Deceased June 10, 2021

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In Memory

Paul was born in Brunswick, Maine, where he prepped for Amherst at Brunswick High School. Paul and I got acquainted freshman year over swimming. We lived in Stearns dormitory, one unit apart, and roomed together sophomore, junior and senior years. He was a history major and a member of Kappa Theta fraternity. Paul was on the swim team all four years, where he swam the breaststroke. When the butterfly came out, he stayed with the conventional stroke. Senior year, Paul received the Tug Kennedy Award—voted by teammates. He remembered this as his favorite honor.

After Amherst, Paul went to Harvard Graduate School, earning an M.A. in 1957 and a Ph.D. in 1964. He served in the history department of Wheaton College from 1957 to 1999 and was college historian. Paul taught primarily 19th- and 20th-century European history until he retired in 1999.

Paul’s interests were gardening and yard work, swimming (he had a pool in his yard) and the Red Sox. He moved to Norton, Mass., where he had 19 acres; it took four hours to mow the grass. He umpired for 20 years for Norton Youth Baseball Leagues and served on the Norton Finance Committee for 48 years. Between 1984 and 1998, the Helmreichs traveled to Europe, the western United States and Canada; to Egypt in 1996; and for three weeks in China in 1998. They spent three weeks in winter on Sanibel Island, Fla.

In 1953, Paul met Dorothy Lee Heise (Smith ’56), aka Dorolee, on a blind date, and they married on Aug. 11, 1956. They had three children, James, Alan and Kristen. Dorolee passed away in 2012. At our 60th reunion, Paul brought along Zephorene Stickney, college archivist at Wheaton. They married in 2016 on Sanibel Island.

James P. Hanks ’55