The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 23, 2013

Velma June Ford

BAXTER SPRINGS, KS — Velma June Ford, 78, of Baxter Springs, Kan., passed from this life on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, with her family at her side.

Velma was born July 17, 1934, at home in Treece, Kan., to the union of Jim and Agnes (Price) McCoy. She attended schools at both Picher and Treece.

Velma was united in marriage to Lawrence Helms in 1952. Lawrence preceded Velma in death in 1969. She then was married to Tom Ford in June of 1970. Tom preceded her in death in June of 2006.

Velma worked as a custodian for the Baxter Springs School District retiring in 1996, after 26 years of employment. She had worked the last five years at the Nature Center in Galena, Kan. She was a member of the New Beginnings Church, of Baxter Springs. She was always very active in her church. She loved spending time with her family and especially enjoyed spoiling the grandkids. She played the piano without sheet music, simply acquiring the songs just by listening. Later in life she traveled a lot, probably covering all 50 states.

Velma is preceded in death by her parents; husbands; two daughters, Linda Gough and JoAnn Helms; five brothers; two sisters; one granddaughter, Betty Ann Thomasson; and one great-grandson, Gavin White.

Survivors include two daughters, Debbie Thomasson and husband, Charlie, of Baxter Springs, and Brenda Ray, of Baxter Springs; three sons, Larry Matthews, of Tulsa, Okla., Tony Helms, of Baxter Springs, and Mickey Helms and wife, Jerri, of Baxter Springs; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Empire Mission Church, Galena. Pastor Richard Nichols will officiate. Burial will follow in the Green Lawn Cemetery. Family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. at Derfelt's Baxter Chapel.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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