May 15, 1943 ~ July 11, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Wanda Jean (Smyser) Helm 80, of rural Toledo, Illinois, formerly of Neoga, Illinois passed away at 10:56 AM Tuesday July 11, 2023 in the Lakeland Rehabilitation and Health Care center of Effingham, Illinois.  She was born May 15, 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri the daughter of Michael M. And Ruby J (Bowen) Smyser.  Wanda married Thomas H. Helm Sr. June 1, 1961 in Mattoon, Illinois and Mr. Helm passed away November 16, 1984.  Wanda is survived by her children, Thomas H. Helm, Jr., of Neoga, Illinois, Nancy Heath of Edgewood, Illinois and Patty (Dick) Murray of Toledo, Illinois; grandchildren, Brandon (Amber) Helm, Sarah (Anson) Nichols, Shannon (Chris) Hood, Crystal Stice, Dawn (Ryan) Chapman, Blake (Kayla) Sponsel, Tyler Sponsel; great grandchildren, Brody, Rhett, Justin, David, Katherine, Kohen, Oliver, Jedediah, Josiah, Jaydah, Hazel, Travis and Bentley; siblings, David (Marilyn), Michael (Roma), Robert (Sue), Gerald, Mary (Dick), Judy (Steve), Wilma (Howard), Marie (Ray) and Erma; many nieces and nephews and in laws. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Thomas Helm Sr.; son in law, Mark Heath; grandson, Trenton; great grandson, Jayron; sisters, Judy and Mary; brother, David; brother in laws, Ray, Steve and Dick.  Wanda loved children and was known as grandma Wanda to hundreds of kids.  She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, playing games, traveling, taking pictures, cooking, working on tree farm, gardening, going to church and leading the next generation.  Wanda also loved deer hunting and was a guest hunter on the TV program Spiritual Outdoor Adventures with Jimmie Sites where she harvested her first deer, a nice buck.  Mrs. Helm was a member of the Free Methodist Church in Neoga, Illinois and a youth leader for the Modern Woodmen Of America for over forty years.  Wanda was a seamstress for Kern Manufacturing in Neoga, Illinois, a former Owner/Operator of the Helm’s Tree Farm for nearly fifty years and recently the public relation person and cashier for Patty’ Cakes and More in rural Toledo, Illinois.
Memorials are suggested to the Donor’s Choice.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Wednesday July 26, 2023 in the Free Methodist Church in Neoga, Illinois.  Visitation will be held Tuesday July 25, 2023 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM also in the church.  Burial will be in the Janesville Cemetery in Janesville, Illinois.
The Swengel - O’Dell Funeral Home of Neoga, Illinois is assisting the family wit arrangements.
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July 25, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Free Methodist Church
1093 Railroad St
Neoga, IL 62447

Funeral Service
July 26, 2023

10:00 AM
Free Methodist Church
1093 Railroad St
Neoga, IL 62447


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