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Celebrating the life of
Jesse David Hellums
August 19, 1929 - June 26, 2016
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Visitation
  • - Friday, July 01, 2016
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 2:00pm - Saturday, July 02, 2016
  • First Christian Church
  • 1601 Sunset Boulevard (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77005

  • 713-526-2561

My relationship with David was very special. I enjoyed our tennis matches greatly. He often shared his sailing adventures with me.. Being a Rice alum, we shared mutual friends and aquantances. Recently, I was subbing at St. Johns school and met another very impressive Hellums. I am currently out of town or I certainly would have been in attendance today. I will miss him but I know that he had a full life and the future he mentored is very important and impressive. Best wishes to all of the Hellums family. Sincerely, Harris Forbes

Harris Forbes, Houston , Texas

I know that without your and Marilyn's love and influence, New Covenant would not had the impact it made in the Montrose area. Thank you for the positive support and encouragement in all things! I know the greeting David will get on meeting our Redeemer, "Well done, good and faithful servant." May God's Love and Peace be with your family today and forever. Amen

Marion Leon Williams (Todd's Dad), Yuma, AZ

I know that without your and Marilyn's love and influence, New Covenant would not had the impact it made in the Montrose area. Thank you for the positive support and encouragement in all things! I know the greeting David will get on meeting our Redeemer, "Well done, good and faithful servant." May God's Love and Peace be with your family today and forever. Amen

Marion Leon Williams (Todd's Dad), Yuma, AZ

Dr. Hellums was an academic role model. We were fortunate to have Professors like him, while we were students at Rice. My prayers are with Mrs. Hellums and their family.

Rita Alevriadou, Columbus, OH

Returning from a backpacking trip to hear of David's passing. He was such a wonderful man. I always looked up to him. Who wouldn't. I have so many fond memories that I will keep with me forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

John Gustafson, Phoenix , AZ

A great man who lived a remarkable life.

Simmons, Austin, TX

If "the measure of a man" is the high character and integrity of his sons, David Hellums certainly excelled. His exceptional professional accomplishments and broad range of personal interests and hobbies are equally impressive. What a great man! But the main thing is that he was just so nice to be around. Blessings and prayers to Marilyn and his wonderful family.

Nonie Fain, Houston, Texas

We will miss you Uncle David. You are a wonderful man and were an incredible uncle to all of us Bieler cousins. I remember my first major league baseball game with you, our sailing expedition around Galveston Bay, our Thanksgivings in Austin and many more sweet memories. I will never forget your kindness and generosity when I was getting my Masters at the U of H. I was just another son that you invited into your house with open arms. Aunt Marilyn and you will never know how much that meant to me (and helped me). To Marilyn, Mark, Jay, Joyce and Julia, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you all and see you on Friday.

Charles and Shannon Holley, Austin, TX

J. David Hellums, 86, beloved husband, father, friend and esteemed Professor Emeritus of Bioengineering at Rice University, passed away on June 26, 2016.

David was born to John Verrell Hellums and Fannie May Beauchamp on August 19, 1929 in Stamford, Texas and grew up in Rotan, Texas where his father was a banker and his parents ran a family grocery business.

David earned his B.S. and M.S. chemical engineering degrees from the University of Texas and his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1960. While studying in Austin he met the love of his life, Marilyn Biel. They were married in 1957 and had three children: Mark William, Jay David, and Robert James Hellums.

David began his career as a process engineer for Mobil Oil in Beaumont, Texas in 1950. Subsequently, he served as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1956. Upon earning his doctorate from Michigan, he joined the faculty of Rice University as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1960. He became Associate Professor in 1965, Full Professor and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory in 1968, and then Chairman of the Department in 1969. In 1980 he was named Dean of the School of Engineering at Rice. He had adjunct faculty appointments in the Departments of Medicine at both the Baylor and University of Texas Medical Schools where he had many research collaborators. He served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was the first engineer to receive the NIH Research Merit Award in 1986. David was one of the pioneers and founders of the Bioengineering Department at Rice and in 1998, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He mentored and formed life-long bonds with a host of students and scientists.

Despite all his professional accomplishments, David’s true joy was his family. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn and sons Mark, and his wife Joyce and Jay, and his wife Julia. He adored his grandchildren Christopher, and his wife Sadia, Jessica, Michelle, Frances, and Robert. He was deeply devoted to his extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his youngest son Robert, who died 1982 due to congenial heart disease. This led to David’s commitment to cardiovascular research. He was preceded in death by his brother J. Verrell Hellums, sisters Ruby Hellums Hansard, Mabel Hellums Prater, Frances John Hellums, Margaret Hellums Cooper, Sara Lee Hellums Kramer.

David was quite a renaissance man. He was a dedicated Christian and long time supporter of First Christian Church and New Covenant Christian Church. He taught his family to embrace diversity and to stand up for those less fortunate. He was interested in poetry, art, architecture, history, nature and sports- particularly tennis and sailing As a child in Rotan he read an entire encyclopedia set called the Book of Knowledge, and reading nonfiction remained a passion right up to the very end of his life. He loved nature and the great outdoors, especially the bays and oceans – he spent much of his free time on his sail boats, Celeste and Fansea. He loved his annual sail down the Texas coast from Seabrook to Rockport, anchoring out in the beautiful bays, fishing, bird watching and enjoying the sunset. Over the years, he and Marilyn attended America’s Cup yacht races in New Zealand, Valencia, Spain and San Francisco. He took his family on camping and canoeing trips in which he joyfully identified birds and trees. He loved tennis and stayed active playing weekly up to age 83, remaining fit his entire life. He had an internationalist mind-set and relished his numerous sabbaticals in Japan and Great Britain and many vacations abroad enjoyed with his family and friends. David Hellums lived a full life and will be missed by all who knew him.

The family welcomes all to join them for a visitation at the Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home at 1734 West Alabama, Houston, Texas 77098 on July 1st from five o’clock until eight o’clock in the evening. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 2nd at two o’clock in the afternoon at First Christian Church, 1601 Sunset Boulevard, Houston, Texas, 77005, with a reception immediately following. The burial service for family only will be Saturday, July 2nd at ten o’clock in the morning at the Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77079.

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

My relationship with David was very special. I enjoyed our tennis matches greatly. He often shared his sailing adventures with me.. Being a Rice alum, we shared mutual friends and aquantances. Recently, I was subbing at St. Johns school and met another very impressive Hellums. I am currently out of town or I certainly would have been in attendance today. I will miss him but I know that he had a full life and the future he mentored is very important and impressive. Best wishes to all of the Hellums family. Sincerely, Harris Forbes

Harris Forbes, Houston , Texas

Candle tribute lit by Julie Kudelka — Texas

I know that without your and Marilyn's love and influence, New Covenant would not had the impact it made in the Montrose area. Thank you for the positive support and encouragement in all things! I know the greeting David will get on meeting our Redeemer, "Well done, good and faithful servant." May God's Love and Peace be with your family today and forever. Amen

Marion Leon Williams (Todd's Dad), Yuma, AZ

I know that without your and Marilyn's love and influence, New Covenant would not had the impact it made in the Montrose area. Thank you for the positive support and encouragement in all things! I know the greeting David will get on meeting our Redeemer, "Well done, good and faithful servant." May God's Love and Peace be with your family today and forever. Amen

Marion Leon Williams (Todd's Dad), Yuma, AZ

Dr. Hellums was an academic role model. We were fortunate to have Professors like him, while we were students at Rice. My prayers are with Mrs. Hellums and their family.

Rita Alevriadou, Columbus, OH

Returning from a backpacking trip to hear of David's passing. He was such a wonderful man. I always looked up to him. Who wouldn't. I have so many fond memories that I will keep with me forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

John Gustafson, Phoenix , AZ

Candle tribute lit by Cindy Chau Nguyen — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Linda & Doug Simmons — Texas

A great man who lived a remarkable life.

Simmons, Austin, TX

Candle tribute lit by Ella Slone Cunliffe — Kentucky

If "the measure of a man" is the high character and integrity of his sons, David Hellums certainly excelled. His exceptional professional accomplishments and broad range of personal interests and hobbies are equally impressive. What a great man! But the main thing is that he was just so nice to be around. Blessings and prayers to Marilyn and his wonderful family.

Nonie Fain, Houston, Texas

We will miss you Uncle David. You are a wonderful man and were an incredible uncle to all of us Bieler cousins. I remember my first major league baseball game with you, our sailing expedition around Galveston Bay, our Thanksgivings in Austin and many more sweet memories. I will never forget your kindness and generosity when I was getting my Masters at the U of H. I was just another son that you invited into your house with open arms. Aunt Marilyn and you will never know how much that meant to me (and helped me). To Marilyn, Mark, Jay, Joyce and Julia, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you all and see you on Friday.

Charles and Shannon Holley, Austin, TX


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