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Jan. 28

Rev. Alanson B. Houghton

A priest with a passion for philanthropy

The Rev. Alanson Bigelow Houghton, who left his family’s business, Corning Glass, to become an Episcopal minister, died Sunday at his home on Pawleys Creek. He was 85.

He was born Aug. 3, 1930, in Corning, N.Y., to the late Amory Houghton and Laura Richardson Houghton. He earned a master of business administration degree from Harvard University and a master of divinity from General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church.

In his autobiography, “Houses of Glass, A Personal Pilgrimage,” Houghton described a childhood where he was expelled from two boarding schools. “I was conceived by decent parents, brought up in a decent way in a decent household, indoctrinated with basic common decency and taught that decency, not larceny, was the warp and woof of life. But somewhere within me lurked enough devil to stretch those rules of decent behavior and have a ball in the process.”

He said he learned a lot through the school of “hark knocks” and became a crass, cavalier and clever young man until his father dropped him off at the Marine Corps recruiting station in Boston and encouraged him to enlist.

“The Corps instilled in me a sense of personal pride and national service,” Houghton wrote. “They taught me, bludgeoned me, coerced me, into a new sense of responsibility and obligation — to my country, to my fellow Marines and to myself. Marines are taught to obey, to stand up and speak up and salute, and to fight hard for what is right. But they are also instilled with a sense that they and what they represent and what they do really matters, that national service is an honor, not just a call to arms.

“That was a new awakening for me. ‘Bad, bad Leroy Brown’ had finally slunk away. Private First Class Alanson B. Houghton USMC had taken his place.”

After the Marines, Houghton decided to skip college and go to work in the family business, Corning Glass. After completing a middle management program at Harvard Business School, he got into the MBA program and graduated and then changed course by becoming a “sometime student” in seminary. In two years he completed the work, passed his ordination exams and was ordained.

“Thus this prodigal son finally got smart and sensitive,” he wrote. “I finally embarked on the career I had been yearning to pursue ever since my early years at Corning. I was thrilled. My earthly father was pleased. And I’m convinced my heavenly Father also welcomed me home and put me to work.”

Alan was rector of the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan≠≠≠≠. He also served Church of the Epiphany (New York City), Christ Episcopal Church (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and St. Stephens Episcopal Church (Charleston) before he and his late wife, Billie, moved to Pawleys Island in 1983. Alan also had a passion for philanthropy, and he particularly enjoyed starting and supporting charitable programs in the communities in which he lived. “Giving and living are synonymous,” Alan said in a 1986 newspaper interview. Alan also loved to write. He was a published author who enjoyed writing cards, prayer books and letters to the editor.

He never stopped praying and giving to people around him, according to Keith, rector at Holy Cross-Faith Memorial. “He immediately welcomed me when I got here as an equal and fellow priest,” Keith said. “I knew that he always kept me in prayer. In his latter days, he relished the ability to not have any other responsibility except to pray for those entrusted to him, and I was very honored to be one of those.”

The Houghtons made Georgetown County a better place to live, said Amy Brennan, former director of Service Over Self and the YMCA who is now living in Charleston.

“I was holding SOS out of my house in the 1990s when I met Alan,” Brennan said. “He invested financially and emotionally to the point he and I became attached at the hip. That’s the unique thing: He wants to become personally involved in the things he invests in. He recognized the need for somebody to care for the homeless, and Friendship Place came along with Charlie Ball to run it.

“Alan was always right there, stride by stride, asking good questions and forcing you to be creative. It was the same with the YMCA, investing time and money because he wanted children to learn to swim. He was always checking on me to make sure I was doing well. All around, Alan Houghton is one of the kindest people I ever met.” The Georgetown County United Way presented its first “Lifetime Philanthropy Award” to the Houghtons in 2014. The Bible quote that framed the Houghtons’ philosophy was: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required.”

“Billie and I have found that in those years where we have given away more than we thought possible,” Alan wrote in his book, “everything else has fallen into place as well. We have never suffered because we’ve given away ‘too much,’ in fact, we’ve never felt better.

“I know that I have a lot more money than other people, but that really has nothing to do with it. I must share, not hoard, what I do have, with a smile and not a growl. I must remember that those who have the least often give away a lot more percentage-wise than those of us who have the most. I must remember that I need to look in my own mirror and then get on my knees and pull out my checkbook and put my money where my mouth is.”

He is survived by his siblings Elizabeth Weinberg, Amory Houghton Jr., and James Richardson Houghton; his children Alexander Stewart Houghton, Alanson Bigelow Houghton III, Hope Houghton Newell and John Carter Houghton; his stepchildren Blanche Carr Symons, Scott Carr Adams and E’Lane Carr Tipton; 19 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Billie Fisher Carr Houghton, his sister Laura Houghton Beer, and stepsons John Thomas Fisher Carr and Oscar C. Carr III, died before him.

In an afterword to his book, Houghton wrote: “I read somewhere that on a gravestone in Appalachia there is the following epitaph: ‘The dogs barked at him.’ I don’t know whether they barked from fear or joy, but at least they barked! I wouldn’t mind that on mine, but I think I’d rather have someone say, even if just passing: HE LOVED - HE CARED - HE SERVED - HE BELIEVED.”

A service will be held Saturday at Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Episcopal Church at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Wil Keith officiating. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation or a charity of your choice.

Ginny DeCastro

Retired from Wang Laboratories

Virginia Lee Hallet DeCastro of Murrells Inlet died Jan. 19 at NHC Healthcare in Garden City. She was 77.

She was born Dec. 10, 1938, in Nashua, N.H., the daughter of Edward and Verna Goodale Hallet. She worked for Wang Laboratories in Lowell, Mass. She lived in Lowell and Bourne, Mass., before retiring to Murrells Inlet.

Mrs. DeCastro, who was known as Ginny, had a strong faith and trust in God and was a member of First Congregational Church in Milford, N.H.

She was a life member of VFW Post 10420 in Murrells Inlet and served as an officer of VFW Post 5988 in Bourne. She was also a member of the American Legion Post 178 and Moose Lodge 2351 in Murrells Inlet.

She was also proud of her membership in the Order of Rainbow Girls in Milford and the Red Hat Society.

Compassionate by nature, she had a strong affinity and love for dogs and other animals and enjoyed time spent painting.

She is survived by her husband, Margarito “Freddy” DeCastro; a step-son, Carlos A. DeCastro and wife, Diane, and their son, Derek; step-daughters, Juliene F. Ramirez, Eilene Soo and Tina M. Kelley; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Susan M. Aiesi and husband, Gary; a nephew, Jason Aiesi; a niece, Jo-Ellen Aiesi; one grand-niece, Emerson Aiesi; and grand-nephew, Ian Aiesi.

In addition to her parents, her brother, Jack Hallet, died before her.

Services will be private.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1105 48th Ave. N., Suite 109, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.

Send condolences at burroughsfh.com.

John Stetter

Worked for Long Island Railroad

John Thomas Stetter of Murrells Inlet died Jan. 16 surrounded by his family. He was 73.

He was born Oct. 16, 1942, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of John T. and Sally Nodell Stetter. After his retirement from the Army, Mr. Stetter worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Long Island Railroad in New York.

He was an avid golfer, fisherman, race car fan and, most importantly, a family man. He loved having his grandchildren come visit in the summers and found enjoyment watching them ride the golf cart around the course next to their home.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Lorraine Plaia Stetter; his children, John T. Stetter Jr. of Murrells Inlet, Jacqueline “Jackie” Campo and Jennifer Stetter, both of Long Island, N.Y.

A Memorial Mass was celebrated Jan. 21 at St. Michael Catholic Church.

Condolances may be sent at burroughsfh.com.


Jan. 21

Belle Briggs

Kind deeds touched many lives

Linnie “Belle” Weaver Briggs of Myrtle Beach died Jan. 14 at Tidelands Community Hospice House with her husband by her side. She was 82.

She was born Feb. 2, 1933, in Lake City, the daughter of Otto and Earline Powell Weaver.

Even though she worked for over 50 years, she took every opportunity to celebrate life. She enjoyed spending many hours on the beaches along the Grand Strand. She was an avid tennis player and played on numerous tennis teams along the coast. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, nature, bird watching and Tai Chi. She was adventurous and she loved to dance, especially the shag.

During the last years of her life she was spiritually nurtured by the staff and congregation at the Church of the Resurrection, but she remained a member of All Saints Church.

Her life was anchored by her strong and steadfast faith, which gave her strength during difficult and trying times, her family said. She found joy in sharing her love of life and her faith by witnessing to others. One of her favorite songs was “You Raise Me Up.” She found ways to raise up people when they needed it most by listening carefully and with many kind deeds.

She had charisma and could charm a room full of strangers with her smile and the sparkle in her eyes, her family said.

She is survived by her husband of 10 years, Mike Briggs; a sister, Lillie Mae B. Wigger; two brothers, Keith and Ken Weaver; her children and step-children, Linda Cole Fitch (Bill) of Lake City, Helen Cole Andrews (Mike) of Pawleys Island, Rivers Murray Cole (Janet) of Charleston, Arona Cole Downs (Carl) of Myrtle Beach, Mark Briggs (Jayne) of Frederick, Md.; Nathan Briggs (Danielle) of Kingston, N.C.; Peter Briggs (Maria) of Myrtle Beach and David Briggs (Natalie) of Columbia, Ohio; her grandchildren, Renee Smith, Tara Fitch, Tommy and Eric Andrews, Tiffani Szemly, April Rigsbee and Robb Downs, Donovan, McKenna, Sebastian and Landon Briggs; and her great grandchildren, Vivian Smith, Brett and Adrien Fitch, Aaron Obser, J.C. and McKenna Szemly, Kaden, Isabelle and Jack Rigsbee, and Robbie and Brayden Downs.

Her oldest brother, Jerry Weaver, her mother-in-law, Thelma Briggs, and another grandson, Mark Fitch, died before her.

A celebration of her life was held Tuesday at the Church of the Resurrection.

Memorials may be made to the Church of the Resurrection, P.O. Box 14548, Surfside Beach, SC 29587, or All Saints Church, 3560 Kings River Rd., Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

Condolences may be sent at burroughsfh.com.

Ruth Horner

Vintner became church secretary

Ruth Blank Horner of North Litchfield died Jan. 13 in Wilmington, N.C. She was 89.

She was born Nov. 20, 1926, in Chicago, but considered Fredonia, N.Y., her hometown. She was the daughter of Warren and Abbie Blodgett. She graduated from Fredonia High School in 1943 and Allegheny College in 1946. She took graduate courses at the State University of New York to obtain her teaching credentials, enabling her to teach elementary school for many years at Brocton Central School in western New York.

Ruth and her first husband, the late William Blank, owned and operated grape vineyards in Fredonia. Upon retirement, Ruth and Bill moved to the Pawleys Island area, where Ruth worked as the manager of Christmas at Pawleys in the Hammock Shops for several years, and then as the first secretary of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church until her husband’s illness.

In June, 1996, Ruth married George C. Horner and they resided in Pawleys Island.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Rebecca Blank of Pawleys Island and Bonnie Liposchak (Paul) of Wilmington; a son, William Blank (Nancy) of Wilmington; three stepdaughters: Adrienne Leary of Amherst, N.Y., Allison Harte (John) of Jersey in the Channel Islands, UK, Mary Costanzo (Peter) of Williamsville, N.Y.; three grandchildren, three step grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild.

In addition to her first husband, her only brother, Robert Blodgett, died before her.

A memorial service will held Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. A luncheon to celebrate her life will be held Feb. 13 at the White Inn in Fredonia. A private burial will be held at the town of Pomfret, Webster Road Cemetery in New York.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Salvation Army of Georgetown, Midway Fire and Rescue or St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Condolences may be sent at andrewsmortuary.com.


Jan. 14

Dr. B. Madison Currin

First dean of Charleston cathedral

The Rev. Canon Beverly Madison Currin, rector emeritus of Christ Episcopal Church in Pensacola, Fla., and a longtime visitor to Pawleys Island, died Jan 7.

A native of Burlington, N.C., he earned a bachelor’s degree from Elon College, a master’s in divinity from Duke University Divinty School and a master’s in theology and a Ph.D from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond.

Dr. Currin served as an assistant at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va., where he was ordained to the priesthood by the Bishop of Virginia in 1959. From 1961 to 1966, he was rector and then dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston. Under his direction, the church became the Cathedral of the Diocese of South Carolina in 1963. In January 2003, the Bishop of South Carolina made him an honorary canon of the cathedral in recognition of his being the first dean.

Dr. Currin was rector of Christ Church from 1966 until November 2002. He was designated rector emeritus when he retired. Under his leadership Christ Church grew to be the largest Episcopal Church in the Diocese and one of the largest in the nation. During his tenure as rector, four buildings were constructed and two additional buildings were renovated. In 1998, a gymnasium and classroom building were constructed and named the Currin Center.

Dr. Currin was one of the founding fathers of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, which had its primary convention at Christ Church in 1971. He has served two consecutive terms as president of the standing committee of the diocese as well as a member of the finance committee, commission on ministry and commission on planned giving. He was elected a deputy to four general conventions of the Episcopal Church.

In addition, he has served as a member of the bishop’s Council of Advice, clergy chairman of Venture in Mission, historiographer of the diocese, the bishop’s search committee and over the years served on almost all of the commissions of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

He has preached in some of the leading churches in the Episcopal Church, conducted teaching missions and led retreats and conferences. He was a fellow of the College of Preachers of the Washington National Cathedral. He was the author of eight books, four of which were histories of Pensacola and Christ Church.

For many years, Dr. Currin was involved in community affairs including development and historic preservation. He was primarily responsible for the restoration of Old Christ Church on Seville Square. The governor appointed him to the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board in 1997 and 2002. He also served as trustee of Historic Pensacola Inc., when the preservation board was placed under the University of West Florida rather than the Department of State.

Dr. Currin’s favorite prayer was by John Henry Newman: “O, Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.”

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Eleanor McCall Lachicotte Currin, formerly of Pawleys Island and Charleston; and three sons, Madison Currin III and his wife Starr and their daughter and son-in-law Michelle and James Davis of Houston, Texas; David Lachicotte Currin and his wife Michelle and their two daughters Morgan Lachicotte and Madeline Beverly-Ann of Pace, Fla.; and Saint Julian McCall Currin and his wife Kelly and their two daughters Heidi Elizabeth and Bridget McCall of St. Augustine, Fla.

The Burial Office was read and the Eucharist celebrated at Christ Church on Tuesday.

Memorials may be made to the Matt Currin Lectures Fund, Christ Episcopal Church, 18 West Wright St., Pensacola, FL 32501.

Peggy A.D. Tallevast

Retired from International Paper

Peggy Ann Daniel Tallevast of Hagley Estates, died Monday at Waccamaw Community Hospital. She was 75.

She was born Dec. 18, 1940, in Lynchburg, Va., a daughter of Henry Alex Daniel and Mary Margaret Miller Daniel. She was a former employee of International Paper Co.

She was married for 43 years to the late Cecil J. “Tally” Tallevast Jr., a retired Army lieutenant colonel who worked as an engineer and became the building inspector for the town of Pawleys Island. They lived in the Pawleys Island area for many years.

She is survived by two daughters, Renee Tallevast of Edgewater, Fla., and Colette McMurray (Charles) of Sneads Ferry, N.C.; a son-in-law, Steve M. Frazier of Pinehurst, N.C.; a grandson, Sean Alexander Frazier of Greensboro, N.C.; two granddaughters, Kelly Meidl (John) of Raleigh, N.C., and Becky Fields (Corey) of Pawleys Island; two great-grandchildren, Cecilia Meidl and Lyla Fields; a sister, Bonnie D. Bailey of Forest, Va.; two nephews, Michael Wayne Bailey of Cummings, Ga., and Brian Scott Bailey (Carrie); and great nieces, Julia, Peyton, Samantha and Annabelle Bailey.

There is a guest book at mayerfuneralhome.com. Arrangements will be announced by Mayer Funeral Home.


Jan. 7

David B. Tomlinson

Member of Pawleys Island Presbyterian

David Babb Tomlinson of Murrells Inlet died Dec. 29 at Tidelands Community Hospice. He was 66.

He grew up in Olanta, the son of Don H. and Elinor Babb Tomlinson. Known as Wheatie, Mr. Tomlinson graduated from Francis Marion University and served in the Army. He was a member of Pawleys Island Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his wife, Kimmie Eskridge Tomlinson; his daughter, Ginger (Ted) Frick; his son, Will (Amy) Fields; his sister, Donna (Roy) Cromer; a brother-in-law, Ben Fitch; and his grandchildren, Callie and Jake Moss, Donovan Fields, Austin, Lauren and Carly Frick.

Another sister, Beth Tomlinson Fitch, died before him.

A celebration of his life was held Saturday at Sunnyside Plantation by the Rev. Harold P. Lewis.

Memorials may be made to Pawleys Island Presbyterian Church Youth Group, 9967 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC 29585 or Belin Memorial United Methodist Church Youth Group, 4183 Business 17, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Condolences may be made at burroughsfh.com.

Yvonne T. Waddell

Retired middle school teacher

Yvonne T. Waddell of Pawleys Island died Dec. 31.

She was the daughter of Homer and Edna Coker Taylor of Woodruff. She earned her undergraduate degree from Erskine College and a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honors society.

She taught in the South Carolina schools for 34 years with 20 of those at J.B. Beck Middle and Georgetown Middle. She served as academic coach for many years and was proud of her teams winning 10 district titles.

After retiring, Mrs. Waddell enjoyed teaching at the Salvation Army after-school program.

She is survived by her daughter, Melinda Waddell of Charleston, and her son, Scott Waddell (Tammy) of Columbia.

Memorials may be made to the Lowcountry Food Bank and the Salvation Army after-school program.

Memorial services were Sunday at Mayer Funeral Home.

There is a guest book at mayerfuneralhome.com.


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