dr. Bill Morgan, and Rev. Wayne Helms officiating and Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. Visitation will be Saturday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.

Billy Helms was born on August 2, 1944, in Chestnut Grove, Alabama and spent his early years there, graduating from Pike County High School in 1962 and earning his B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from Auburn University in 1964 and 1966. After graduation, he worked for the United States Public Health Service in Cincinnati, Ohio. While in Cincinnati he met Sally Uible, and they married on August 9, 1969. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Management Science at the University of Tennessee in 1973. In the fall of 1973 Billy and Sally moved to Tuscaloosa, where he worked for the University of Alabama for 40 years, serving as Department Head of the Economics, Finance & Legal Studies department of the College of Commerce and Business Administration for 25 years.

Billy lived out his faith in God through an unwavering devotion to his family. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa where he was a member of the Artos Sunday School Class, served as a youth Sunday School teacher, and led the Church’s girls softball program for 27 years. Billy’s devotion to the softball program has made an impact on countless young girls’ lives by encouraging strong character on and off the field. His backyard – well known for its unique tree house, trolley, rope swing, daylilies, persimmon trees, and hydrangeas – has been a source of fellowship for children of all ages. He also adored his grandchildren and provided them with an example of humility and faith on which to model their lives.

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He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Louie Helms; his mother, Connie Pearl Helms; and his brothers Thomas Earl Helms, William Ray Helms, and Louie Thomas Helms, all of Brundidge, Alabama.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sally Uible Helms; daughters, Sara Helms Robicheaux (Scott) of Vestavia Hills, Ala., and Mary Beth Helms of Birmingham, Ala.; three grandchildren, Anna Elizabeth, Abby Serena, and Ellie Kathryn Robicheaux of Vestavia Hills, Ala.; his brother, John Wayne Helms (Claire) of Dothan, Ala.; his sister, Mary Agnes Helms Adams (Charles) of Troy, Ala.; and many nieces and nephews.

Honorary pallbearers are the faculty and staff of the Economics, Finance, and Legal Studies Department at The University of Alabama, and all his former softball players.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to First United Methodist Church, 800 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401; or to the Dr. Bill Helms Endowed Scholarship, The University of Alabama Office of Advancement Services, Box 870101, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0101.

The family wishes to thank the staff and physicians of the Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center and the UAB Hospital Hematology and Oncology department for the care they provided Billy over the last several months. Also, the family expresses their appreciation to all the friends that have offered their prayers and support.

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