Rita Helm

Rita Joann Helm was born November 13, 1942 in Columbus, Ohio. Margaret Ann Davidson (deceased) mother and Edward Lawrence (deceased) father. Jo was the second eldest of seven children. Joann’s mother passed when she was eight years old growing up as an older child she became responsible as to helping out with the younger siblings and with the household.

Joann attended Saint Dominic Catholic School in Columbus, Ohio. Following her completion of her educating years Jo became a wife 1957 married Walker Johnson Jr. (deceased) during their union the blessings of three children Margaret Ann Robinson (Sherman), Ecoya Johnson (deceased) and Walker Johnson III (deceased). In 1961 sadly their union ended.

1962 her employment begin at Western Electric for many years, as her time abruptly ended . A new story was brewing.
1963 she met “Woody” Woodrow T. Helm (deceased) married in 1965. They never had children together, but together they raised Jo’s three children and Woody’s six children.
1970 business owners was their next adventure Woody & Jo’s House of Ribs opened. Where Jo remained employed until she retired in 2013.

Joann leaves to cherish her memories to her loving family whom she spent a great deal of time with her 7 siblings, helping raise her grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Family was her focus. She never wanted to see anyone she loved go without. Joann was a strong women, and thrived on honesty. Everyone she came in contact with enjoyed her relatable conversations the comfort of her heart made you return for more of her antidote.

Visitation 11:00am and Funeral 12:00pm Friday, April 5, 2019 at MARLAN GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE EAST, 5456 E. Livingston Ave.

Interment at Green Lawn Cemetery.

Condolence Messages

  1. We are sorry to hear of your love one passing.
    In just a little while all of the pain and sorrow that we feel from the death of a loved one will see this and be replaced with joy, because the former things have passed away. Thoughts of peace.

  2. Irish J. Richardson

    To the Helm family. My heart is with you and your family at this time of your loss. There is comfort in knowing God’s promises about the resurrection hope. (Acts 24:15) and (John 5:28,28) In the past God has resurrected humans and He is eager to do it again because He hates death. (Mark 5:41-43) To learn more about God’s promises go to JW.ORG. There are online Bible study lessons featured and more. Love Your Neighbor Irish J. Richardson

  3. I am extending my warmest condolences to the families and friends of Ms.Rita.May the God of all comfort and tender mercies sustain you at this stressing time .2Corinthians 1:3-5

  4. Sherman Robinson

    I appreciate all the love and condolences for my grandma its a very tough time for me just trying to remember she’s in a better place with no pain once again thank you all for your love and condolences and making me feel like she was very loved

  5. Joyce Saulsbery-Dennis

    Prayers and much love to the family of whom I came to know and love as “JoAnn”. I loved JoAnn and pray that even though we had lost touch after I moved to the country, she still carried a special place in my heart. Know that God is the same God who brought you through many tears and sorrow. He is the same God, yesterday, today, and forever! He says, “I am that I am!” Let Him lead you, guide you, and give you comfort in your time of loss.
    Our families, the Dowdy’s, Rowell’s, and Saulsbery’s send their love and condolences to you all! Praying for you all!
    Love In Christ,

  6. Yolanda Gates Howard

    My Condolences to the family, I was friends with Ecolia I miss her and Walker, Ms Joann was very nice the whole family was nice sorry for your loss.

  7. Pastor Demetra Sanderfer

    The congregation of Manna Columbus wishes to express our sincere sympathy and condolences on the passing of Ms. Rita Joann Helm. We are praying for your strength and comfort during your time of grief. We had the pleasure of enjoying the food at Woody & Jo’s House of Ribs on many occasions throughout the years and will miss her cooking. Remember that God is your refuge, and he will be with you always to be your support and your rock. Please be encouraged.

    Pastor Demetra Sanderfer
    Manna From On High Ministries, Columbus Ohio

  8. Just a note to the family and friends of Ms. JoAnn to offer you my sincere condolences & to let you know that I am praying for you all during this time of grief. May the Lord give you peace, comfort, and strength to go through the days, months, and years ahead. I have many memories of eating the food from Woody & Jo’s and really miss those days of hanging out in the parking lot of that little restaurant slamming on those ribs and greens. Great memories! I encourage you all to think of the good times and pleasant memories to help you get through.
    God bless.

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