Russell G. Helms, 84, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, Hiawatha, Iowa, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m. with a Vigil Service starting at
7 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2018, at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Funeral Mass: 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 23, 2018, at St. Ludmila Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids. Burial with military honors: St. John's Cemetery, Cedar Rapids.
Russell was born March 22, 1934, in Dundee, Iowa, the son of George and Mildred (Keegan) Helms. As a child, he attended a one room-schoolhouse, Shelton Country School. Russell always said he walked to school every day, uphill, both ways. After he graduated from Lamont High School, Russell served his country in the United States Army. He married Jean Ann Magirl on June 1, 1955. They had 10 children together. Jean passed away in January 1976. He later married Barbara J. (Harris) Murphey on May 7, 1977, in Cedar Rapids. They blended their families together. He worked for the U.S. Post Office as a rural route carrier for 32 years before he retired in 1989. Russell was a member of St. Ludmila Church, Moose Lodge, National Association of Rural Letter Carriers and Eagles Club, and he served on the board of directors for the St. Ludmila Credit Union.
Russell had the Green Bay Packers in his blood and he was very thankful to see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series during his lifetime. He was very active with the St. Ludmila Parish community and enjoyed the fellowship while playing 16-inch slowpitch softball for the church team and volunteering for bingo. Russell also enjoyed gardening, golf, hunting, fishing, bowling and coin collecting. One of his greatest joys was attending his grandkids' activities.
Russell is survived by his wife, Barbara J. Helms of Cedar Rapids; children, Cindy Erger of Cedar Rapids, Shelly (Dennis) Long of Cedar Rapids, Michael (Pamela) Helms of Blue Eye, Mo., Steve Helms of Arkansas City, Kan., Stacie Howe of Cedar Rapids, Shanna (Matt) Berhenke of Cedar Rapids, Dan (Shelley) Helms of Fairfax, Kelly (Ron) Hunt of Cedar Rapids, Eric (Angela) Helms of Swisher, Jason (Brandy) Murphey of Cedar Rapids, Debbie (Tim) Wilson of Cedar Rapids, Frank (Michelle) Murphey of Thayer, Kan., Vicky (Terry) Boudonck of Cedar Rapids, Rick (Sally) Murphey of Flower Mound, Texas, and Julie (Kevin) Titus of Cedar Rapids; 33 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Marilyn (Red) Klaren of California, Darwin Helms of Mississippi, Georgia (Cyril) Koch of Wisconsin, Dawn (Denny) Kendrick of Marion, Iowa, Bev (Bill) Stevenson of Arizona, Dwight "Chip" Helms of Cedar Rapids and Jodi (Jim) Nolda of Connecticut; and several nieces and nephews, along with extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Jean; son, Terry Helms; and grandchildren, Shane Alan Erger and Patience Jean Long.
Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer's Association or the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy.
Please share a memory of Russell at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.