Dorothy Helms, wife of former Senator Jesse Helms, dead at 96

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Dorothy Coble Helms, the wife of former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, died Friday in Raleigh at the age of 96.

A Raleigh native, Dorothy Helms went to Meredith College from 1936 to 1938 before transferring to UNC Chapel Hill where she graduated with a degree in journalism. She and her roommate were the first two women graduates to receive journalism degrees from UNC.

After graduation she worked at the News and Observer as a city reporter and then later as a society editor. While working at the paper, she met her future husband, a member of the sports department.

They married October 31, 1942 at the First Baptist Church in Raleigh.

Jesse Helms was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972.

Dorothy Helms was instrumental in the formation of The Jesse Helms Center Foundation in Wingate, N.C. and was on the Board of Directors for many years.

She was also involved with The Helms School of Government at Liberty University.

She is survived by her 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.

A service will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Hayes Barton Baptist Church.

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