Dolores Ellen (Gutshall) Helms, 88, of Staunton and formerly of Bolar, passed away Friday, August 23, 2019 at Brightview Baldwin Park in Staunton.
She was born January 8, 1931 in Vanderpool, a daughter of the late Charles Warren and Lottie Virginia (Hull) Gutshall.
She lived most of her life in the Bolar area of Highland County and later Bath County until moving to Staunton to be closer to her daughters in 2010.
Dolores was extremely talented in many venues of the arts. In her early years, she became a well-accomplished tailored seamstress. Later she began making traditional designs of bed quilts, wall quilts as well as quilted and appliqued home décor pillows. She was also known for her soft-sculptured creations, such as teddy bears, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, lambs, geese and quails. At the age of 73, she began to learn the art of watercolor painting, using flowers, birds, bunnies, other animals, as well as the beautiful scenery of Highland County as her subjects. Many of her items were displayed and sold at the Highland County Craft shop, bought by both locals and visitors alike. Customers would return the next season and ask for more items that were made by her.
Mrs. Helms equally enjoyed time spent in her out door flowers gardens, as well as her many indoor plants that she was always tending to. There was nothing that she couldn’t get to grow, always trying to sprout another seed or half-alive leaf cutting.
Although talented in many ways, she was never boastful of her accomplishments. She was a reserved, kind and humble lady, never wanting anyone to make over something she had made or done. Above all, her love and generosity shown to her two daughters, Sheila and Carla, was never ending and she loved spending time with all of her family.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Raymond Strother Helms; and two sisters, Donna Miller and Eloise Smith.
Dolores is survived by her two loving daughters, Sheila Helms and Carla Perrenot and husband, Frank of Staunton; sisters, Janice Greth of Ohio, Linda Johnston and husband, David of Richmond, Sandra Halterman and husband, Eugene and Kay Smith and husband, Delmas, all of Staunton; brother-in-law, Bill Smith of Oklahoma; as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Brightview Baldwin Park, the Shenandoah Hospice Team, as well as all others who assisted in their mother’s care. A special thanks and love to her sister Sandra and her husband, Eugene Halterman for their constant love, help and support.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at Obaugh Funeral Home with Rev. Andre Crummett officiating. A private burial will follow in Helms Family Cemetery in Little Valley, near Bolar.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Active pallbearers will be Delmas Smith, David Johnston, Eugene Halterman, Gary Robinson, Frank Perrenot and Fred Solomon.
To send flowers to Dolores' family, please visit our floral section.