Robert Michael Helms, affectionately known as Mike, was born on May 13, 1954, in Dothan, Alabama, and he returned to his maker on September 2, 2023, in the same beloved town. His life was a testament to courage, selflessness, and kindness, values that he embodied in every aspect of his existence. Just as the sun shines, bringing warmth and light to the world, so too did Mike's presence illuminate the lives of those fortunate enough to know him.
Mike was a proud graduate of Slocomb High School in 1972, and his early career saw him working at Dolly Madison Furniture Manufacturing. However, it was his subsequent tenure with the Dothan Fire Department that truly defined his professional life. For over 25 years, Mike served as Battalion Chief, demonstrating an unwavering dedication to his community. His courage was not confined to the roar of the flames he fought but was also evident in his selfless commitment to the wellbeing of his fire department family.
In 1976, Mike married the love of his life, Shelia Herring Helms. Their love story was one for the ages, a testament to the power of commitment and shared dreams. Together for 47 years, their bond was a beacon of love that inspired those around them. Mike was not only a loving husband to Shelia but also a cherished father to Larry Helms. His caring nature and captivating storytelling made him a favorite among his extended family and friends. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Bobby and Grace Helms, his grandparents, Robert and Jennie Pearl Helms whom he affectionately called MaMe and Pops, and John Curvey and Ethel Gladys Helms Vinson whom he affectionately called Granddaddy and Grandmother.
Mike was a man of many passions, but his love for the outdoors was perhaps the most profound. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, finding peace and solace in the embrace of nature. His collection of arrowheads was a testament to his keen eye and deep appreciation for history and the natural world. Mike was also a dedicated Alabama football fan and enjoyed the thrill of the game. He took particular pleasure in riding his Harley Davidson, the wind in his hair symbolizing his free spirit and zest for life.
As Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Mike's legacy is etched in the hearts of those he touched with his kindness and generosity. His stories, especially those about the Dothan Fire Department, were filled with humor, wisdom, and a deep sense of pride. He was a man who savored life, shared his joy with others, and left an indelible mark on his community.
In conclusion, Robert Michael 'Mike' Helms was a beacon of courage, a paragon of selflessness, and the embodiment of kindness. His life was a testament to the power of love, service, and dedication. His spirit lives on in the stories he told, the lives he touched, and the community he served. Mike Helms may have left this world, but his legacy remains, inspiring us to live our lives with courage, kindness, and a love for life.