On February 27, 2019, Don Carlton Helm passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He passed away in Midland at the age of 87.

A graveside service will be held in Marfa at 2pm Friday, March 1. A brief reception will follow at the Hotel Paisano. A memorial service will be held in Midland at 10am Saturday, March 2. All are welcome to either or both.

Don was born July 10, 1931 in El Paso to Elsie “Bill” and Winfield “Sonny” Helm. The family moved to Pecos where Don graduated from Pecos High School. He earned a degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University. While at Texas Tech, he was enrolled in the Air Force ROTC and a member of the Texas Tech Saddle Tramps.

Don married Mary Elizabeth Biediger of Marfa, while in college.

He served his Air Force time in Oxnard, California and went to work for the Standard Oil Company of Texas. In 1972, Don became an independent petroleum engineer. Midland was his primary base of operations. He continued in the business of oil and gas drilling production for the next 30 years.

The Helm family lived, worked and played in many oilfield areas of the southwest. Colorado City, Snyder, Midland, Farmington, Hobbs and Shreveport were scenic stops along the way. All three of his children graduated from Midland High School.

In 1997, Don married Patricia Pirtle Wood of Marfa. For the next 22 years, Don and Pat shared a wonderful life of family, friends, church and travel. They found deep joy together. Their active life included church functions, distant travels, fishing, time at the Colorado cabin and grandchildren. The John Sunday School Department provided faithful and fun friends.

Don Helm was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his daughter Joy Helm Cobb (Steve) with their children Naomi Cobb, Abby Christensen (Kevin) and Zac Cobb, as well as great grandson Sam Christensen. Don is also survived by his son Ron Helm (Janet), as well as daughter Joni Helm Powers (Tim) with their daughters Hannah Parker (Ryland) and Kate Powers.

Don was cherished and loved dearly by Pat’s children Martha Finger (Richard) with their children Quentin Baxter and Arianna, Ava and Anabelle Finger, as well as Becky Ehrlich (Bubba) with their daughter Kandace (JT) West, Kelsey Cartel (Colton) and great grandson Klay West. Vernelle Pirtle, Don’s 97 year-old mother-in-law, held a special place with him.

Alpine Memorial Funeral Home in Alpine is handling arrangements. Please direct any memorial donations to Benevolence Fund at The First Baptist Church of Midland.

The Big Bend Sentinel

PO Box P
Marfa, TX 79843