Helen Beard Coggeshall Harvey BEAUFORT, SC - Helen Beard Coggeshall Harvey, 77, of Beaufort passed away at home on September 1, after a lengthy illness. A worship service celebrating her life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort on Friday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m., with visitation following the service at Marshlands, 501 Pinckney Street. Helen, the daughter of James Warren and Grace Beard Coggeshall, was born on February 27, 1933 in Darlington, SC, the youngest of three children. She graduated from St. John's High School in 1950, where she served as president of the student government, played varsity basketball, and was active on the student newspaper. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Carolina, Helen was a varsity cheerleader, a member of Kappa Delta sorority, member of the Honor Board, secretary of the student council, and an active participant in the Presbyterian Westminster Fellowship. She was the first recipient of the McKissick Scholarship, awarded for leadership and future service to the state. Helen was married for 58 years to her college sweetheart and best friend, W. Brantley Harvey, Jr. of Beaufort, SC, a graduate of The Citadel and the USC Law School. Helen and Brantley settled in Beaufort, where they raised five children. She began her professional life teaching at Beaufort Junior High. When her third child was born, she retired from teaching, but remained active in education as a high school math tutor and president of her children's PTA. Over the years, her interest in quality higher education for South Carolinians led her to serve on the Beaufort County Commission on Higher Education, on the Winthrop College Board of Visitors, as president of the USC Alumni Association and on the partnership board of the USC School of Medicine. In 1991, the General Assembly elected Helen to serve as a Trustee of the University of South Carolina. A lifetime Gamecock, Helen served joyfully in this capacity until 2004. She and Brantley were awarded honorary doctorates by the University of South Carolina Beaufort in 2009. Helen and Brantley shared a passion for politics and public service. She founded and was president of the Palmetto Cabinet, the South Carolina Legislative Wives organization, during the years that Brantley served in the SC Legislature and as Lt. Governor of the state. She also served on the Governor's Council on Productivity, the Governor's Mansion Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Girl Scout Plantation, the Board of the South Carolina Kidney Foundation, and the Board of Stage South. Following Brantley's tenure in statewide elected office, they returned to Beaufort and Helen began a successful career in real estate. In 1986 she cofounded Lowcountry Real Estate, where she sold residential and commercial property until her retirement in 1998. A passionate advocate for preserving historic structures in Beaufort and throughout the state, she helped found the Historic Beaufort Foundation and served as its president for three terms. Along with other community members, she established the Beaufort Historic District, which was officially recognized by the US Department of Interior. She also represented South Carolina on the Board of Advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and served on the Boards of Friends of Brookgreen Gardens and the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation. Helen's deep Christian faith and her involvement in the Presbyterian Church were central to her life. She taught Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church in Beaufort and served on the boards of Thornwell Children's Home and the Mustard Seed Foundation, a family foundation engaged in education, ministry and missions. She expressed her faith in practical acts of generosity, hospitality, a genuine love for neighbors, and encouragement of those in need. With her many accomplishments, Helen was first and foremost a devoted wife, mother, and friend. She lived with joy, integrity, compassion, and devotion. In 1999, Helen was named South Carolina Mother of the Year in recognition of her many notable accomplishments, and for her lifelong dedication to her children and grandchildren, to education, and to the wellbeing of families in South Carolina. She and Brantley were honored last year with the Rotary Bowl for Distinguished Civic Service and by the dedication of Harvey Park on Beaufort's historic Point. Helen is survived by her husband, W. Brantley Harvey; daughters Eileen Bakke and husband Dennis of Arlington, VA; Helen Laffitte and husband Tucker of Columbia, SC; Margaret Thompson and husband Dan of Titusville, FL; sons Bill Harvey of Beaufort; Warren Harvey and wife Cathy of Apex, NC; grandchildren Dennis, Margaret and Peter Bakke; Brantley, Laura and Stuart Harvey; Tucker, Helen, Lightsey and Norris Laffitte; Carolyn, Daniel, Dargan and William Thompson; Whit, Luke, Andrew and Joshua Harvey. She is predeceased by her sister Nancy Coggeshall Hunter and her brother Alva Clifton Coggeshall. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort and the University of South Carolina Foundation. The family wishes to thank the loving caregivers of Family of Caregivers and Friends of Caroline Hospice as well as the many faithful friends who ministered to Helen during her illness. COPELAND FUNERAL SERVICE is in charge of arrangements. Visit our guestbook at www.postandcourier.com/deaths
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Sep. 1 to Sep. 2, 2010.