Week of August 26, 2015

Dr. Almer Joe Willis

Dr. Almer Joe Willis, husband of Mariella Swanson Willis, formerly of Darlington, passed away Tuesday, August 18, at the age of 76. He was born on Bull Creek, Virginia, eldest son of the late Thelma and Ray Willis, but spent his adult life in South Carolina. Dr. Willis, a chiropractor, was a visionary and facilitator both within his profession and his relationships with people, often bringing about cooperation and kindness where it had not existed. He was the founder and president of Willis Chiro-Med, a company of nearly 40 clinics and imaging facilities that stretched over 4 states. He helped pioneer the settings in which chiropractors, medical doctors and other health care professions worked together for the general good.

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Dr. Willis served in many positions and received innumerable awards during his career. He chaired the Darlington County Commission and was prominent for many years in local government. Professionally, he was president of the state association and a member of the licensing board. He was an officer of the national association as well as his college alumni board. Known for his generosity, he founded a number of scholarships to assist the many chiropractic students he motivated to enter the profession. Internationally, he received the coveted Lee Homewood Heritage Award from the Association for Chiropractic History for his “distinguished career contribution of lasting significance toward the advancement of chiropractic in the scientific and academic communities and the public”. Possibly the key to his success was voiced by a friend of over 50 years who said, “I never heard Joe talk bad about anyone.”

In addition to wife Mari, he is survived by three sons: Mark (wife Robin), Dr. Scott (wife Page) and Craig (wife Suellyn) and their families of 10 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Jane Sparrow and two brothers, Dr. Jerry Ray (wife Judy) and Dr. John (wife Jane), all of Southwest Virginia.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 21, 2015 at Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet. The family received friends one prior to the service. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery, Conway.

In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the scholarships in Dr. Willis’ name at the University of South Carolina and Coker College, or to the charity of your choice.
Condolences may be made at www.belkfuneralhome.com.

Belk Funeral Home of Darlington is assisting the Willis Family.

Harold Thomas “Tom” Windham

Harold Thomas “Tom” Windham, 89, went to his heavenly home on Sunday, August 16, 2015 at the McLeod Hospice House, surrounded by his family, who he loved with all his being.
Tom was born on May 20, 1926 in Florence, S.C. to the late James Lawrence Windham and Lila Boykin Windham. He served his country in the United States Navy and retired from Carolina Power and Light Company. He enjoyed studying the Bible, teaching Sunday school at Temple Free Will Baptist Church in Darlington, fishing, golf and playing Cards.

Tom was preceded in death by three wives, Gladys Allen Windham, Betty Pogue Windham, and Aurelia “Kitty” Windham. In addition to his parents and wives, he was preceded in death by five brothers, James Lawrence Windham, Jr.(Norma), Frank Windham (Margaret), Wallace Windham (Lena Mae) Saunders Windham (Sarah) and Henry Windham (Marie); 2 sisters, Blanche Cordrey (Alfred) and Marie Pace (Len); and by a grandson, Richard Michael “Mike” Bryant.

Tom is survived by two sons, Harold Thomas “Bubba” Windham, Jr. (Darlene) of Darlington, and Billy Pogue (Linda) of Arizona. He is also survived by five daughters, Janice Wilson (Hampton) of Florence, Judy Graham, Patsy Singletary (Robert), Julie Patrick (Donald) and Kay Bryant (Billy) all of Darlington; 14 grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services was held on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 4 p.m. at Temple Free Will Baptist Church, followed by burial with full military honors in Grove Hill Cemetery, directed by Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home. The family received friends from 3:00 until 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Temple Free Will Baptist Church and other times at the home, 317 Arabian Street, Darlington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Temple Free Will Baptist Church, 1660 N. Governor Williams Highway, Darlington, SC 29540 or to the McLeod Hospice House of Florence, 1203 E. Cheves Street, Florence, SC 29506.

Family and friends are invited to sign the online guest book at www.kistlerhardeefuneralhome.com.

Author: Duane Childers

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