Week of October 4, 2017

John Anthony Gastright, MD.

John Anthony Gastright, MD, passed away on September 23, 2017, at his home on Johns Island, SC, following a sudden illness. John was born July 25, 1942 in Dayton, KY to Thomas A. and Inez (Collins) Gastright.

John married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Jean Vance, in 1963, and they celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this year. He was the proud father of three children, Beverly O’Hearn (Steve), John Gastright, Jr. (Kendra) and Michael Gastright (Abigail Duval). John took great pleasure in teasing his grandchildren – Erin, Lauren and Stephen O’Hearn; John III, Amy and Thomas Gastright; Chelsie Skroback (Brian), Michael II (Aurora), and Sarah, as well as Abigail’s children Grayson, Reagan and Landon. John earned his BA from the University of Cincinnati, and his masters in Chemistry from Xavier University. He attended medical school at the University of Kentucky, and later completed a residency in internal medicine at MUSC. John -loved caring for his patients, most recently with West Ashley Family Medicine and earlier with the Wilson Clinic in Darlington, SC and Carolina Health Care in Florence, SC. He served in the US Navy as a Commander in the Navy Medical Corps. He was a past president of the American Heart Association, South Carolina affiliate.

John had diverse interests, including farming on his John Deere tractor, fishing on the “Faded Love,” flying his twin engine Duchess airplane, carpentry, scuba diving, models and model trains, reading and writing poetry. He was a student of great leaders, leadership and military history, and read every book he could on those subjects. John especially loved sailing and racing Lightnings with his wife Barbara and children as crew, racing in the Southeast Circuit. He was a charter member of the Charleston Lightning Fleet. He loved playing practical jokes and wrestling with his best friend Harvey McCormick. In recent years, he loved spending time on his back porch reading the Sunday New York times, watching movies and eating Barbara’s good cooking.

In addition to his wife, children and grandchildren, John is survived by two sisters Mary Evans Muncie of Erlanger, KY and Mary Dovak of Louisville, KY; Terry and Tami Vance of Independence, KY and their five boys, their wives and children. He is predeceased by two brothers, Thomas A and Robert L. Gastright, and his in-laws Fran Vance and Ray Vance.
A memorial service was held Thursday, September 28, 2017 in J. HENRY STUHR, INC. WEST ASHLEY CHAPEL, 3660 Glenn McConnell Parkway at 6 p.m. The family received friends for a celebration of John’s life immediately following the service. A private Inurnment will be held at a later date.

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.

Phyllis S. Leibert

On September 29, 2017, Phyllis Story Leibert of Darlington passed away at the Agape Hospice of Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, South Carolina.

Phyllis was the “sunshine” of her late parents: Joe Story and Ethel Vaughan Story. Raised in Mont Clare community of Darlington County, SC, she returned to the home place and enjoyed several peaceful years in the quiet of the countryside. She faithfully played piano for the church, as well as participating in various church activities. Her joy in serving the Lord was evident in how much she delighted in taking care of her best friend and ex-husband, Tom Brandon, for the last several months.

Loved ones left to remember her with tenderness are: her daughter, Holly Brandon Thomson and her husband Jimmy of Rock Hill, SC, her son, Joe Brandon and his wife Mindy of Southern Pines, NC, granddaughter, Erika Thomson Williamson and her husband Sam, great-granddaughters, Lilly and Ella Williamson, all of Rock Hill, her only sibling Belva Story Hutchinson and her husband George of Darlington, Also, an aunt, two nephews and a number of cousins in SC and NC.

The family received friends from 1 until 2 p.m. at Belk Funeral Home on Monday, October 2, 2017. A funeral service followed in the funeral home chapel at 2 p.m., with burial following in Darlington Memory Gardens.

A guestbook is available online at www.belkfuneralhome.com.

Boyd “Dick” Howle, Jr.

Boyd “Dick” Howle, Jr., age 85, passed away on September 29, 2017. A funeral service was held at Central Baptist Church at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, with burial following in Swift Creek Cemetery, directed by Belk Funeral Home. The family received friends at the church from 1 until 2 p.m. on Tuesday and other times at the home, 1151 Fox Hollow Dr, Darlington.

Born September 1, 1932 in Darlington County, he was the son of the late Evander Boyd Howle and Alice Kathern Boswell Howle. Dick was a talented woodworker, and was able to support his family with his excellent carpentry skills. He always stayed busy, whether it was working or just “piddling around”. Mr. Howle loved his family and cherished the time spent with them. He and his wife, Nettie Jane, are members of Central Baptist Church in Darlington.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nettie Jane Odom Howle, a son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Marilyn Howle, three daughters and sons-in-law, Kitty and Alan Atkinson, Debbie and Lenny Watford and Donna and Mike Moody; all of Darlington, grandchildren: Mandy (James) Dargan, Matthew Howle, Mason Howle and his fiancé Lacey Mattox, Natalie Wing, Jordan (Randy Johnson) Atkinson, Hannah Watford, Hayden Watford, Catherine (Brandon) Kemmerlin; great grandchildren: Kate and Annie Rose Dargan, Bentley, Gracelyn and Cayson Howle and Skylar Johnson. Also surviving are his siblings: Howard Howle, Joel (Jackie) Howle, Hilton (Wanda) Howle, Cecil (Linda) Howle, Pat Hanley and Margie Robbins; all of Hartsville.

Memorials may be made to the Blackmon-Oliver Sunday School class, c/o Central Baptist Church, 512 Spring Street, Darlington, SC 29532.

A guestbook is available online at www.belkfuneralhome.com.

Wayne Smothers

Robert Wayne “Bad Boy” Smothers Jr, age 37, died suddenly on September 23, 2017. A memorial service was held in the chapel at Belk Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. The family received friends from 6 until 7 p.m. Wednesday evening at the funeral home and other times at 409 White Magnolia Dr., Darlington.

Born September 15, 1980, Wayne is the son of Nancy Stokes Smothers and the late Robert Wayne Smothers. Wayne was affectionately called the “Gentle Giant”, partly because of his willingness to help others and partly because he never met a stranger. He enjoyed doing carpentry work, listening to music and singing, and at one time sang in the Darlington Young Singers. Wayne enjoyed the time he spent here on earth, and he lived his life to the fullest.

In addition to his mother of Darlington, he is survived by his fiancé, Brandie Weatherford Morris, his brother, James (Amber) Smothers, his niece, Londyn Smothers, an aunt, Beth (Leonard) Morse, all of Darlington, a special cousin, Grover “Bubba” Smothers of Raleigh, his best friend, Jason O’Neal and his faithful canine companion, Alley.

He was preceded in death by his father, Grandparents; Gladys and Grover Smothers, Pansy Stokes Gee and James Stokes; a special aunt, Sandra Stokes and a cousin, Clifford Smothers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any children’s charity of ones choosing.

A tribute page for Wayne is available online at www.belkfuneralhome.com.

Author: Duane Childers

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