Bessie Helmke

December 8, 1926 - December 26, 2022

Bessie Louise Phillips Helmke, 96, of Nederland, Texas, went peacefully home to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, December 26, 2022. She was born in Liberty, Texas on December 8, 1926, to Allen Walter and Bessie Lewis Phillips.

Bessie graduated from South Park High School in Beaumont, Texas in 1944 where she was a cheerleader, played tennis, and established lifelong friendships.   After graduating from high school, she attended Lamar College majoring in Psychology. On September 14, 1946, Bessie married Burt Duane Helmke in Beaumont where they resided with their four children for many years in the hometown community of South Park before moving to Nederland in 1969.   She was a faithful member of South Park Baptist Church in Beaumont and First Baptist Church of Nederland where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and served in the FBC library and outreach program visiting residents in nursing homes and those who were home-bound.   Bessie and Burt lived in College Station, Texas after they married, where she worked at the Coca Cola Bottling Company while Burt attended Texas A&M.   She loved all things Aggie, as did Burt, and was delighted when a daughter and several grandchildren chose to be part of Aggieland.   Bessie was an enthusiastic member of the Aggie Moms Club as well.

Her joy was her faith and her family, devoting her life to serving both, and Bessie truly adored being MawMaw to her beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   Always a gracious hostess, she loved spending time with family and friends serving them delicious home-cooked meals and treats.   She was a very traditional, elegant, strong-willed Southern lady who lived her life with grace, humility, kindness, and integrity and expected no less from her children, often reciting “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “There but for the grace of God goes I.”   Bessie was a beautiful, loving, and caring daughter, sister, niece, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who will be forever missed.

Bessie was preceded in death by Burt, her devoted husband of seventy-two years, as well as her parents, her brother, Max Allen Phillips, her sisters Flora Phillips Tucker and Wilda Wills Jameson Hughes, and her step-mother, Nan Wills Phillips.

Left to cherish her precious memory are her children Luanna (Will) Wilson, The Woodlands, Texas; Laurie (Johnny) Jordan, The Woodlands, Texas; Phillip (Pattye) Helmke, Nederland, Texas; and Bonnie (Kirt) Gaspard, Nederland, Texas; grandchildren Kristen (Joe) Woodcox, Allison (Brady) Barras, John Jordan, Jr., Emily (Eric) LeBlanc, Beau Helmke, John Graves, Jr., and Austin Gaspard; great-grandchildren Drew, Wilson, and Annabella Woodcox, Vivienne Wilson, Olivia and Brody LeBlanc; and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Helmke’s entombment will follow the family graveside services at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas, with arrangements being handled by Broussard’s Mortuary, 505 North 12th Street, Nederland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 1911 Nederland Avenue, Nederland, Texas 77627 or an organization of one’s choice.

Our family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful ladies who helped care for our parents with loving kindness, devotion, and compassion…Pam, Callie, Alice, Merone, Tammy, and Maria.

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Forest Lawn Memorial Park
  • 4955, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,

Comments (14)

    Margie & Gary Tiner says:

    So sorry to hear about your mother. She was such a fine beautiful lady. Loved seeing her in church for so many years with your dad. Prayers for all of you. God bless
    Gary & Margie Tiner

    Merone Tamere says:

    Ms Bessie will always be remembered in our hearts ???? May she rest in peace. My condolences are with the family.

    Tammy Swan says:

    Forever grateful to you all. She was one of a kind, and one of the sweetest people I have cared for. RIH beautiful. Love you all. Prayers are with you all ????❤️????.

    Beverly Mathe says:

    Laurie, I was so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. I know how much you will miss her. What great memories you have.
    Thinking of you during this difficult time.

    Deborah Wallace says:

    Laurie, my heart is with you and your siblings during this time of such great loss.
    I will always remember her pretty, smiling face and sweet nature. She was a joy to know.

    Terry and Karen Cauthen says:

    We were so sorry to hear about your mother, grandmother , great- grandmothers passing. She was a beautiful Christian lady, inside and out, and we know she is celebrating now in heaven with Jesus and loved ones that have gone on before her there. Unfortunately, we will be unable to attend her funeral but we are praying for you all over her loss.

    Martha St.Romain-Avery says:

    Oh, my deepest condolences to all the family. She was a wonderful woman, always so kind. I have such fond memories of her. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers at this time. With much love ????????❤️❤️❤️

    Lindy Glass Gohmert says:

    What a beautiful woman, inside and out. I always felt welcome in the Helmke home the few times that I had an opportunity to be there during our high school years in South Park. Prayers lifted for the family.

    Carole Mansfield Jones says:

    She was a kind and graceful woman. I was fortunate to grow up next door to the Helmke family. She was a beautiful example of a good neighbor and friend. Love and prayers for you all during this time.

    Melissa Miller says:

    Sending my thoughts and prayers to the Helmke family. I had the privilege of growing up in the neighborhood of this beautiful, sweet, soft spoken, Godly loving woman. She always had a smile and offered kind words with positive influence. She was a great role model and will be missed.

    Terry Phillips says:

    Bessie Louise was a grand lady and will be missed by family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers to all the family.

    Terry and Carlie Phillips

    John C. Byerly says:

    I did not have the honor of having been introduced to Mrs. Helmke. My loss.
    Laurie, please accept our sincerest condolences.
    You are all in our prayers!

    Pam B. says:

    Ms. Bessie, My (second mother )

    My condolences ???? to the family!!

    My prayers are with you all, today and forever. I thank you all for trusting me with yours parents care.
    I’m going to miss playing checkers and watching Big Bang with her. It was really amazing and a joy to know Mr and Mrs. Helmke!
    I Love You❣️❤️

    Dr. Ed Collins says:

    What a great lady!

    It was an honor and privilege to know her and Burt.

    Prayers of condolences for her family and loved ones but we all know she is in the loving arms of Jesus.

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