Year In Review: Notable deaths in Beaufort County, 2011

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Year In Review: Notable deaths in Beaufort County, 2011

By DAVID LAUDERDALE
dlauderdale@islandpacket.com
Published Friday, December 30, 2011   |  2907 Words  |  

Those who died in 2011 who left a mark on the community include:

SOUTHERN BEAUFORT COUNTY

  • Martha K. Baumberger, 98, of Hilton Head Island, died Oct. 2. She was elected the third mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island and was the first female chairman of the Beaufort County Council. She co-founded the island Zonta Club, was president of the Women's Association of Hilton Head Island, wrote a history of The Seabrook, was an elder at First Presbyterian Church, and an expert seamstress, bird watcher and parliamentarian. Before retiring to Hilton Head, she was executive director of Zonta International.
  • Don Ryan, 64, of Hilton Head, died Sept. 17. He was a local business and economic-development leader, with many ties to charitable work along with his wife, former Hilton Head Island High School principal Helen Ryan. He was chairman and CEO of CareCore National, which moved from New York state to Bluffton in 2007, becoming one of the county's largest employers. With an expansion in 2010, it employs about 400 in the area and 1,000 nationwide. It manages the cost, quality and safety of health insurance plans for companies such as Aetna Health.
  • Bill Mottell, 82, of North Augusta, died May 14. He represented Ward 2 on the Hilton Head Island Town Council for 10 years. As chairman of the Public Safety Committee, he pushed the fire department to gain national accreditation and helped write its master plan. He pushed for the island's disaster recovery plan, and was an advocate for the town's aggressive land-buying program.
  • Martha Carolyn Turner Crapse, 89, of Bluffton, died Jan. 21. She owned and operated one of the first realty companies in the area and was a leader in the profession. She was a member of the Beaufort Country Corridor Review Board, the Bluffton United Methodist Church, the Bluffton League of Women Voters, Bluffton Historical Preservation Society, Bluffton Gardeners and founder of the All Joy Beach Preservation Club.
  • Juanita Mitchell White, 81, of Hardeeville, died May 6. She served in the state House of Representatives from 1980 to 1995, and was active in rural health care and water services.
  • Perry Wood, 59, of Hilton Head, died Nov. 17. As a landscape architect on the island for 36 years, founder of the Wood and Partners firm, and a member of many municipal and private review boards, he helped shape the Hilton Head look and feel. In 2004, he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
  • Helen Racusin, 91, of Hilton Head, died April 18. She organized the island's first Great Books Seminar, organized the first Arts Council, was among the founding members of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and a member of its board, served on the town's Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee, and was involved in numerous other community organizations. Her husband, Ben Racusin, was the island's first mayor.
  • Dr. Fred Ducey Jr., 86, of Ridgeland, died Nov. 17. He practiced veterinary medicine for 61 years, founded a youth baseball league, was a founding member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and the Sergeant Jasper Country Club, and mayor of Ridgeland for eight years.
  • Elgie Stover, 72, of Hilton Head, died July 11. He operated a barbecue grill at several locations on the island, luring customers with the smoke and his showman's personality: "I'm Elgie Stover, the black Cassanova, known for his ribs the world all over." President Bill Clinton enjoyed his barbecue while attending Renaissance Weekends on the island. Before moving to the island in 1990, Stover helped write or produce records for Motown superstar Marvin Gaye and others.
  • Trudie Jean Woods Lynes, 83, of Hilton Head, died Jan. 18. She moved to Hilton Head in 1958. She was employed by R.A. Woods Construction Co. and the Hilton Head Homebuilders Association. She was a founding member of the First Baptist Church of Hilton Head.
  • Carol Roarke, 78, of Hilton Head, died March 26. As a retired teacher and folklorist, the islander of 24 years worked with students at Hilton Head Island High School to create an oral history of islanders here before the bridge. She produced the documentary "We Remember" for South Carolina ETV, featuring Daufuskie Island natives telling their stories.
  • Joseph Clayton Hudson, 82, of Hilton Head, died April 7. He was a founder of the IMAGES mentoring program at Hilton Head Island High School, an usher and greeter at All Saints Episcopal Church, a starter and ranger for 15 years at the Fazio course in Palmetto Dunes, and membership coordinator for the Hilton Head Jazz Society.
  • Betty Dirosse, 64, of Hilton Head, died Nov. 21. Her car broke down on a visit to Hilton Head Island and she stayed more than 20 years. She was a server at the Chart House and Stellini's restaurants, a pet-sitter and longtime publicity director of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. In many letters to the Packet, she defended animals, wildlife, trees, the working class and the island's permanent residents.
  • Andrew M. Greenstein, 78, of Hilton Head, died May 9. He was the first president of Lifelong Learning of Hilton Head, and president of the Friends of Hilton Head Library.
  • Mary Lou Stroup Ulmer, 96, of Summerville, died Feb. 22. She taught home economics for 32 years, mostly at Bluffton High School. She pushed for a mental health center in Bluffton and Hilton Head, was instrumental in establishing the Meals on Wheels program here and served on the first library board in Bluffton.
  • Bennie L. Peeples, 64, of Hilton Head, died Jan. 11. He was a decorated Vietnam veteran who was owner and auctioneer of Bennie's Estate Auctions in Hardeeville for many years, drawing large crowds with his personality and special style of auctioneering.
  • Dorothy F. Smith, 90, of Bluffton died May 12. She was a founding member of the Society of Bluffton Artists and the Friends of the Bluffton Library. She represented the Bluffton area on the Beaufort County Library Board for 14 years.
  • June Smith, 90, of Ridgeland, died May 17. She was former executive director of the Hardeeville Chamber of Commerce and bookkeeper at The Island Packet. She came to area in 1945 and for more than 20 years acted as caretaker along with her late husband, Bill Smith, of a private hunting preserve on Pinckney Island.
  • Sandy Bass, 61, of Hilton Head Island, died Aug. 3. She had been director of the Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Achievement School for preschoolers since it opened in 1992.
  • Graham Bullock, 63, of Bluffton, died Feb. 27. He published The Bluffton Eccentric newspaper for four years, and was a charter member of the Bluffton Rotary Club.
  • Roosevelt Parlor, of Dublin, Ga., died June 30. He was a popular chef at the Port Royal Inn, Adventure Inn, Holiday Inn and Sea Pines from 1960 to 1980.
  • James Howard Keller, 94, of Hilton Head, died Feb. 13. The retired U.S. Army brigadier general was chairman of the board of The Seabrook.
  • John Andrew Calamari, 73, of Hilton Head, died Jan. 26. He was a founding member and past president of the island's Italian American Club.
  • Paul Kopelcheck, of Hilton Head, died Jan. 13. He was president of the Hilton Head Plantation Property Owners Association, the Hilton Head Hospital Auxiliary and SCORE. He served on the board of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.
  • Concetta Urato, 93, of Asheville, N.C., died July 3. She and her husband of 72 years, Joseph C. Urato, moved to Hilton Head Island in 1974 to help open Plaza Pizza in Coligny Plaza, offering the first handmade pizza on the island. She was also the first "chef" at the family's Fratello's Italian Restaurant when it opened in 1977.
  • James Edward Clements, 70, of Hilton Head, died March 8. He worked for the Sea Pines Co. for more than 43 years, as director of conventions at the William Hilton Inn and conventions coordinator for Sea Pines.
  • Harry Bernard Brasch, 87 of Bluffton, died Aug. 18. He owned the Quality Ace Hardware in Ridgeland for 50 years.
  • Fletcher M. Johnson Jr., 54, of Bluffton, died Dec. 19. He was an attorney, writer, former journalist and associate municipal judge for the town of Bluffton.
  • Bertram Reinhold, 90, of Hilton Head, died Aug. 21. He was a charter member and past president of Congregation Beth Yam.
  • Dr. Hubert H. Bell, 77, of Hilton Head, died March 31. He was active in his church and president of Presbyterian Men of the Church.
  • Dorothy "Dot" McGarvey Martin, 82, of Bluffton, died March 28. She served on the Hardeeville Town Council. She and her late husband were the original owners of Hester's Martinique restaurant in Savannah and the Magnolia Restaurant in Hardeeville.
  • Bob Coleman, 62, of Buckingham Landing, died June 4. "Cowboy Bob" was known for his humor and free spirit. He was a shrimp boat striker, a masterful woodworker, poet and skilled visual artist who painted shrimp boats and other Lowcountry scenes.
  • Rosemary Abbott, 80, of Asheville, N.C., died Sept. 29. She lived on Hilton Head Island for 30 years, and, as longtime receptionist and telephone operator at Palmetto Electric Cooperative, she greeted countless customers with, "Good morning, Palmetto Electric." She was a founding member of St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church, and preferred walking or biking to driving.
  • Harry D. DiBiase Sr., 69, of Ridgeland, died June 13. He was a former Ridgeland police chief.
  • Rita Creech-Underwood, 73, of Arizona, died March 25. She moved to Hilton Head in 1973, working as a barber stylist. She opened Rita's Barber Stylist in Coligny Plaza in 1989.
  • Judy Burnette, 72, of Hilton Head Island, died June 11. For 20 years, she led community and in-home Bible studies.
  • John Joseph "Jack" Cavagnaro, 82, of Hilton Head Island, died June 8. He was state membership chairman for Knights of Columbus for six years.
  • Marjorie Sweeney, 90, of Hilton Head Island, died Feb. 15. She was a 30-year islander who was known as the "Peppermint Lady" when she volunteered at the hospital for always having candy in her pocket.
  • NORTHERN BEAUFORT COUNTY

  • Gary Fordham, 64, of Beaufort, died April 22. He served 16 years on Beaufort County Council and 12 years on Beaufort City Council, earning a reputation among his peers and constituents as a straight-talking and passionate public servant who made decisions grounded in common sense. He was a Beaufort native, from families known for business leadership and public service. Beaufort High classmate Pat Conroy said, "His immeasurable love of Beaufort always moved me." Fordham fought for the protection of Beaufort's natural resources. He battled multiple sclerosis for more than 15 years.
  • Joe Frazier, 67, of Philadelphia died Nov. 7. He was reared on a farm in Burton, but left home as a teenager to become the boxing great known as "Smokin' Joe." He won an Olympic gold medal and then the world heavyweight championship when his vicious left hook put Muhammad Ali on the canvas in the 15th round in 1971, becoming the first man to beat Ali, in the Fight of the Century in Madison Square Garden. He later lost a decision to Ali in the "Thrilla in Manila." Frazier was honored in Beaufort in September 2010 when then-Gov. Mark Sanford presented him with the Order of the Palmetto.
  • Randy Wall, 59, of Beaufort died June 15. He was an education leader in Beaufort County for 21 years, serving as principal of Lady's Island and Beaufort middle schools and headmaster of Beaufort Academy. He created the Beaufort Humanities School and was an academic improvement officer for the Beaufort County School District, among other countywide assignments. He was president of the S.C. Middle School Association and a leader in other professional organizations. He was president of the Sea Island Rotary Club, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, and an active member of St. Peter Catholic Church.
  • Thomas "Tom" Mouzon, 90, died May 28. He was the first African-American barber employed on Parris Island. He was an organist at Grace Chapel A.M.E. Church, organ instructor, and avid league bowler who traveled the nation bowling with his wife, Doris.
  • Lincoln Gallop, 92, died May 5. He was a longtime Beaufort businessman who opened what is now called Lady's Island Marina, then the only one in the area. He was a founder and board treasurer of Beaufort Academy. He participated in the local revival of the Republican Party and was active with the Baptist Church of Beaufort. His wife, Leona Barnes Gallop, 98, died May 29.
  • Dr. Don S. Whisonant, 69, died Jan. 5. He practiced dentistry in Beaufort from 1972 to 1992 following two years on Parris Island with the Navy Dental Corps. An Eagle Scout with Silver Palm, he was awarded the District Award of Merit from the Lowcountry Council of Boy Scouts of America.
  • Scott Stowe, 43, a Beaufort County banker known for his involvement in philanthropic and community groups, died Aug. 29. At the time of his death, Stowe served as board chairman of the United Way of the Lowcountry. He previously chaired the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation board and was a leader at First Presbyterian Church in Beaufort.
  • Suzanne Longo, 69, of Beaufort died Oct. 11. She was a sculptress, painter, gardener and quilter known for her free spirit and creativity. She opened the Longo Gallery with her husband, Eric, in downtown Beaufort and helped organize the first art walk with local galleries. Her work can be seen at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park and at Beaufort Academy.
  • Ross Macdonald Sanders, 80, of St. Helena Island died June 4. He was the patriarch of the family that owns Seaside Farm. They have planted and packed hundreds of acres of tomatoes and other truck crops on St. Helena Island for several generations.
  • Drucilla Bowers "Dru" Graves, 86, of Lady's Island died Sept. 30. She served on the board of HELP of Beaufort for many years. As part of the Baptist Church of Beaufort Women's Missionary Union, she helped to begin its migrant-workers ministry in 1963. Her decades of directing the ministry were honored in June when it was named for her.
  • Evelyn M. Jones, 90, of Hendersonville, N.C., died Feb. 12. When her husband, the Rev. George A. Jones, was pastor at the Baptist Church of Beaufort, she was the first white teacher at Robert Smalls Elementary School, and she helped organize social and missionary services for the county's migrant workers.
  • B. Ellis de Treville Jr., 88, of Beaufort died June 14. He was an entrepreneur, educator and engineer. He was active in the revival of the Republican Party in Beaufort County. He was an active member of the Beaufort Little Theater and the Parish Church of St. Helena choir.
  • Theresa "Momma Tee" Simmons Gantt, 95, of Beaufort died Oct. 29. She was born on Parris Island and earned a master's degree from New York University. She began teaching in the late 1930s in one-room, segregated schools at Sams Point, Broomfield and Paige's Point. She ended up at the integrated Shell Point Elementary School, where she retired in 1977. She was active at Tabernacle Baptist Church.
  • Goldie Levine, 92, of Beaufort died Sept. 19. She and her late husband owned Martin's Men's Shop on Bay Street for more than 30 years. She founded and led Beaufort's first Brownie troop and was an accomplished sculptress.
  • Katrina Bolton, 70, of Lady's Island died Sept. 6. She founded The Red Door thrift shop to benefit Friends of Caroline Hospice.
  • Dorothy Giddens Jones, 87, of Beaufort died Sept. 17. She taught first grade for 36 years, retiring at Mossy Oaks Elementary School. She was an avid writer of poetry.
  • Joseph Thomas Miller Sr., 91, of Greenville, N.C., died Sept. 13. His work in research and development with the Blue Channel Corp. of Port Royal led to improved pasteurization of crab meat and the marketing of other canned crab products that helped make the company the largest processor of blue crab in the world for many years.
  • Katherine "Kat" Sutcliffe, 87, of Beaufort died Sept. 16. She was a charter member of the Bridle and Saddle Club, Beaufort Square Dancers and Camp Fire Kickers, and was active in many other organizations and causes. She and her late husband, Lowman, were co-owners of Sutcliffe Furniture, Yamaha of Beaufort and Sutcliffe Pool Co.
  • Alice Virginia Miller Hollingsworth, 77, of Beaufort died Sept. 8. She was an employee of the Beaufort County Treasurer's Office whose late husband, Delmer "Red" Hollingsworth, operated Hollingsworth's Barber Shop and whose mother owned and operated "Mom" Miller's Market for 38 years.
  • Thomas Joseph Bardin Jr., 54, of Chapin died Aug. 27. The Beaufort native was director of the S.C. General Assembly's Legislative Audit Council.
  • Maurine S. "Moie" O'Hearn, 84, of Bellevue, Wash., died May 1. She was a 28-year resident of Fripp Island and 10-year volunteer at Friends of Caroline Hospice.
  • Winifred T. Murray, 77, of Port Royal died March 6. She taught school in Beaufort County for 30 years and was the wife of Port Royal Mayor Samuel Murray.
  • Elaine Medlock Whitten, 94, died Jan. 3. She was a member of the Baptist Church of Beaufort for 89 years.
  • John Paul O'Quinn, 67, died Dec. 31, 2010. He worked his way up from an entry level officer to retire as a major and deputy chief of the Beaufort Police Department.
  • Sgt. Archibald Hummer, Parris Island's English bulldog mascot, died Sept. 7. He was a 14-week-old puppy when he came aboard the recruit depot in 2006. He was meritoriously promoted in July to the rank of sergeant, the first mascot to earn the rank in about 20 years. Parris Island has had a mascot since 1915.