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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Celebrating The Life Of Johnnie Sowell Neese February 1, 2016
Joe Wilson, R-SC
"Funeral service for Johnnie Sowell Neese, 89, of West Columbia, will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, January 31, 2016, at Holland Avenue Baptist Church, 801 12th Street, Cayce, SC. Pastor Dow Welsh and Pastor Charles Wilson will officiate. Interment will follow in Southland Memorial Gardens. The family will greet friends from 6:00 8:00 p.m. Saturday, January 30, 2016, at Thompson Funeral Home of Lexington, 4720 Augusta Road, Lexington, SC. Mrs. Neese passed away Thursday, January 28, 2016. Born in Kershaw, she was a daughter of the late John Wesley and Evelyn Blease Johnson Sowell, Sr. She was a graduate of Kershaw High School and attended Coker College. Johnnie was a charter member of Holland Avenue Baptist Church and served as trustee and Sunday School teacher for more than 50 years. She was the chairman of the Nominating, Finance, and Personnel Committees, and a member of the Benevolent, Building, Library, and Stewardship Committees. Johnnie was continuously employed by the House of Perfection, Inc., manufacturer and wholesaler of children’s apparel from November 1956 until July 2005, when she retired as executive vice president and chief financial officer. She was the former president of the West Columbia Cayce Junior Woman’s Club, former Division chairman of the S.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs, the former president of the Riverlyn Women’s Club, a former member of the Lexington County Higher Education Commission, Congaree Area Girl Scout Council and served as the West Columbia Cayce residential chairman for the United Way. Johnnie was a former member of the Body of Trustees, United Community Services and was nominated for the “Woman of Achievement” award for the State of South Carolina in 1992. She was awarded the “Woman of Distinction” honor in 1996, from the Congaree Area Girl Scout Council. From 1964 through 1967, Johnnie was active in the Lexington County and the South Carolina Republican Parties, having served as secretary-treasurer, County Finance chairman, County Organization chairman, president of Lexington County Republican Women, precinct officer, and Convention Credentials chairman. A candidate for the House of Representatives in 1964, she was the first woman in South Carolina to run for public office on the Republican ticket. She served for 17 years as treasurer for Senator Addison G. (Joe) Wilson and assumed active roles in State and Congressional campaigns for Republican candidates Albert Watson, Floyd Spence, and Strom Thurmond. Johnnie is survived by her daughters, Lynda Neese (Gary Miller), Carol Neese, Deborah Neese, Sandra Neese Cooke, Tracey Neese Edenfield; six grandsons, Ira Brent Driggers, Jonathan Michael Cooke, Jordan Patrick Cooke, Zachary Tanner Edenfield, Nicholas Yates Edenfield, Jacob Andrew Edenfield; three great-grandsons. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of more than 50 years, Harry Yates Neese; twin sister, Connie Sowell, and brother, John W. Sowell, Jr."
Congratulations Carson Buzhardt January 11, 2016
Joe Wilson, R-SC
"Mr. Speaker, today, I am grateful to recognize Carson Buzhardt as the female statewide winner of the South Carolina Farm Bureau Youth Ambassador Contest. A resident of Lexington County, Carson graduated from Wyman King Academy and now attends Clemson University where she majors in Agribusiness and aspires to become a leader in the food industry. Carson was selected as the winner after her essay and presentation on farm life in South Carolina impressed the panel of judges."
In Memory Of Marilyn Coy January 5, 2016
Joe Wilson, R-SC
"Marilyn Sue Coy, wife of Calvin Coy, left this earth for Heaven while at home on Friday, December 25, 2015, on the day we celebrate our Lord’s birthday, Christmas. She was 83. Viewing and family visitation will be on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, from 6 to 8 pm at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home— Chapin Chapel, 123 Columbia Ave, Chapin, SC 29036. Services will be held on Wednesday, December 30, 2015, at 11 am at Chapin United Methodist Church, 415 Lexington Ave, Chapin, SC 29036. Interment to follow at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, 4170 Percival Rd, Columbia, SC 29229. Born in Lake Cicott, Indiana, on May 11, 1932, to the late Horace and Suzie Julian, Marilyn Coy was preceded by her son Mark, her sister Norma Franzen, and her grandson Gabriel Coy. After 62 years of marriage, Marilyn leaves behind her husband Cal Coy, her daughter Laura Pike of Montauroux, France, and her son Bruce and wife Pamela Coy of Summerville, SC. She also leaves behind five grandchildren Jamie Pike, Alexia Pike and Caroline Pike of France, and Julian Coy and Carra and her husband Jesse Beam of South Carolina, and one great grandson, “baby Jack,” son of Alexia Pike and Fabien Scrivo of France. Marilyn was an active member of every community where she lived. Her outspoken personality and drive has had a positive impact on every life she touched from immediate family, to friends, organizations and even the state of South Carolina which she loved so dearly. Marilyn and her husband Cal moved to Irmo, South Carolina in 1969 and then to the Chapin community, living on Lake Murray since 1972. Long after moving to South Carolina, Marilyn learned that she was a direct descendant of the St. Julian’s—French Huguenot settlers who came to the coast of South Carolina in the 1690’s, first cousins to the Ravenels. A branch of the St. Julian family moved to Indiana, and dropped the prefix “St.” from which Marilyn is directly descendant, her maiden name being “Julian.” Although this fact was learned by Marilyn late in her life, it validated her immense love and connection to the state of South Carolina. Among the many organizations that she freely gave her time and passions to, the following were some of her most cherished activities, in no particular chronology or preference. Marilyn absolutely loved being a Docent at the South Carolina Governor’s mansion. She began doing this during the administration of the late Governor Carroll and Iris Campbell and continued this activity under many governors of both parties. Although inactive for several years, Marilyn remained on the Docent rolls until her passing. Marilyn was a member of Clemson University Extension’s Town & Country Homemakers. She was a member and former president of the Evergreen Garden Club. She was a life member of the Eastern Star of Ohio, and a very proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. To say Marilyn was an avid reader is an understatement, devouring and collecting books of all sorts. She feasted on knowledge, always fresh with the news and sharp on history. From her early South Carolina years as a member of the Dutch Fork Republican Women’s Club, many in the community knew Marilyn as a staunch political operative, with a passion and drive that helped many candidates reach their elected goals. As a testimony to this passion, Marilyn was a founding member of the Joe Wilson for State Senate Committee and a delegate to the State Republican convention for nearly 20 years. Marilyn and her sharp wit thoroughly enjoyed an active social life as a member of the Chapin Hat Ladies, and as a charter member of the Carolinian Society where she cherished attending the annual ball. As a founding organizational member of the Chapin Community Theatre group, Marilyn also enjoyed nurturing and sharing her artistic talents with her paintings and by helping organize the Chapin Arts & Crafts Club. She loved to cook and to entertain, serving as host to many parties and events, including having her Bridge club at her home on many occasions. Whether for fun, or as a political forum for the candidates that she supported, Marilyn helped organize the first Chapin Labor Day Festival and Parade. Her family believes both reasons to be true. Marilyn was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary at Chapin Post 193, and she loved being a member of the Chapin United Methodist Church and was so thankful for all the ministerial support the Church had extended during her lengthy illness. Marilyn loved and supported her husband, family and friends fiercely and selflessly, as an encouraging force behind others, never taking the spotlight for herself. Her compassion for others and charitable sacrifices will never be forgotten, and her faith in Jesus Christ places her in the Glory of Heaven with those that went before her, and with those who will follow. For all of those who knew Marilyn, the birthday party for our Lord Jesus in Heaven must have been a little livelier with Marilyn arriving on the day that we celebrate His birth, Christmas. A gift for Heaven for eternity, and a remembrance of the gift that she was to all of us who knew her here on this earth. In lieu of flowers, the family requests for donations to made in her honor to the Chapin United Methodist Church building fund, or the American Legion post 193 building fund, or the charity of their choice."
Grateful Response To South Carolina Flood October 21, 2015
Joe Wilson, R-SC
"Credit is due to Director Christy Hall and the South Carolina Department of Transportation for their tireless work. During the flooding, over 500 roads and bridges were closed. I know firsthand, as the road I live on was washed out, the location of our family home for the last six generations, which was named by my grandmother."
In Memory Of Martha Carolyn Eden October 20, 2015
Joe Wilson, R-SC
"Columbia Memorial service for Martha Carolyn Edens, 87, will be held at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, October 15, 2015, at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. Following the service, the family will receive friends in the church dining hall. Burial will be private in Greenlawn Memorial Park. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. Ms. Edens died Friday, October 9, 2015. Born in Richland County, she was the daughter of the late James Drake Edens Sr. and May Florence Youmans Edens. She graduated from Dreher High School, attended Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. and graduated from the University of South Carolina. Martha lived a well-spent life of love, dedication and generosity. In addition to being a loving, caring mother to her two children, Martha accomplished more in her life than most people even dream of. She was active in politics, her college fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha, her church, Trenholm Road United Methodist and her community. Among the highlights of Martha’s many accomplishments was being awarded the Order of the Palmetto in 1995 by Governor Carroll A. Campbell. On the local level, she served the Richland County Republican Party as Party Chairman, Finance Chairman and Precinct Committeeman. Martha served as Vice Chairman of the First Tuesday Republican Club. She was a member of the Richland County Ivory Club, the Richland County Republican Women’s Club and was a governor’s mansion docent. A true community leader, Martha was also an active member of Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, having served on numerous boards and committees and was an Advisory Board member of Lutheran Theological Seminary. Martha was also an active board member of the Palmetto Society of the United Way and the Salvation Army of Columbia and she was former president and member of the State Board of Directors of South Carolina Easter Seal Society. Additionally, Martha was a member of the South Carolina Museum Commission and the SC Law Institute Council. She was a former member of the Advisory Board of Republic National Bank and the Citizens Committee for the Construction of the Richland County Judicial Center. She served as treasurer of the South Carolina Republican Party. A longtime member of the Capitol 100 Foundation, Martha served our state as National Committeewoman on the Republican National Committee, where she became known as one of the most outstanding national committeewomen in the nation. As National Committeewoman, she served on the Rules Committee of the RNC, was elected Vice Chairman of the Southern Region and served on the Chairman’s Executive Committee, having served four years in each of those positions. In 1992, Martha served, along with Honorary Chairman Carroll A. Campbell, as Chairman of the Southern Republican Conference. Elected to serve as one of eight members of the Site Selection Committee for the 1996 Republican National Convention, Martha also served on the Committee on Arrangements for the San Diego convention. On the state level, Martha had the honor of serving on the South Carolina Election Commission. She served as Vice President on the Board of Trustees of Brenau University for thirty years, received the Outstanding Alumnae Award for Community Service and received the prestigious Mary Mildred Sullivan Award given to distinguished alumnae. Martha was also a member of the Board of Visitors for Columbia College, the Advisory Board for the Medical University of South Carolina and served Richland County School District Two as a Board of Trustees member, Secretary, Vice President and Chairman. Additionally, Martha held office on the Board of Trustees of Richland Memorial Hospital and worked as a volunteer with the Help-Line Crisis Intervention Program and Baptist Medical Center Hospice. Dearest to her heart, though, was her lifelong involvement with Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. She served as Province President for the states of North and South Carolina and Georgia, National Vice President, National President, National Extension Director, Chairman, International Office Building Committee, President of Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation and served on the Foundation Board as a director. Her fraternity honors were as an Honor Ring Recipient, Vivian Ulmer Smith Rushing Award, Alumnae Certificate of Merit, Louise Kettler Helper Award and Outstanding Alumnae Award. Martha Carolyn Edens had many dear friends who valued her dry wit, her sharp humor and her unfailing sense of style. Her honesty, ethics and fairness could always be counted on. She gave generously in donating her time and talents. Surviving are her daughter, Dinah Helms Cook (Phil); daughter-in-law, Pamela Blaylock Helms; grandchildren, Blake Edens Helms, James Cook, Jennifer Cook and Allison Cook. Also surviving are nieces and nephews and many dear friends. Martha was predeceased by her former husband, William Edgar Helms Jr.; her son, William Edgar Helms III; and brothers, James Drake Edens Jr. and William Youmans Edens Sr. "

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