Wanda Sue Helms, age 73, passed away on December 12th, 2019 after a long battle with complications from carcinoid cancer. She had recently moved into LoveCare Co, an assisted living home, in Tucson, Arizona.
Wanda was born November 4th, 1946 in Fresno, California to Lee and Leah Helton – the only one of 4 siblings born outside of Silver City, New Mexico. She married Wayne Helms, her high school sweetheart, on May 22nd, 1965. They were married for 54 years and have one daughter, Nikki Marie.
Wanda embodied strength in kindness. She always had a hug for you if you were lonely, a place at the table for anyone who was hungry, and a smile and a kind word if you were feeling down, no matter how she was feeling. Even though she was battling cancer, she cared for her mother, known to everyone as Nana, for the last years of Nana’s life.
While she never personally had much use for churches and bibles, she had strong values that she instilled into those who would listen, and held “do unto others” above all else. She was an excellent judge of character, and steadfastly loyal to her friends and family.
She held many jobs over her life; housekeeper, accounting, and payroll clerk. Some of her favorite memories are the time she spent as a kindergarten teacher’s aide, working with special needs children. Wanda had a mountain of patience and compassion; the students adored her as much as she adored them. Her daughter, who is now a teacher as well, is continually inspired by Wanda’s strength and empathy.
Wanda will be missed dearly by her husband, Wayne; her daughter, Nikki and son-in-law Andrew Adams; her older siblings, Martin Bush, Udean Helton, and Sheril Helton and his wife Bobbi; cousins, Jimmy and Sandra Helton, Gaylynn Clark and Joy Martin; nephews and nieces Andrew and Hilary Helton, Marty and Liz Bush, Scott and Susan Bush, Evan Sutton and Amy Helton, Rebecca Barnes, Chris and Debi Roach; and long-time friends Doni and Brian Bosak, Melody and Brian Bowman, Linda Wirth, Karen Good, John Hammer, John and Linda Northington, Norma Walters & Dave and Marj Welter.
Everyone in her life who got to know Wanda will remember her for her endless patience, love, and kindness.
A private ashes scattering ceremony will be held in Tucson at a date to be determined.
If you can, please join us in celebrating Wanda during the All Souls Procession 2020 in Tucson next year. If you can’t join us in person, please donate to the Tucson All Souls Procession in Wanda’s honor or send Nikki a message for the Urn. (Links below)