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Longtime Wake County Court Clerk Passes Away

Helen Sewell, who served for 25 years as the jury clerk in the Wake County court system, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

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Helen Sewell
RALEIGH, N.C. — A longtime clerk for the Wake County court system died Tuesday morning after a long battle with cancer.

Helen Sewell, 65, retired in 2005 after 25 years as the jury clerk.

"Helen served as the jury clerk in some of Wake County's most difficult and heinous cases," Chief Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens said in a statement. "In spite of the great suffering and tragedy in many of those trials, Helen's inspirational personality was a constant reminder that we should never lose sight of our own humanity."

Those who knew Sewell said anyone who served as a Wake County juror prior to her retirement would remember her great laugh and quick wit and humor.

When she retired in January 2005, then-North Carolina Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake called her "the court system's goodwill ambassador" who "helped instill in thousands of jurors a strong faith and confidence in the integrity and fairness of our courts and a pride in their participation in the jury process."

A visitation is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Christ Episcopal Church on Wilmington Street in downtown Raleigh.