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Margaret Elizabeth "Polly" Parker
February 19, 1935 ~ April 7, 2018 (age 83)
Flowers & Gifts
Margaret Elizabeth “Polly” Parker, 83, of Winnsboro passed away on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Born on February 19, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Coleman Isaac “C.I.” and George Blair Parker.
Graveside services will be held at 2:00 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Pearson Road, Blair, SC 29015 conducted by Reverend Richard Hodges. The family will receive friends after the service by the graveside.
Polly was preceded in death by her parents and by her only sibling, her sister Dorothy “Dot” Claytor. Survivors include nieces, Susan (Wayne) Smith, Elizabeth Gregg, Mary (Tommy) Reardon; nephew, William (Tammy) Claytor; as well as many adopted nieces and nephews in Florida; and her longtime business partner, friend, and companion, Betty Gutschlag.
She attended and graduated from Monticello High School in 1953, where she was a star basketball player and among the first student school bus drivers in South Carolina. In 19578, she graduated from the School of X-Ray Technology at Spartanburg General Hospital.
She led a varied and interesting life as an entrepreneur, restaurateur, and caterer. In Florida, she worked as a radiologic technologist and then owned her own X-Ray supply company before returning to her native Fairfield County in 1974 to open The Country Store in Monticello. There she used the monetary transactions to teach local children about math and the food bar to teach local mothers about consumer and nutritional management. Eventually she opened a mobile diner, out of which she catered to the Jenkinsville area and to the employees at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant. In 1983 she opened The News and Herald Tavern in Winnsboro, SC, which soon became the meeting place for local and Statewide industrial and political leaders. Possessing the great gift of storytelling, she charmed and delighted her customers with colorful and often hilarious stories while serving them outstanding and delicious meals. Still another venture was helping her friends start up the Lebanon Mart convenience store and The Lodge in the Lebanon community.
Polly never met a stranger. Her love of people always kept her busy in educational activities and civic circles. As a member of the Fairfield County School Board for two terms, she wanted children to get a good education and to develop good social skills and moral character. In 2017 she was inducted into the Fairfield County School Board Hall of Fame for her distinguished contribution and service to society. Her other numerous contributions included supporting the South Carolina Railroad Museum and serving as the president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce.
She was a force politically, socially, and economically wherever she went and wherever she lived. This world will be a much grayer and less exciting place without her smile, enthusiasm, wit, and unique sense of humor. No doubt, she made a difference in bettering the lives of many of the citizens of Fairfield County. She will be mightily missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests the memorials be made to Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 13615 Newberry Road, Blair, SC 29015, or to a charity of one’s choice.
Pope Funeral Home is assisting the Parker family.
Donations may be made to:
Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Fund 13615 Newberry Road, Blair SC 29015