Carl Wilbert Helms Ph.D.
1933 - 2020
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Carl Wilbert Helms, Ph.D.

Charleston - Carl Wilbert Helms, Ph.D., 87, of Charleston, South Carolina, husband of Doris Reitinger Helms, Ph.D. entered into eternal rest Sunday, November 1, 2020. A private service will be held at later date in the Woodland Cemetery, Clemson, SC. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.

Carl was born May 26, 1933 in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, son of the late Lloyd Alvin Helms and Gladys Marie Leach Helms. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a BS in Biology and received his Masters and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Carl served as Chair of the Department of Biology at Bucknell University and on the faculty of the Department of Zoology at University of Georgia and served as Chair of the Zoology Department of Clemson University. He retired from Clemson University in 1998.

When Doris retired from Clemson in 2013, Carl and Doris moved to Charleston where they reside at Bishop Gadsden Retirement Community and spend weekends at their villa on Seabrook Island where Carl, an ornithologist, watched the sunrises, sunsets, tides and his beloved birds.

Carl is survived by his wife of 50 years, Doris; his five children: Katie Hein (Mark), Maggie Darby and Thomas Helms of his marriage to his first wife, Anne Darby; and by Robert Helms and Lindsey Boone (Shaun) from his marriage to Doris. Carl is also survived by his sister, Carol Chilcote; his nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Memorials may be made to Bishop Gadsden Residents Assistance Fund, 1 Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, SC 29412.

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Greenville News from Nov. 3 to Nov. 4, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
November 22, 2020
We looked into the night sky for the recent meteorite shower
We saw a star begin to flicker, like a fading light.
They say a star fades when a life comes to an end,
But for you God made an exception; that rule he did bend.
He reignited the flickering star so we can look above,
To see that star shining bright, showering us with your love.

Love, Linda and Ralph Elliott
Ralph Elliott
November 21, 2020
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Ralph Elliott
November 11, 2020
After purchasing a home on Seabrook Island in January 2011. I happened upon Carl (binoculars in hand) at the pond on Old Wharf Rd at Jenkins Pt. He spoke with me for over 45 minutes as we watched the birds. He was a wealth of knowledge but always gave a nod to his beloved Dori as knowing more than he. You will be missed, Mr Helms. Peace to you and your family.
Marie Wardell
November 4, 2020
The Spathiphyllum Plant
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