Ronnie “Ron” Helm


Ronnie (Ron) G. Helm, 76, Bismarck, passed away on Monday, January 22, 2024, at his home with his wife and daughter by his side after a battle with metastatic lung cancer.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00AM on Friday, January 26, at McCabe United Methodist Church, 1030 North 6th St., Bismarck.  Family will be receiving friends one hour prior to the service.  A livestream of the service https://www.mccabechurch.com/livestream/ Burial will be at the ND Veterans Cemetery at 2:00PM.

Ronnie Gene Helm was born on June 11, 1947 in Bismarck, ND to Fred and Ella (Schielke) Helm and grew up on a farm in the Denhoff area.  He attended country school, Denhoff and Goodrich Schools, and McClusky School.  It was when the family moved to a farm south of McClusky that he met the love of his life, Violetta Schell, on the school bus and won her heart with his sense of humor and fun.  They married on April 13, 1968.  Daughter, Lynn, completed their family and was their dearest treasure.

When Uncle Sam called, Ron joined the United States Army on June 12, 1968, completing basic training in Fort Lewis, WA and Fort Knox, KY, and was stationed in Fort Riley, KS, with training in Germany. Ron achieved the rank of E-4 with HHC 1st BN 2nd Inf 1st Inf Div Fort Riley, KS, 5th U.S. Army.  He received the National Defense Service Medal and Expert (Rifle M-14) and was very proud of his military service to his country.  He was honorably discharged on June 11, 1970.

Thoughout his life, Ron was a hard worker and after moving to Bismarck in 1970, he began his career as a carpenter for Ziegler Construction building custom homes and also had his own sideline carpentry business.  A few years later he landed his dream job with Bismarck Public Schools and spent 36 years caring for the facilities of learning.  He was meticulous and dedicated to his work.  Ron received the Facilities and Transportation Employee of the Year award in 2017.

Ron loved working with his hands creating things and used those talents to build their home.  He also built an ice house for his favorite sport of ice fishing and spent many weekends at Lake Audubon with his fishing buddies.

After retirement, Ron was content tinkering on projects in his shop.  He also took pride in keeping a nice yard and garden and would sit in his rocker with a glass of Mountain Dew for “admiration time.”

Vi and Lynn were the center of his world and when granddog, Gordy, joined the family his heart filled with joy.  Spending time with family was important whether it was brothers trips to threshing shows, Christmas parties with homemade ice cream or going for coffee.

Ron was a faithful member of McCabe United Methodist Church serving on various boards and committees.  He worked on numerous projects for the church such as building a garage and installing stained glass windows with Pastor Art.  Ron and Vi also served as communion stewards for many years.

Ron is survived by his loving wife, Vi, Bismarck; daughter, Lynn Kohlasch, Inver Grove Heights, MN; brothers, Delaino (Norleen), Duane, Richard (Emmie), Burnell (Anna), Arvin (special friend Monica Zabolotney), Darrell (Myra), Arlan (Jeanine), Darvis (Susann); sisters, Linda Parsons and Darla Helm; sisters-in-law, LaVerne Trangmoe and Donna Elkins; brothers-in-law, Terry (Kris) Schell and Larry (Sylvia) Schell; former son-in-law, Frank Kohlasch; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Arlo Helm and Harry Trangmoe; sisters, Paulette Sommer and Connie Yi; brothers-in-law, Don Parsons, Darvis Sommer, and Murphy Yi; sister-in-law Gloria Helm; and granddog, Gordy.

Ron’s family would like to acknowledge the amazing care from his medical teams at Hetland ENT, Bismarck Cancer Center, Sanford Oncology, CHI St. Alexius Health, Metro Ambulance and Hospice Red River Valley.  A special thank you for spiritual care from Pastor Karl, Pastor Lou, Chaplain Dan and Chaplain Jenny.

Ron touched many hearts and lives and his influence and good example will always be with those that were blessed to have walked this earth with him.  Rest in peace until we meet again.

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Vi and Lynn…I loved this guy! Everyone who worked with him did. He had a great sense of humor and loved a good story or joke. He would always say IEEE or ie-ie-ie.
He was a wonderful craftsman and, one year built cabinets for my wife’s classroom at Murphy. And don’t interrupt his nap in the carpenters shop after his lunch on his hand crafted foam mat!
I will truly miss Ron.

Ron finished our basement and did a wonderful job, always thought I would get a chance to go ice fishing with him. When I am out fishing I will think of him. Prayers

Vi and Lynn, I was so shocked and sad to read about Ron’s passing this morning. He was such a fun and caring person and I know how much you will miss him. Please know that my prayers are with you in the days and nights ahead.

Vi and Lynn,
I’m so sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. He was a joy to work with and always made me smile. Whenever I was at F&T I’d make time and find him working on some project. Quite a few “lively” conversations indeed!
I hear heaven has the BEST lawns and gardens anywhere. Relax and enjoy the view Ron. You earned it.

I knew Ron years ago. He was an excellent person & very gifted carpenter. Did awesome work. Very kind man. Rest in peace Ron.

We are saddened to learn of Ron’s death. We got to know him ice fishing on Lake Audubon. We often parked our ice house near him and enjoyed visiting back and forth sharing fish stories! We will remember his kindness.
Dave Petryszyn
Cheryl Gillespie

My sincerest condolences to you Vi and Lynn. I enjoyed talking to him along with his brothers at the family gatherings always had something interesting to say. My thoughts and prayers to you and the rest of the family.

We met Ron and Vi in the early 80’s when there were two houses in Bismarck we could afford. We settled on an older house across the street. How blessed we were to have the neighborhood carpenter across the street. Over 29 years Ron did work on our house (replaced windows, doors, siding, roofing, addition added, and doubling the garage). I was fortunate that he allowed me to be his helper. Ron was a mentor and friend who was always willing to give advice or help us out. When we moved we found that good neighbors like the Helms are hard to find.
On a lighter side Ron was good for humor and was always looking for some prank to pull. A couple of sayings that I will never forget were (“Good enough for the girls I go out with”) That being said Ron was a true perfectionist in his craft and Vi knew it). He would finish a project and admire it and say “Just like downtown only a lot fewer people”.
We will miss seeing Ron when we get back to Bismarck. He was truly a blessing in our lives.

Vi and Lynn, so sorry to hear of Ron passing. I think of you all so often. Growing up with Lynn, I remember so many fun times at your place. And I can still hear his laugh. So very sorry

I have many fond memories of Uncle Ron. I will miss his tender heart, good nature and wonderful smile.