Tribute to Steven Anderson Helms Jr.

Steven Anderson “Sandy” Helms Jr. passed away on Friday, May 26, 2023.

Sandy was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on October 31, 1936 to Steven Anderson “Andy” Helms and Lula Woolard. He attended teacher training school from grades 2 to 12 with the same 26 classmates. Sandy graduated from North Carolina State University in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering. He worked at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, where he worked on nuclear-powered submarines and the USS Enterprise. He married Elva Haley in 1962. They moved to Avon, Ohio, while Sandy worked at NASA Cleveland. Blessed with two children, they returned to Virginia in 1965, living in Stafford County where Sandy worked at Fort Belvoir in its nuclear power program. In 1983, Elva was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Sandy retired from Fort Belvoir to help care for his wife at home for 3 years before her death. He then worked at B&H Millwork for 25 years, in partnership with his friend Jim Perry; He continued to sell log homes under the name B&H Cedar Log Homes for another 22 years before retiring. He met his current wife at Joy’s Frozen Yogurt Shop, and they were married at Resurrection Lutheran Church in 1997.

Sandy embodied the “fruit of the Spirit” which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. He served with Rappahannock Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Rappahannock United Way, the board of Mary Washington Hospital, and Medicorp’s capital campaign to build a cancer center in Virginia. He has been a member of Hartwood Presbyterian Church in Hartwood for 46 years, serving more than 20 years in session and serving as clerk for half that time. He has always been a loyal volunteer when needed. Sandy has also been a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Stafford for the past 10 years.

Sandy is survived by her daughter, Sharon Johnston of Williamsburg; son Steven Anderson “Steve” Helms III and wife Rhonda; and granddaughters Amy and Sarah Helms, all of Stafford County. Sandy has spent the last 30 years as a devoted partner to his loving wife of over 25 years, Joy Helms. The two enjoyed their church community, traveling, interacting with friends and family, and dining out. Always eat. After all, frozen yogurt brought them together. Sandy was predeceased by his brother, Brian Helms, of Newport, North Carolina; And his parents.

Visitation with the family will be Monday, June 5, 2023 from 4-7 PM at Covenant Funeral Service in Stafford.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Hartwood Presbyterian Church on Thursday, June 15 at 11 a.m., led by Rev. Paul Tolkey of St. Peter’s Church and Rev. Dr. Scott Fouts of Hartwood. He will be buried in the church cemetery after prayers. Additional parking is located at 25 Hartwood Road next to the Fellowship Hall.

To honor Sandy’s loving spirit, the family suggests any contributions be made to Rappahannock United Way, Mary Washington Hospice, a church or charity of your choice.

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