Helen Wilkes, Businesswoman and politician, Died at 88

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Helen Wilkes was born on April 4, 1927, and died on October 7,2015.

She was an American businesswoman and politician, she was the first female Mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida from 1978 –1979 and city commissioner from 1976–1988.

Helen went to West Palm Beach form Fort Valley, Ga, as a young nurse, in 1952.

She took a job as a registered nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, earning $175 a month.

After saving up, she invested $3,500 in a house in Lake Park, which she converted into a nine-bed nursing home.

Helen sold the Helen Wilkes Nursing Home for $3.36 million in the late 80s, it had grown to 85 beds.

The nursing home wasn’t the only real estate investment Helen Wilkes made.

Helen purchased a troubled-hotel in West Palm Beach in the 1970s, she renovated the hotel and renamed it the Helen Wilkes Residence Hotel, which operated until it was razed in 2005.

Helen is most known for her service on the West Palm Beach City Commission.

She served on the dais from 1976 through 1988.

She became the city’s first female mayor in 1978.

Hector Rodriguez was Helen’s husband. Helen passed away at age 88 in October 2015.

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