Several Columbus County Schools observed observed the one-month anniversary Wednesday of the Stoneman-Douglas High School killings.
County administrators left it up to individual principals of how to commemorate the occasion. Kelly Jones, arts education coordinator, compiled these reports from 11 schools.
Acme/Delco Middle School – At 9:55 a number of students elected to participate in the walkout and were back in school after the 17 minutes elapsed. The principal used it as a teachable moment. The sixth graders were by the front flagpole and were supervised, and seventh and eigth graders were on the football field near the flagpole and were also supervised.
Both groups observed a moment of silence and the seventh and eighth graders had a student-led prayer. The school used this opportunity to discuss how students need to be nicer and more civil to each other.
South Columbus observed a moment of silence in memory of the 17 students who were shot.
At 10 a.m., East Columbus High School remembered the victims of Stoneman Douglas High School. An announcement was made to honor the victims and to reassure students that their school is safe.
Administrators also encouraged students to report threats.
Afterwards, each victim from MSDHS had his or her name read, followed by a ringing of a bell. The school ended with a moment of silence for 17 seconds for students and staff to honor, reflect, and memorialize the victims of MSDHS and other victims of violence.
Williams Township – Teachers had moments of silence and class discussions.
Nakina Middle School had a moment of silence at 10 a.m. throughout the school. Classrooms paused for a moment of silence in memory of the 17 students and staff who lost their lives.
Chadbourn Middle School had a moment of silence. The principal read the names of the victims.
Tabor City Middle School took a moment of silence and read aloud the names of each victim.
Cerro Gordo Elementary School had a moment of silence and announced each individual who lost his or her life during the shootings.
Columbus Career and College Academy had a school-wide moment of silence, which was initiated over the intercom system.
At 9:05, the principal went on the intercom and notified the students of the significance of the day and how it was a day and time set aside to honor and remember those who lost their lives in the shooting.
Classrooms took a few moments of silence and the principal underscored the importance of the school’s dedication to safety and security of students.
Tabor City Elementary School faculty and staff will be signing an electronic card and sending it to Stoneman Douglas High School.
West Columbus High School held a moment of silence and read the 17 names.
Hilda Faye Smith Lowrance, 74, of Whiteville died Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Columbus Regional Healthcare. She was the daughter of Adell Spivey Smith and Alfred Smith. She was also preceded in death by one son, Jason Lynn Lowrance; and two siblings, Harrell Smith and Grace Ward.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Worthington Funeral Home in Chadbourn.
She is survived by her husband, John Dewey Lowrance of Whiteville; three children, Lynn Penny Seward of Colorado Springs, Colo., Fonda Bost of Longs, S.C. and Les Bost of Whiteville; four siblings, Nancy S. Duncan, Deborah S. Hinson and Betty B. Thompkins all of Whiteville and J.L. Smith of Chadbourn; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Sybil Benton Sholar Geary, 94, died Sunday, March 18, 2018 at Liberty Commons. She was born April 30, 1923 in Wilmington, the daughter of the late Ralph L. Sholar and Annie Clyde Benton Sholar. She was married to the late John R. Geary Jr. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and two sisters, Peggy Walton and Fran Wheeler.
She was formerly a director with Columbus County Mental Health. She received her masters degree from Columbia University.
Her memorial service will be announced by Peacock Funeral Home.
She is survived by two daughters, Katherine Ann Geary of Moapa, Nev., Virginia Lee Geary Tidriri of Story City, Iowa; one son, John Richard Geary III of Whiteville; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Thomas Worth Elliott Jr., 62, died Friday March 16, 2018. He was the son of Barbara Featherstone Elliott and the late Thomas Worth Elliott Sr.
Thomas was a member of Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church and served in the U.S. Navy before starting a 38 year career with International Paper Company in Riegelwood. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Hillcrest Cemetery in Lake Waccamaw with Rev. Charles Smith officiating. McKenzie Mortuary of Whiteville is handling the arrangements.
Survivors include his wife, Minnie Jacobs Elliott of Lake Waccamaw; mother, Barbara Featherstone Elliott of Lake Waccamaw; two sons, Thomas W. Elliott III and Jared M. Elliott, both of Lake Waccamaw; one brother, Ted Patrick Elliott (Gina) of Whiteville; three sisters, Cathy Lovette (Marcus) of Tabor City, Sue Ward of Lumberton and Janet Tyler (Russell) of Lake Waccamaw; and one granddaughter, Lilly M. Elliott of Lake Waccamaw.
Brenda Bealon Lewis, 55, died Thursday, March 15, 2018 at her residence.
Arrangements will be announced by Peoples Funeral Home of Whiteville.
This little leprechaun, Memphis Grainger, son of Chad and Ashley Grainger of Mollie sports his “lucky green.” St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday known for having fun, is celebrated Saturday, March 17.
Bonnie Elizabeth Kirby died Tuesday, March 13, 2018. She was born Feb. 7, 1937. She was preceded in death by her husband, William M. Kirby.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, March 16 at Andrews Mortuary Market Street Chapel in Wilmington. Final rites will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco.
She is survived by two sons, Daniel Kirby and Darrell Kirby; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Ricky Carl Sellers, 57, died Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at his residence. He was preceded in death by his mother, Elouise Ellis Sellers.
He was employed by International Paper for 30 years until his retirement in 2016.
Final rites will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at Worthington Funeral Home with Rev. Barbara Bell officiating. The family will receive friends from noon-1 p.m. Saturday, March 17 (one hour prior to the service) at the funeral home in Chadbourn. Interment will be in Chadbourn Memorial Cemetery.
He is survived by one son, Zachary Carl Sellers of Farmville; and his father, Troy D. Sellers of Riegelwood.
Columbus County Parks and Recreation will have Easter egg hunts on Saturday, March 24 at 12 locations in the county. Girls and boys up to 12 years old may participate in any one of the egg hunts listed. Each egg hunt will have three age divisions, birth-3, 4-7 and 8-12.
Egg hunts are scheduled at 10 a.m. at Williams Township School, Evergreen Elementary School, Riegelwood Community Park, Tabor City Elementary School, Whiteville City Recreation Center and Farmers Union — Elra and Gertrude Spaulding Park.
Egg hunts will begin at 11 a.m. at Chadbourn Depot, Old Dock Community Park, Hallsboro – Bogue Community Park, Bolton Community Park, St. James Community Park and Lake Waccamaw – Elizabeth Brinkley Park.