Tillis Honors Dorothy "Dot" Helms | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

 WASHINGTON, D.C.     Earlier this week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) spoke on the Senate floor to honor the memory of Dorothy Helms, the ever gracious wife of the late Senator Jesse Helms. Mrs. Helms passed away on November 6th, 2015, at the age of 96.

"I have the sad duty to report to the Senate of the passing of the First Lady of North Carolina, Dorothy (Dot) Helms," said Senator Tillis. "Dot Helms and North Carolina are one and the same. Dorothy was the rock of her family. For her family and friends and a grateful nation, we can turn in comfort to the Second Book of Timothy: 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.' She will be missed so much, but the family rejoices that they had her for so long."

 "Dot," as she was called by many of her friends, was a trailblazer in North Carolina. She was the one of the first two women graduates for journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. After graduating from UNC, Mrs. Helms worked at The Raleigh News and Observer as a city reporter and later as society editor. While working at The News and Observer, she met her future husband, who was then a member of the sports department.

 Mrs. Helms was a leader in Christian causes such as her sponsorship of the interdenominational children's Camp Willow Run at Lake Gaston. While in Washington, she taught at Gallaudet University and wrote a history of great deaf Americans. In the Senate, she was the Leader of the Senate Ladies Bible Study, the Congressional Wives Prayer Group and the U.S. Senate Chapter of the Red Cross.

  • Contact:
  • Daniel Keylin/Meghan Burris (Tillis)
  • (202) 224-6342

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