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Alter Leon Helms, Jr.

of Little Rock, AR, 1931 - 2018

ALTER LEON HELMS, JR., age 87, of Little Rock passed away on Dec. 30, 2018. Leon was born to Alter and Sybil, July 23, 1931, in Arkadelphia, Ark. He graduated from Arkadelphia High School in 1949 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Henderson State University in 1953. He served in the Army as a 1st Lieutenant from 1953 until 1957. He attended law school at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and received his JD in 1962. He married Mary Edna Alford in 1957, and they lived in Little Rock until her death in 1996. Together, they raised two children, Alan (Vivien) Helms and Gail (Clif) Helms Smart. In 1998, he married Ardith Wood Quaintance, who very lovingly cared for him in the last years of his life as he suffered from Alzheimer's. Leon is survived by his wife Ardith, his son Alan, his daughter Gail, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Leon was an attorney who had a distinguished forty-five year career in banking until he retired the first time from Regions Bank in 2000. His second retirement came in 2011 from Delta Trust and Bank, where he was a senior trust advisor. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the Pulaski County Bar Association, having served on the Board of Directors and as President in 2005-2006. He also served on the boards of the American Lung Association of Arkansas, the Jones Eye Institute, the American Lung Association National Board as treasurer, and the Arkansas Lighthouse for the Blind for 33 years. He was a member of St. James United Methodist Church. He loved his work, his family, the Razorbacks, his Chihuahuas, and his antique Mustang.
A memorial is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2019, at 1 at St. James United Methodist Church, 321 Pleasant Valley Dr., with reception beginning at noon at the St. James Welcome Center. A graveside service will be held at Richland Cemetery in Arkadelphia, Ark. Carness Vaughan will officiate the ceremony. The family requests that donations be made to St. James United Methodist Church.
Services under the direction of Roller Chenal Funeral Home. Please share your memories of Leon at

Published January 2, 2019

Roller-Chenal Funeral Home
13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-224-8300