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.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
- 4955, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,