Obituaries – November 28, 2018

French A. Lewis Jr.

DARLINGTON — French “Sonny” Austin Lewis Jr., 75, passed away Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. A memorial service was held Nov. 21 in the chapel at Belk Funeral Home.

The family received friends following the service.

Born April 16, 1943, French was the son of the late French Austin Lewis Sr. and Dorothy Bosley Anderson Lewis.

He worked as a mechanic and he also enjoyed going fishing.

Surviving are his sons, French Austin (Suzanne) Lewis, III of Middletown, Conn., Tod (Tricia) Lewis of Carlsbad, Calif., and Wayne (Jennifer) Lewis of Overland Park, Kan.

Also surviving are his grandchildren, Connor, Holly, Austin, Julia, Grace, Ryland, and Kaiya; siblings, Wayne (Judy) Lewis of Florence, Alex (Jim) Anderson Snell of Maryland, Tod (Susan) Anderson of Mahopac, N.Y.; and a special niece, Tracy Horvath and her son, Austin Horvath.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Regina Lewis; and his sister, Gaile Freeman.

Memorials may be made to a humane society or to an animal shelter of one’s choice.

A guestbook is available online at

Robert Allen Odom

DARLINGTON – Robert Allen Odom, who had just celebrated his 75th birthday, lost a courageously-fought battle with cancer but gained entrance to his Lord’s Kingdom as he passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018.

Affectionately known as “Papa” to the many who loved him, he leaves behind his beloved wife, Jeanette (Crews) Odom, to whom he was married for more than 46 years.

Born in Darlington on Nov. 19, 1943, Robert was the son of Henry F. and Myrtis E. (McDonald) Odom, both of Darlington, and is predeceased by his brother, Henry T. “Tommy” (Diane) Odom, of Hartsville.

Robert attended Darlington’s St. John’s High School and joined the service of his country in the U.S. Navy, where he earned the rank of E-6 Petty Officer First Class during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War as an Avionics Electrician aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy.

His fondest memories during his 10 years of active duty service were of his travels in the Mediterranean Sea and the naval port of Naples, Italy.

Following his naval service, he returned to Darlington and joined R. B. Pond Construction Company, operated his own over-the-road trucking business, and also worked at Farmer’s Hardware.

He ended his working career at Gateway Supply Company, where he retired as manager in 2005.

Robert loved the outdoors and enjoyed deer hunting, fishing at Santee, Hobie Cat sailboat racing and many post-retirement golf outings with his friends.

He also was a champion go-cart racer, and taught his boys how to work on just about anything that could go wrong with a car or around the house.

Robert loved his Lord and will always be remembered by his many friends at Temple Free Will Baptist Church, where he and his wife, Jeanette, were members for more than 40 years.

Robert served in a number of capacities over those years, including Chairman of the General Board on several occasions, and was active in their Master’s Men Fellowship and as a Sunday School teacher.

Many who knew him remarked of his being inspirational to their spiritual lives.

Robert leaves behind: a son, Robby (Connie) Odom of Belmont, N.C.; and two step-sons, Mauro (Michelle) Crews and James S. Harper Jr., both of Darlington.

He also leaves his love, and wishes of fond memories he shared with them, to his six grandchildren: Chris Odom, Alexander Crews, Caeli Crews, Evan Crews, Kryctine Matthews,and Whitney Matthews.

His love also extends to his five great-grandchildren: Gavin Crews, Natalie Matthews, Damien Cook, Jaxen Moxley, and Thomas Moxley, as well as to many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral arrangements were conducted by Belk Funeral Home of Darlington and were held in the sanctuary of Temple Free Will Baptist Church, located at 1660 N. Governor Williams Highway, Darlington.

Visitation began at 2 p.m., and his Homegoing Funeral Service commenced at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.

In lieu of flowers, Robert’s wishes were that memorials be made to the Temple FWB Church Debt Retirement account.

Iva Nell Ruthven

DARLINGTON – Iva Nell Ruthven, 81, of Darlington died on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 3 p.m. in Faith Free Will Baptist Church, directed by Kistler Hardee Funeral Home.

Burial followed in Grove Hill Cemetery.

The family received friends from 5 until 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26, at Kistler Hardee Funeral Home.

Mrs. Ruthven was born in Florence County.

She was the daughter of the late Charlie Washington Wallace and Eva Verline Gibbons Wallace.

Raising a family of five kids, she along with her husband successfully owned and operated Hartsville Pawn Shop for many years in Hartsville.

She was a member of Faith Free Will Baptist Church, where she served in many different capacities.

Mrs. Ruthven loved spending time with her family and will be missed dearly.

Surviving are her husband, Robert Heyward Ruthven, Jr. of Darlington; her children, Tommy Ruthven of Hartsville; Linda Knight of Marion; Debra (Reese) Kirven of Darlington; David McKinney of Taylor; Darrell McKinney of Ladson; Lee McKinney of Ladson; and Patricia (Lloyd) Mintz of Darlington; 16 grandchildren; 32 great grandchildren; and one greatgreat grandboy; her twin sister, Adele Tisdale of Kingstree; and her sister, Shelby Jean Smoak of Columbia.

Mrs. Ruthven was preceded in death by her son, Randy Ruthven; and by 14 siblings.

Memorials may be made to Faith Free Will Baptist Church, 1309 Lamar Highway, Darlington, SC 29532.

Family and friends are invited to sign the online guest book at

Author: Rachel Howell

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