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Richard H Helms 1949-2024

In hindsight, Richard Helms remembered he had a non-painful limp in 2018. After multiple consults he was introduced to ALS, that was in 2019 and typical of the year it takes to get a diagnosis. We had mutual interests in race horses, flying, and books. Our shared curiosity in solving puzzles naturally led to a collaboration investigating ALS. Our nationwide search for a treatment (there were none) led to the creation of NDR in 2020. NDR's mission is identifying novel, underfunded research projects that may bring knowledge to the ALS community.

On Monday, May 13th, 2024, Richard Hollis Helms, aviator, CIA operative, entrepreneur, mentor, venture capitalist, caring husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle passed away peacefully at age 75 in his home surrounded by family after a courageous battle with ALS. He is survived by his wife, Teresa Helms (McGraw); brother, Carl Helms (Cindy); son Alexander Helms (Dana); daughter Lindsay Helms (Joel Nevells); and grandchildren Hollyn Helms, Lincoln Helms, and Illyria Nevells. He is preceded in death by his parents Carl Helms and Jewell Helms.

Richard was born into an Air Force family on February 21, 1949 at Eglin Air Force Base to Carl E. Helms and Jewell D. Helms (maiden name: Duncan). He graduated from Fairborn High School, in Dayton, OH, class of 1968 where he was senior class president, varsity football team captain, All-Western Ohio League, in the National Honor Society, student council, letterman’s club, and Civil Air Patrol, through which he learned to fly. Richard earned a bachelor's degree in international relations and economic development policy in 1972 and a master's degree in national security policy in 1973 from American University. While he was at American University he worked as a security guard for the Central Intelligence Agency, and that was the beginning of his nearly 30-year career for the CIA. Upon retirement he entered the private sector where he founded Abraxas Corporation and Ntrepid Corporation.

After retiring the Helms moved to Reddick, Florida living on their horse farm (it hosts The Reluctant Gremlin airstrip). He will be remembered as a consummate trickster and a life’s purpose to positively impact humanity by investing in technology and biotechnology. He benefited his community with the construction of a new high school, middle school, and athletic fields where he grew up. He pursued novel research for neurodegenerative diseases that had so afflicted him and his wife (multiple sclerosis) by creating the nonprofit Neurodegenerative Disease Research Inc.

Richard's Celebration of Life will be held in Florida on May 25th.

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