DeWitt Frederick Helm, Jr. departed this life peacefully at home with his wife Anne by his side on November 8, 2017.
Born April 24, 1933, DeWitt was reared in North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia where his parents were Presbyterian home missionaries. He was graduated from Woodberry Forest School and Davidson College before serving as an officer in the U. S. Army Air Defense Command.
DeWitt spent over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry at Richardson-Vicks, Pfizer, and AH Robbins. These years were filled with indelible memories of advertising Clearasil with Dick Clark during the heyday of American Bandstand; increasing sales of Visine eye drops with “gets the red out;” and aggressively marketing Sergeant’s Pet Care Products. In 1981, he was recruited by the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. to be its President and CEO. In 1987, he led the organization’s successful resistance of Florida’s sales tax on services including its tax on advertising. With record attendance at seminars, workshops and conferences its membership thrived. While at ANA, he served on a number of industry boards and was elected an Honorary Director for Life of The Advertising Council, Inc.
The Church was an integral part of DeWitt’s life. He was ordained a Deacon by Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City in 1961; elected and ordained an Elder by the First Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Va. in 1975; and installed an Elder by the First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort, S.C. in 2007, 2014 and 2017. DeWitt taught Sunday school, chaired numerous committees and designed and conducted new member classes which increased the congregation by over 150 members.
When DeWitt and Anne retired to Beaufort, SC in 2003 he brought a strong commitment to the community. He twice served as President of the Point Neighborhood Association. During his tenure, two neighborhood parks, Harvey Park and the Charlie Knott Park, were restored and dedicated.
DeWitt’s life was filled with 84 active years. He loved living in Beaufort; traveling with Anne; selling on eBay; lunching with friends and being with his constant companion, his sweet Australian Shepherd Jezebelle. DeWitt will be missed, but his work and stories will be remembered.
DeWitt is survived by his wife Anne Valle, son, Frederick (Barbara), daughter, McNair Bishop (Diggs), sister, Blanche Nichols, her son Bobby, and grandchildren Melissa, Katharine, Morgan, Bill, Mary, and Coleman. He was preceded in death by Jezebelle.
A memorial service will be held 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 14th at First Presbyterian Church, North Street, Beaufort, S.C. Following the service a reception will be held at the Church social hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church, Beaufort and Friends of Caroline Hospice, Port Royal.