Blair Sympathy Club remembers Wilson

Members of the Blair Sympathy Club who met during the club’s regular Dec. 8 meeting included, from left (front row): Samuel English, Gladys Hardy, Hattie Brice and Judy Camack; (second row): Lula Robinson, Essie McConnell, Hattie Edwards, Jean Robinson, Diane Copeland, Beverly Feaster, Glenda Woodard and Shirley Greene and (third row): Tangee Jacobs, Ruth Lyles, Gail Worthy, Geraldine Trapp, Josephine Robinson, Deborah Hopkins and Charles Mickey Edwards.

BLAIR – The Blair Sympathy Club in Fairfield County is a fun-loving, energetic community group with the mission of bringing aid and comfort to one another during times of illness or other serious problems, the late Eugenia Wilson, president of the club at the time, told The Voice in 2015.

At that time, the club had about 50 members, Wilson said, most of whom lived in Fairfield County, but a few hailed from Union and Chester Counties.

“When we first started back in the ‘60’s,” Wilson recalled, “we used to meet at people’s homes – a different member’s house each month. But the group got so large that now our monthly meetings are held at member’s churches – Little River, Hassion Hill, Weeping Mary, Gethsemane, and so on,” she said.

Eugenia Wilson accepts a plaque from Superintendent Dr. J.R. Green, recognizing the naming of the cafeteria after her. | Barbara Ball

Known for springing into action when one of their own (or someone in the family) becomes very sick or has to go to the hospital, members make time to visit and will also bring a donation from the club’s treasury, which is funded by the $40 annual dues and a $1-per-missed-meeting fee.

The group also enjoys social get-togethers, especially chartering a bus for day trips that are also open to non-members.

“Oh, we’ve been to just about every little town in South Carolina,” Wilson said, laughing. “Charleston, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort… we’ve been up to the Biltmore house and to Charlotte museums. The list just goes on and on. Mountains, apple orchards – I just can’t name them all,” she said.

“And if someone in our group dies,” Wilson said, “we do flowers and prepare food for the day of the funeral.”

And so it was when Wilson died last Nov. 8, at the age of 86.

On Dec. 8, during the club’s regular meeting at the Jenkinsville Recreation Center, the members once again brought aid and comfort to each other as they remembered Wilson, their former leader and dear friend and what she meant to the club, the community and to McCrory Liston School. They recalled her service in many capacities, not the least of which was Food Service Supervisor at McCrory Liston. Wilson retired in 2006 after 40 years of service to the school district which honored her last summer by naming the school’s cafeteria after her.

“It’s both aspects of the Club – the fun times and the solace it offers – that give the group an enduring sense of purpose,” Wilson said, prophetically, in 2015.

“We just have a wonderful time together,” she said with a smile.