Obituaries – Coastal Observer


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(01-13-2022 - 01-20-2022)

Brian Shult, 74, served two terms as county auditor

January 18, 2022

Brian Douglas Shult, the former Georgetown County auditor, died Tuesday. He was 74.  

He was born April 11, 1947, in El Campo, Texas, the son of Milton and Rose Shult. They taught him the basics of life: trust and faith in Jesus Christ, hard work, to be nice and respectful and laugh at yourself.  He graduated from Texas Lutheran College with a degree in business administration.  He was a member of Sigma Lambda Chi fraternity.  

He spent two years in the Army, serving with the 23rd Support Group at Camp Humphreys, Korea, where he met his wife, Viki.  They were married in 1975.

At 26, Mr. Shult became president and CEO of Shult Implement Co., one of the largest farm machinery dealerships on the Texas East Coast.  He had multiple careers in several states including real estate broker, director of the Virginia Nature Conservancy, hotel management and president of a chimney business in Vermont.  He moved to Pawleys Island in 2009 and served for two terms as county auditor. He retired in June 2021.

Mr. Shult was a member of Pawleys Island Presbyterian Church, where he served on both the finance committee and the session.  He was vice chairman for the county Republican Party  and president of the S.C. Association of Auditors.

In addition to his wife of 47 years, he is survived by two children, Arla Burnley Newton and Andrew Brian Christian Shult; four grandsons, Cameron Burnley Schneider Shult, Christopher Burnley Newton, Graham Covington Schneider Shult and Jack Holderness Newton; and a brother, Milton Donald Shult Jr.

Funeral services will be held at Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. at Pawleys Island Presbyterian Church.  Burial will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church, 9967 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

Condolences may be sent at

Charlotte Troy, 84, started bed and breakfast for dogs

January 17, 2022

Charlotte Troy of Pawleys Island, owner of Benji’s Bed and Breakfast, died Monday. She was 84.

She was born Charlotte P. Gourlis in Woburn, Mass. She and her twin Charles were the youngest of seven children. She excelled in school and studied nursing at Beth Israel teaching hospital in Boston. She worked for several years as a registered nurse and married her first husband in 1962, having two sons together. 

In 1980, she both adopted her first dog – a dachshund puppy named Dudley – and began taking college classes at night, eventually earning a master’s degree in business management in 1985. Five years later, she married her second husband, Edward Troy of Charleston, Mass. They both loved to travel, and he was an avid golfer, which is how they first discovered the Myrtle Beach area. 

Mr. Troy succumbed to cancer in the early 2000s, and Charlotte moved full-time to Pawleys Island shortly thereafter. While enjoying walks on the beach with her two dogs, she met many vacationing families who missed their pets left back at home, which inspired her to start a “bed and breakfast” for dogs in the Pawleys Island area so that both people and pets could vacation together as a family. 

In 2003, Benji’s Bed and Breakfast opened, and Mrs. Troy had shown up for work there nearly every day since. 

She is survived by her two sons, their wives and five grandchildren. 

The family expressed their appreciation to the congregation of All Saints Church, where she actively celebrated her faith, and to the current and former employees of Benji’s who were there with her every day and were essential in helping realize a dream that brought a deep sense of purpose to her life.

Memorial Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at All Saints Church.

There is a guest book at

Weezie Ford, 94, music teacher directed choirs

January 17, 2022

Mary Louise Parrish Ford of Georgetown died Monday at home her home surrounded by family. She was 94.

Known as Weezie, she was born Sept. 6, 1927, in Georgetown, the daughter of Joel Phillips Parrish and Mary Louise Butt Parrish. She married her high school sweetheart, Francis Bell “Jeep” Ford, on June 1, 1946. They were married for 75 years until his death in September.

Mrs. Ford furthered her study of piano and her love of music while attending the School of Music at Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C. After college, she taught piano lessons and directed the adult and youth choirs at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. She later taught at McDonald Elementary School before landing a position as the elementary school music teacher in several Georgetown County schools, where she taught for many years.

She was an active and lifelong member of Duncan Memorial. She served on numerous committees and was a member of the Loula Ford Circle. She enjoyed serving her community and was the first chair of the Georgetown chapter of Keep America Beautiful, a member of Prince George Garden Club and a leader of Girl Scout Troop 202.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Louise Ford Stott (Charlie), and son, Francis Bell “Jeepy” Ford Jr. (Lawly); five grandchildren, Mary Louise Bahnson (Steve), Francis Bell Ford III (Mari), Wallace Pate Ford (Caroline), Stella Ford Dawson (Andrew) and Phillip Ford (fiancée Ashley);  six great-grandchildren, Rayna Bahnson Armitage, Stella Piper and Virginia Dawson, Burkley and Wallace Ford, and Finn Ford; her goddaughter, Bonnie Williams Dantzler, and many nieces and nephews. 

In addition to her husband, another  son, Joel Parrish Ford, and her older sisters, Sara Parrish Barnes and Alyce Parrish Flenniken, died before her.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church by the Rev. Ross Chellis and the Rev. Dr. Dora Gafford. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery.  The family will receive friends at the gravesite following the committal.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Music Fund or Bell Tower Fund at the church, 901 Highmarket St., Georgetown, SC 29440, the Tidelands Health Foundation’s Francis B. Ford Nursing and Allied Health Education Fund, P.O. Box 1269, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 or a charity of your choice.

There is a guest book at

Mary B. Sheppard, 90, enjoyed travel

January 16, 2022

Mary Belle Sheppard of Murrells Inlet died Sunday  Waccamaw Community Hospital. She was 90.

She was born in Parkersburg, W.Va., the daughter of Albert McNamara and Helen McNamara.  She was married for 67 years to the late Clair Eugene Sheppard.

Mrs. Sheppard was  member of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church

She enjoyed traveling with her husband, especially camping and cruises.  She was also a talented artist who was known for her decorative Fabergé-style eggs. 

She is survived by her sons, Stephen Sheppard, (Cheryl Ellefson) of Murrells Inlet and Greg Sheppard (Donna Briscoe) of DeLeon Springs, Fla.; her grandchildren, JC, Daniel and Rob; and six great-grandchildren. 

A Celebration of Life service will be held Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. at Belin, with interment following in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the S.C. Sea Turtle Care Center at 



Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to

Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Howard Auditorium, Hawkins Street, Georgetown. For details, go to

Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Virtual meetings.For details, go to

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