Corky was a graduate of McKendree University and obtained both his master’s degree and Principal Specialist Degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Corky made a difference in many lives during his 42 years as a teacher and principal in Belleville School District 118. As a teenager, he discovered a lifelong love of blacksmithing and was a lifetime horseman, horse breeder and Texas Longhorn breeder.
Corky was an avid anvil collector. He was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL. Corky was involved in several community and civic organizations including, active member and past president of the Optimist Club of Belleville and 22-year chairman for the Belleville Optimist Club Rodeo, past governor of the Illinois Optimist District, past board member of the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, member of the Turkey Hill Grange, and Alumni board member at McKendree University.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Leona, nee Eigenrauch, Helms; and an infant sister, Doris Helms.
Surviving are his wife 61 years, Vicki, nee Geolat, Helms, whom he married on July 18, 1959, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Belleville, IL;
three children, Steve (Carol) Helms, Sheri (Brent) Babb, and Rick (Laura) Helms;
six grandchildren, Wilson Babb, Adam Babb (girlfriend Brynn Feeley), Jessica (Kolby) Bobick, Tara (fiancé Tim Wipf) Toren, Tonya Toren,
and Colten (Samantha) Toren;
two great-grandchildren, Abel and Conner Bobick;
a sister, Connie (Don) Stein;
two nieces, Amy (Steve) Hilton and Julie (Jeff) Giesegh;
and great-nieces and great-nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations for college scholarships to the Optimist Club of Belleville Foundation. Memorials may be sent to the Optimist Club of Belleville Foundation, In memory of Corky Helms, P.O. Box 636, Belleville, IL 62222. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: A visitation limited to family and close friends will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, 2021, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL. Standard CDC guidelines, including masks and social distancing, will be observed.
Funeral: Funeral services limited to family and close friends will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, 2021, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL.
Burial will be at Green Mount Protestant Cemetery, Belleville, IL.