‘Wouldn’t trade Hartsville for nothing’: Ex-councilman Bernice Wilson dies at 84
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
A little more than a year after he left Hartsville City Council, “calm and steady leader” Bernice L. Wilson Sr. has died. He was 84. Wilson, who served on council from 2007-2019, died Jan. 22, according to his obituary information. He chose not to run again, and his last official council session was in December 2019. At his final meeting, council presented him with a plaque. “(I am) a person who loves this city,” Wilson said. “Born and raised here, wouldn’t trade Hartsville for nothing. I love the citizens of this place.” Bryson Caldwell now serves in the District 2 seat Wilson represented. Wilson advised him: “If you do your very best, there’s nothing else for you to do but tell the people what you’ve done. If you can do it, you do it. And if you can’t, you let them know. Don’t run and hide from them.” The City of Hartsville posted a tribute to Wilson on its Facebook page. “He was known to take everything in and to always speak straight from his heart,” the tribute says. “He was a calm and steady leader.” A 1954 graduate of Butler High School, Wilson worked for Sonoco Products for 31 years, the tribute says. He was a lifetime member of Jerusalem Baptist Church and served on the church’s trustee board, deacon board and senior choir, the city’s tribute says. He also served on the county’s election commission, the Hartsville Planning and Zoning Committee, the Hartsville Design Review Board and served with other groups.