Dorothy Helms, wife of late Sen. Jesse Helms, dies; was 96

Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dorothy Coble Helms, wife of the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, has died. She was 96.

Spokesman Mark Blake of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home said Mrs. Helms died Friday in her hometown of Raleigh.

Dorothy Helms was among the first women to graduate from the school of journalism at the University of North Carolina. She went to work as the society editor at The News & Observer of Raleigh, where she met Jesse Helms. They were married on Oct. 31, 1942.

Her husband, a staunch Republican conservative, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. She was a regular speaker for Republican women's groups and other gatherings.

Jesse Helms died in July 2008.

Blake says funeral services for Dorothy Helms are scheduled for Tuesday in Raleigh.