Gower, Mo: (816) 424-6481

Edgerton, Mo: (816) 227-3313

Smithville, Mo: (816) 532-9212

In Remembrance Of

Tom Helm

Thomas L. Helm, 71, of New York City, passed away on August 11, 2023 at his home. He left us peacefully and without pain with his beloved dog Gracie at his side. 

Born on June 16, 1952 to Thomas and Dorothy (Greer) Helm, Tom was raised in Smithville, MO, where he began piano lessons in second grade. After he was quickly identified as a musical phenom, Tom soon started studying at the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City and eventually earned a degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. 

Tom began his career at the Equity Library Theater in New York City earning $75 a week and quickly became a respected and loved musical director, conductor and musical supervisor. He prided himself on his work with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera where he served as Music Director for over 20 seasons. In addition, Tom also conducted the Broadway productions Brigadoon, Les Miserables, and Me and My Girl and oversaw the National Tours of Cats and Me and My Girl. He conducted at the Tonys and Kennedy Center Honors, worked as a voice coach for many stars, and leant his artistry to a number of Broadway Cast Recordings. His perfect pitch and demand for quality was only matched by his kindness to his musicians and actors. His professional legacy is one of warm, fond memories filled with hilarious anecdotes. 

Tom loved sharing his beautiful New York apartment with his beloved dogs Gilda and Gracie. He enjoyed spending time with his friends watching movies, visiting with family, and taking his Gracie on long walks through the city.

One of Tom’s favorite roles was one of kind, loving, and benevolent uncle to his nieces, nephews, and MANY great nieces and nephews. 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents (Thomas and Dorothy) as well as by his step-mother Carol Helm, who loved him as her own. He was also preceded in death by his nephew, Mark Helm. 

Tom is survived by his five siblings, many cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. They mourn heavily with all who knew Tom, including his chosen New York family and friends.

The family will be conducting a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 9th at Prevail Church, 300 S. Bridge Street, Smithville, MO.  There will be a gathering in the Fellowship Hall following the service.

Share on Social

Service Details

Comments & condolences

7 comments

  • Karyn Vincent sherar

    What an amazing talent and piano teacher! Your family should be so proud! You will be missed!

  • Mary Isakson

    My condolences to Tom’s family. It was always a pleasure to run into Tom in the elevator of our building, often when he was walking Gracie or, some years ago, Gilda. He is remembered fondly by his neighbors, and is missed.

  • Lynda Wright

    I’m still in disbelief. He was larger than life, so I just didn’t expect this , at least not for many more years. I have many memories of Tom that I will always cherish . I wish I could be there in person, but I will be in spirit, thoughts and prayers. My love to all the Helm family and to all of Tom’s many friends.

  • Marsha Bagwell

    Tom and I did many shows together. He was a great supportive coach to me for over 30 years.
    He always put his heart into his work with integrity and professionalism. He will be missed by so many .

  • Kevin Lane Dearinger

    Thank you, Tom, for your guidance, support, and friendship.

  • JACK W. BATMAN

    Such a gifted musician. Such a lovely man. Such beautiful memories of days past. Thank you, Tom.

  • Lynda Wright

    I’m still in disbelief. He was larger than life, so I just didn’t expect this , at least not for many more years. I have many memories of Tom that I will always cherish . I wish I could be there in person, but I will be in spirit, thoughts and prayers. My love to all the Helm family and to all of Tom’s many friends.

Leave Your Condolences