Obituaries – Coastal Observer


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(03-22-2020 - 03-29-2020)

Jimmy McCants, 84, chaired town Planning Commission

March 26, 2020

“I can’t ever remember not being on Pawleys Island,” Jimmy McCants said.

Although his career took him from Georgetown County to Georgia, he returned to the island after he retired and threw himself into the civic life of the island.

“He’s always been here for us. He never says ‘no,’” his friend, the late Howard Ward, said when he gave Mr. McCants the award as Citizen of the Year from the Pawleys Island Civic Association in 2013.

He disappeared March 9 near the upper end of Winyah Bay. His body was recovered Saturday after an extensive search. He was 84.

Coy James McCants Jr. was born April 13, 1935, in Georgetown, the son of the Coy and Ruby McCants.  His father worked for International Paper and the family spent every summer on Pawleys Island before buying a house on the island’s north end.

Jimmy attended Winyah High School where he developed his football talent and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Georgia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and was a member of Kappa Alpha. 

He worked as a plant manager for Wick Manufacturing in Waycross, Ga., before returning to Pawleys Island and the family beach house.

Mr. McCants served as a trustee of the Pawleys Island Chapel and as the chairman of the town Planning Commission.

“I’ve just always been involved,” he said in a 2013 interview. “I want to see Pawleys Island stay like it was when I was growing up.”

He led the effort to raise and restore the Pawleys Island Chapel in 2018. He also served on the committee that selected the architect for a new Town Hall.

Mr. McCants was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish and be on the water. A beloved community member, he was well known for his daily walks on the island. 

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Georgetown and a member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. 

He is survived by his wife, Jacquelyn Vaughn McCants; two daughters, Alyne Kimberly McCants Conder of Pawleys Island and Ashley Jane McCants of Moultrie, Ga.; and his grandchildren, Emily Brooks Conder, John Walter Conder V (Madison), Mary Catherine Plymel and McCants Plymel.

His first wife, Nancy Jane Simpkins McCants, and his brother, Wyatt McCants, died before him.

In order to protect the health and well-being of the family, friends and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service will be scheduled for a future date. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, South Carolina Chapter, P.O. Box 3128, Spartanburg, SC 29304 (

His family said they were grateful for the efforts and support of the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, Midway Fire and Rescue, Georgetown County and Georgetown City Fire, the Georgetown County Technical Rescue Team, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the State Law Enforcement Division and the Coast Guard.

Elizabeth Wiley, 81, avid environmentalist

March 26, 2020

Elizabeth Hardin Wiley of Pawleys Island died Feb. 20 at her home surrounded by family.  She was 81.

She was born July 25, 1938, in Hillsboro, Ala., the daughter of Mary Horne and Lee Hardin.  She graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received her master’s degree in library science from Queens College.  

She shared her passion for literature with children as a media specialist in the Charlotte public schools before retiring to Pawleys Island in 1999.

Mrs. Wiley had a lifelong love for the natural world, was an avid birder, volunteered for the protection of sea turtles on Pawleys Island and actively supported environmental organizations.  

She is survived by her three children, Sarah Wiley, Mark Wiley and Joye Wiley; her granddaughter, Amelia Wiley Moreira; her sister, Mary Lee Roberson; and her son-in-law, Drew Colenbrander.

Memorials may be made to Audubon South Carolina at



Georgetown County Council: March 24, 5:30 p.m. Online at

No other local government meetings are scheduled at this time.

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