Condolences to the Family of Alumna and Trustee Martha C. Edens

The memorial service for Martha Carolyn Edens, 87, will be held Thursday, Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

Edens, a 1949 Women’s College graduate, a member of the Brenau Alumni Hall of Fame and a long-serving member of the university’s Board of Trustees, died Friday, Oct.  9.

Following the service, the family will receive friends in the church dining hall. Burial will be private in Greenlawn Memorial Park. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, in Columbia is handling arrangements.

Edens, who served on the board as its vice president for more than 30 years before being elevated to emeritus status, was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and at one point served as national president of the organization. However, the South Carolina native probably was best known for her public service and political activism, which included service as national committeewoman for the Republican National Committee, which included tenures as southern regional vice president, as a member of the rules committee, the chairman’s executive committee and site selection committees for national conventions.

She was also extremely active throughout her life with numerous charitable works, locally and nationally, and in public service, including her service on the South Carolina Board of Elections, the state Museum Commission and the SC Law Institute Council.

Surviving are her daughter, Dinah Helms Cook (Phil); daughter- in-law, Pamela Blaylock Helms; grandchildren, Blake Edens Helms, James Cook, Jennifer Cook and Allison Cook. Also surviving are nieces and nephews and many dear friends. Martha was predeceased by her former husband, William Edgar Helms Jr.; her son, William Edgar Helms III; and brothers, James Drake Edens Jr. and William Youmans Edens Sr.

You can read a full tribute at