Week of July 8, 2015

Mary Demetrious

Mary Demetrious of Darlington, age 65, passed away Tuesday, June 30 at a local hospital after an extended illness.

Born on February 21, 1950, Mary was the daughter of the late Christos and Katina Pappas Demetrious. She was a 1968 graduate of St. John’s High School and a 1972 graduate of Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Mary developed a love for politics at an early age. Her first foray into politics was as state campaign chairman for the George McGovern presidential campaign. She served as Vice Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party and Chairman of the Darlington County Democratic Party. She served as a delegate to many Democratic National Conventions and was honored to have been a speaker at the 1980 National Democratic Convention. She also ran an unsuccessful bid for the 6th Congressional District.

Mary took great pride in her hometown of Darlington. She spearheaded the effort for the Blue Sky Mural on the Public Square, as well as the preservation of the J.C. Daniel Auditorium and the Carnegie Library. For her efforts, she was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Darlington Chamber of Commerce. She was active in many civic organizations including the Rotary Club. She was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Mary is survived by a sister, Paula D. Lawson of Florence, South Carolina; three nieces who will always cherish her memory, Mary Katherine Lawson of New York, New York, Charlotte (Kevin) Culotta of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Jacqueline Christina (Jaycie) Lawson of Florence; grandnephews, Jack Lawson Culotta, and Andrew Wells Culotta; and a special cousin, Georgia Hamberis. She was predeceased by her parents, and brother, Nicky Demetrious.

The family would like to thank the many caregivers who lovingly stayed by her side over the past few years.

Services for Mary were held on Friday, July 3rd at the Transfiguration of Our Savior Greek Orthodox Church in Florence at 3:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Grove Hill Cemetery directed by Belk Funeral Home. Visitation was held one hour prior to the service in the Church Fellowship Hall.

Memorials may be made to the Transfiguration of Our Savior Greek Orthodox Church 2990 S. Cashua Dr. Florence, South Carolina 29501 or the Susan Johnson Memorial Fund c/o Darlington Presbyterian Church 311 Pearl St. Darlington, South Carolina 29532
A guestbook is available online at www.belkfuneralhome.com.

Betty Frances Grant Harper

rper, 90, of Columbia, SC went home to be with her Lord and Savior on June 28, 2015.

The daughter of the late Samuel Jasper Grant and Maude Trippe Grant Johnson of Darlington, S.C., Betty was a proud military wife who supported her husband Paul as he served our country for over 30 years, first in the Army Air Forces in WW II as a B-24 bomber pilot and later in the Vietnam War as an Army field artilleryman. During her husband’s numerous military deployments, she was the home front “Chief of Staff,” who loved, nurtured, and took care of the family. Betty seemed to always be full of energy and loved to volunteer with military, community, and church organizations. Betty served as a Red Cross volunteer in military hospitals for many years. She loved working with children, and served in such roles as a Cub Scout den mother, school homeroom volunteer, and a Sunday school teacher. Betty truly loved the Lord and served in various roles in numerous churches. She was a faithful and dedicated member of Bethel United Methodist Church in Columbia, S.C. and the Joy Sunday school class for more than 35 years. Betty will be remembered first and foremost as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She genuinely loved her family, and was always available whenever someone needed her. She was a kind, compassionate, and caring person who gave her utmost to the Lord, and to her family and friends. She made a difference in many lives and she will be missed. As the Apostle Paul said “…the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Betty is survived by her three sons and their families: Paul R. Harper Jr. and his wife Carolyn of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Ralph S (Sam) Harper of Edmond, OK; and John F. Harper and his wife Patricia of Goose Creek, S.C. She also leaves behind several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Betty is also survived by two siblings, Rose Dennis of Sumter, S.C.; and Samuel (Sam) J. Grant, Jr. and his wife, Nora, of Darlington, S.C.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Carl Grant; and sisters: Elise Johnson; and Nell Bell, and her devoted husband of 68 years, Paul R. Harper Sr., a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.

The family received friends at Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 845 Leesburg Road, Columbia, S.C. on Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. Graveside services followed at 3 p.m at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 845 Leesburg Road, Columbia, SC in Section I. Memorials may be made to Bethel United Methodist Church, 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia, S.C. 29206.

The family wishes to thank the many devoted caregivers at Summit Place of Daniel Island in Charleston SC, as well as Piedmont Hospice-Charleston for their love and attentiveness during the past several months.

Family and friends may sign the online guest book at www.thompsonsfuneral.com.

Victor Spivey

Victor Spivey, age 93, died July 2, 2015 at the McLeod Hospice House. A graveside service with military honors was held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, in Grove Hill Cemetery directed by Belk Funeral Home. The family received friends immediately following the service.

Born April 23, 1922 in Lakeview, S.C., Victor was the son of the late John Dewey Spivey and Frances Brewer Spivey. He was married to the late Louise Bryant Spivey. Victor served his country with the United States Army during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was MIA during the war and a recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He loved his country, and enjoyed reading, cooking, gardening, and time spent being around children.

Surviving are four children: Victor Carroll Spivey of Darlington, Patrick “Pat” (Judy) Spivey of Florence, Linda Marsh, and Venita (Chafee) Jones, all of Darlington; grandchildren: Brock (Carolyn) Spivey, Shannon (Dawn) Spivey, Wendy Crowley, Travis DuRant, Chad (Brandi) Jones, and Crystal Jones Stanley; seven great-grandchildren; and his sister, Marie S. McManus.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers.

Memorials are suggested to the Wounded Warrior Project, Post Office Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 (www.woundedwarrior.org), or to McLeod Hospice House, Post Office Box 100551, Florence, S.C. 29501 (www.mcleodfoundation.org).

Linda Jones Strickland

Linda Jones Strickland, 68, of Scranton, S.C., passed away on July 2, 2015.

Mrs. Strickland was born in Florence, S.C., a daughter of the late Rautha Franklin Jones and Lula Bailey Jones. She was the caregiver for her own mother for many years. Mrs. Strickland was a wonderful and loving mother, and grandmother – “Nana” – who will be greatly missed.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard McKever “Mack” Strickland.

Surviving are her daughter, Amelinda (Tim) Matthews of Scranton; a grandson, Thomas McKever Matthews; and her brother, Frank (Teresa) Jones of Florence.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2015, at Trinity United Methodist Church Cemetery in Kingsburg, S.C., directed by Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home.

Family received friends from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday at the funeral home.

Please sign the tribute wall for Mrs. Strickland at the obituary section of www.stoudenmiredowling.com.

Shirley Barnes Blackmon

Shirley Barnes Blackmon, 70, of Darlington, passed away on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Mrs. Blackmon was born in Southport, N.C., a daughter of the late Samuel Smith Barnes and Susie Inez Phillips Barnes Evans. She retired from Nytronics in Darlington.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James G. Blackmon; and her brother, Charles Edward Barnes.
Surviving are her daughter, Cindy (Jacques) Beauchamp of Savannah, GA; sons, George (Mary) Blackmon, Allen Blackmon, and Donnie (Lisa) Blackmon, all of Darlington, S.C.; grandchildren: Tiffany Blackmon, Jessica Blackmon, Trent Blackmon, Gabriel Beauchamp, Silas Blackmon and Ty Blackmon; great-grandchild, Aiden Blackmon; and siblings, Debra (Gary) Creswell of Columbia, S.C., and Samuel Dennis Barnes of Darlington, S.C.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2015, in the Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home Chapel. Burial followed at Florence Memorial Gardens.

Family received friends from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at the funeral home.

Please sign the tribute wall for Mrs. Blackmon at the obituary section at www.stoudenmiredowling.com.

Robert Henry Gandy

Robert Henry Gandy, 74, of Darlington passed away on July 1, 2015.

Funeral services were held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, July 4, 2015 at Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home. The family received friends from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the funeral home and other times at the home of his daughter, Robin Dixon, 415 N. Main Street, Apt. 4A, Darlington.

Mr. Gandy was born on May 19, 1941. He was the son of the late Robert Woodrow and Mary Gandy. Robert enjoyed working on cars, racing, and fishing.

Surviving are four sons, Wayne Gandy, Mark Gandy (Linda), Dustin Gandy (Meredith), and Robert H. “RH” Gandy, Jr. (Wanda); daughter, Robin Dixon; 23 grandchildren; 25 great grandchildren; sister, Mary Spencer; and a special adoptive son, Kenny Locklair. He was preceded by his wife, Joyce Doris Gandy; son, Jason Stewart Gandy; daughter, Bonnie Sue; step daughter, Janet Owens; sister, Minnie Sue Prossor; and brother, Melvin Gandy.

Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home is honored to serve the Gandy family.

Sign the online guest book at www.kistlerhardeefuneralhome.com.

Author: Duane Childers

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