Gamble Funeral Service

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Robert Lamar “Buddy” Helmly, 83, of Savannah, Georgia and widower of Sandra Banks Helmly, died Saturday morning, September 24, 2022, at his home.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, he was a son of the late Jackson Lamar Helmly and the late Janet Mabel Linton Helmly. A graduate of Savannah High School, Buddy joined the United States Marines after graduation. As a career he worked for Union Camp in Power Maintenance until retirement. He was a kind and caring man who lived life to the fullest. He was an active person who loved to stay busy and always wanted to lend a helping hand. He loved to tinker with things he was passionate about such as boats, cars, lawn mowers and treasures he found at estate sales. He made many lifelong friends doing what he loved most: spending time on the water in his boat, fishing, hunting and playing softball. Buddy prepared and cooked his delicious low country boil for family and friends at countless gatherings. He knew how to spice it up perfectly. He loved playing pranks on family and co-workers and was always waiting for a birthday cake to arrive and kindly shove your face in it after blowing out the candles…a memory that sticks with a lot of us fondly.

He was a member of the Savannah Old Timers Association, the Cobra Club and multiple other clubs and associations. He coached multiple teams from kids to adults, women and men, baseball, softball, football, basketball, soccer and was also a barrel racer at one point in his life. He was the best husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, coach, bonus Dad and friend to many who loved him. His wife and children grew up living an enriched and charmed life because of the love, hard work, quality time and sacrifices he made for his family.
Buddy was awarded the “John Mell” award by the Greater Softball Association in 2018 for his “love of the game, athletic ability, sportsmanship, his natural abilities and being an inspiration to other players and people in general.”
He is now at peace with the love of his life. May he rest in peace (or tinker away in peace) as we all knew he couldn’t stand to sit still. He will be missed tremendously.

Survivors include his children, Janet C. Helmly (Stephen) and Craig L. Helmly (Jennifer); grandchildren, Maggie Helmly, and Jackson Helmly; siblings, Phyllis Alford (Tommy), Barbara Bucy, and multiple nephews and nieces.

The family will receive friends from 12 until 1 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, September 28, 2022, at Gamble Funeral Service – 410 Stephenson Avenue.

The funeral service will be held at 1 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, September 28, 2022, in the chapel of Gamble Funeral Service. Private interment will take place in the Greenwich section of Bonaventure Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers please donate to the St Jude’s Children’s Hospital – 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-9959 as Buddy was an avid supporter.


To view Mr. Helmly’s service please click here.

Online Condolences

  1. Carey Roberts says:

    “Sunshine” as we called him at Bryan Hunting Club was a good man. I considered him a great friend and we spent many days together deer hunting. It just want be the same this year without hearing him on the CB radio. He always went above and beyond on anything the Hunting Club needed or anything for a friend. Sunshine will be greatly missed down here but I know He’s much happier in Heaven today!

  2. Johnny and Kim McDonough says:

    Buddy was a dear friend to us. Many years have passed since we’ve seen him but he has always been fondly in our thoughts..
    I babysat his children in the 70s. We all rode horses and barrel raced. His horses name was Chico… Buddy had a great sense of humor. Even tho it’s been years since our paths crossed he is held lovingly in our memories. Our prayers and condolences for his family.

  3. Keelie Reed says:

    Buddy is a close, best friend of my Daddy’s and of mine. He always treated me and my sister Wendy well. We enjoyed being around him. He fished and played softball with my Daddy. He and Sandra, and my parents on ball tournaments. We are thankful for his friendship. I had him on my mind and wanted to call him, it didn’t happen. For that I am sorry. I’ll remember talks in person and on phone with him. Old timers oyster roasts which he worked in and eating blue crab with him. He l9ved his family. Prayers for Peace Comfort and Love to Buddy Sandra Jan and whole family. I bet Sandra is saying I’m glad you are here and what took you so long.

  4. Jerry Smith says:

    Sad to hear. Spent much time with Buddy on softball fields, great memories/times; RIP Old Buddy!

  5. Robert Martin says:

    Condolences to the family. I met Buddy in the 7th grade at Washington Ave Junior High School. After graduating from Savannah High, we went straight to Paris Island for Marine Corp. Boot Camp. We became good friends and both worked at Union Camp. Buddy will be missed.

  6. Chip Grayson says:

    One of the good guys. Always enjoyed being around Buddy on the softball fields. God bless!

  7. Johnie B Seals says:

    I moved to Savannah in February 2009, and met Buddy when I joined a softball team he was on that played in the recreational league. During that first year of playing he encouraged me to join a traveling team and compete on a higher level. We would see each other at tournaments throughout the Southeast, and although we played in different age groups, we talked about game tips throughout the tournaments. When back in Savannah he had access to Paulson fields, allowing us to practice and share more of his “Buddy tips”, while laughing about his adventures of “finding softballs while wearing his snake boots”. I will truly miss his presence, and will always remember and honesty and true friendship.

  8. Ken Schuster says:

    Buddy was one of the nicest, dedicated team type of softball players I have ever played with. He joined our Savannah Rec Team (the only over 55 team in the league) when he was 74 or 75. Most important I think is that he will be remembered by me as a great human being and a gracious teammate. RIP Buddy .. I will miss you dearly.

  9. ELSIE Evans says:

    He was a kind thoughtful man. Will miss seeing him at the softball gatherings. He worked faithfully to keep them going. RIP Buddy!

  10. Robyn Quattlebaum says:

    Buddy was such a nice guy! He raised his daughter right. My prayers are with her and will continue to be. I pray she finds God’s peace knowing that her parents are reunited in His loving arms!

  11. Vinny and Laurette Roberts says:

    Buddy was our neighbor for 25 yrs. We had a great friendship, he was always giving and helping whomever he could. He would think of others before himself. Praying that there is a ex- large fishing spot for him, he will be missed dearly , but never forgotten. RIP our friend❤❤

  12. Frank Grimm says:

    My condolences to the family. I attended Washington Ave Jr High and Savannah High with Buddy. Always a friendly fun guy. Frank Grimm SHS 1958

  13. Elizabeth Scott says:

    The Best Neighborhood ever! Mr. Helmley was very kind and I will always remember him.

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