Obituaries – November 26, 2021

Tom Helms

BERLIN — Tom Helms, affectionately known as Tommy, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Sunday, Nov. 14th at the age of 70.

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Tom Helms

Tommy grew up in Eureka Springs, Ark., a little town nestled in the Ozark Mountains. The son of Dixie and Wayne Johnson, he was a high school basketball star and as his friends have relayed the life of the party. He went on to attend The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he met his first wife, Jayne. Jayne and Tommy raised their children Sara and Andy in Eureka where they spent many happy years until her passing.

Tommy moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1992. He met his wife Tanya in 2006 and they were married in September of 2014. Tanya was not only his wife but also his best friend.

Tommy spent three decades working for Packaging Specialties located in Fayetteville, Ark. He considered his longtime colleagues an extended part of his family. He was loved and respected by many across his organization and across the many organizations he worked with. An outdoorsman, Tommy loved hunting and fishing. His love of hunting began in childhood and continued throughout his life. He held an annual three-week hunting trip affectionately known as “Deer Camp” in Arkansas with his best friends from his youth which spanned 40 years.

Tom loved watching his son Andy, captain of the Reel Joy, fish in the many local fishing tournaments in Ocean City. He was his biggest, most supportive fan. He spent many happy days with Tanya outside by their firepit relaxing with their beloved dog, Jinx. He loved cooking for his family and friends and was an expert at smoking anything and everything. He spent many happy days cooking with his daughter, Sara.

Tom was a Christian with a love and strong faith in God. His faith was the core that guided how he lived his life. He is survived by his wife, Tanya Knott Helms; his daughter Sara Helms Gray and her husband Doug; his son Andrew Thomas Helms and his wife Jillian; his sister Penny Pollock and her husband Kenny; extended family members Gary and JerriAnn Gray, Helen and Joe Kus; and many other lifetime friends.

Services will be held in Eureka Springs, Ark. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Believe in Tomorrow-Children’s house by the Sea, P.O. Box 3627, Ocean City, Md, 21843, or to the Jack Burbage Regional Cancer Care Center, 9707 Healthway Dr., Berlin, Md. 21811. Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.


Jack Mistler

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Jack Mistler

TROUTMAN, N.C. — John “Jack” Mistler Jr., 82, of Troutman, passed away Friday, November 5, 2021 at his residence, surrounded by his family.

He was born March 2, 1939 to the late John Mistler and Evelyn Loomis Mistler. Jack worked as a union carpenter in Manhattan and many other locations all across Long Island for over 45 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed golfing, horseshoes and cards. He loved visiting Davis Park as well as his winter home in Florida. Jack was known as a skilled carpenter in so many ways and took pride in his work. He was generous with his time and would always lend a helping hand; Jack made many friends along the way. He will be missed.

Jack was a member of VFW in Statesville, N.C. and AMVETS Post 111 in Patchogue, N.Y.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 49 years, Frances Mistler; his sisters, Harriet, Barbara and Judy; and his brother, Michael.

John is survived by his three children, son David Mistler and wife, Amy of Troutman, N.C., son Russell Mistler and wife, Jeanette of East Patchogue N.Y. and daughter Debra Votta and husband Pat of East Patchogue, N.Y.; eight grandchildren, Jessica, Brittney, Kristen, Molly, Emily, Michael, Jake and Peter; three great grandchildren, Watson, Cole and Giovanna; sisters Carolyn Monroe of Ithaca, N.Y. and Evelyn Piquette of Medford, N.Y.; and aunt, Florence Leitgeb of Medford, N.Y.

A private memorial service will take place this summer with close family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Iredell County in Statesville, N.C. and AMVETS Post 111 in Patchogue, N.Y.

Carolina Cremation is assisting the Mistler family. Online condolences may be made at


Sandra Arlene Keir

SALISBURY — Sandra Arlene Keir, age 74, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at Genesis Nursing and Rehab in Salisbury.

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Sandra Arlene Keir

Born in Uniontown, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Walter and Mona (Bock) Twardesky. She is survived by her devoted husband, Walter Keir, and three sons, John Keir and his wife Prissy of Damascus, and their children, Christian, Sheyanne, and Cagen. Richard Keir and his wife Laurie of Frederick, and their children Sean, Alexis, Amanda, and Shelby and Scott Keir and his wife RaSheeda of Herndon, Va. and their children, Elijah, Rashid, and Sarai. There are six great-grandchildren, Kadence, Anthony Joseph, Sierra, Madison, Kaylee and Mason.

Sandy worked for National Geographic at the historical Gaithersburg location as a key punch operator. Key punchers were known as human computers, before computers became “user friendly.” She was a spirited soul, who was proud of her polish ancestry, an avid Steelers fan and a league bowler. The funeral service will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, a donation in her memory may be sent to: Community Church at Ocean Pines Letters of condolence may be sent via: