‘If You Knew Him at All, You Were Going to Be a Friend’

Helms Recalls Friendship With Late President

When the news broke that former President George H.W. Bush had died last week, it hit Fayette County’s Dr. Jimmy Helms harder than most.

Helms was Bush’s dentist in Houston for years before he retired to the southern Fayette County community of Dubina 12 years ago, but the two remained friends.

The last time Helms, 79, saw his old friend was at his wife Barbara Bush’s funeral earlier this year. Helms and his wife, Carol, were on the invitation-only guest list for the former president’s funeral services in Houston this Thursday.

“He was one of the kindest, gentlest, most gracious people I’ve ever known,” Helms said Tuesday.

Helms was the dentist for Barbara Bush and her children beginning in 1978, and when George lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton in 1992 and moved back to Houston, the former President began seeing Helms for his dental needs too.

“He was an ideal patient,” Helms said. “He’d make his appointments for 6:45 in the morning because he didn’t want to disrupt the office. He had nine secret service agents traveling with him.

“He never missed an appointment. He was never late, always early.”


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Fayette County Record

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