Sophia Mae Helms

November 23, 1918 - March 6, 2014
Sophia Mae Helms


Sophia Mae Burgess Helms completed her homeward journey on March 6, 2014. She was 95 years old. She was born on November 23, 1918 at home at Thompson’s Neck near Southport, NC. She was the eldest child of the late William Henry and Bertie Orilla Evans Burgess.

Sophia was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Philip Vance Helms in 2005, brothers, Leon Horton Burgess, William “Dick” Houston, and sister, Margie Lee Burgess Baldwin. Sophia is survived by her cousins, Ester Harper Wiseman of Carydon, IN, Rachael Harper Kye of Monroe, NC, and special friends Kay and Fleet Spell of Wilmington.

She was office manager of Greenlawn Memorial Park for 16 years, and 5 years with Oleander Memorial Gardens and Coble Ward-Smith Funeral Service. She worked part-time with James McKeithan accounting firm for several years Patsy Parker Bookkeeping Service retiring at age 75. During WWII she worked at Camp Davis at Holly Ridge in the personnel department. She was in the first class of volunteers with Lower Cape Fear Hospice in 1981, and volunteered until 1988. Since childhood, Sophia was active in many kinds of volunteer work until her hearing became so impaired, communication was difficult. She was woman of the year in 1980 with the USSNC Chapter of ABWA. She enjoyed the many years as an ABWA member. Sophia was active in Mary Martha Sunday School Class and was secretary of the 7-A Audit Department at Winter Park Baptist Church where she was a member for many years. She was baptized at First Baptist Church at 5th and Market Street.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Library Fund at Winter Park Baptist Church, 4700 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403 or Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1401 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above. Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • March 13, 2014
    Mary Lou Dance says:
    Sophia suffered much loss of her independence but never gave up. Even though unable to hear, she came to a memorial garden dedication for my sister Wilma- I was so grateful. Thank you Kaye for bringing her I went to see her at Liberty Commons about 2-3 weeks ago and I do feel she recognized me and waved as I left. Rest in peace my friend Mary Lou

  • March 19, 2014
    Joe Betts says:
    I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Sophia several years ago. Every time I would walk by her sitting outside the apartments downtown she had a smile and excitement in her voice to say hello. She is the very definition of a true Southern Belle. I am richer for having known her. Rest peacefully Ms. Sophia.