Obituaries – Coastal Observer


Obituaries Archive

Anne Burgin, 78, former hospital administrator

April 11, 2019

Anne Moore Hardesty Burgin, a former Pawleys Island resident, died Saturday at Scotia Village in Laurinburg, N.C. She was 78  

She was born July 30, 1940, in Front Royal, Va., the daughter of Lavalette and Richard Hardesty. She graduated from James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg, Va., attended Mary Washington College and graduated from Hamlet Hospital School of Nursing.  In 1959, she married Howard C. Burgin Jr. of Delta, Ohio. They both taught school in McComb, Ohio, before moving to Oklahoma and then to Rockingham, N.C. Mrs. Burgin served as assistant administrator at Richmond Memorial Hospital.

The couple retired to Pawleys Island in 1994.  Mrs. Burgin enjoyed playing tennis, cooking, entertaining and many activities at Pawleys Island Presbyterian Church, where she served as an elder. She was also a member of the Arthur Manigault Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

In 2016, the Burgins moved to Scotia Village where she was active at Faith Presbyterian Church.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Richard Howard Burgin (Ruth) of Pinehurst, N.C.; a daughter, Amy Burgin Rounds (Carson) of Charlotte; six grandchildren, Emily Baumhoer of Bluffton, Harris Burgin of Chapel Hill, N.C., J. Robertson of Johns Island, Chris Rounds of Atlanta, Zachary Rounds of Raleigh, N.C., and Libby Rounds of Brooklyn, N.Y.; two great-grandchildren, Harrison Huffman and Hadley Anne Huffman both of Bluffton; and a sister, Sandra Hardesty Stein of Fredericksburg.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Faith Presbyterian Church in Laurinburg by the Rev. Jeff Mercer.  The family will receive friends afterward in the church fellowship hall.                                            

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church, 2220 Elm Ave., Laurinburg, NC 28352 or Scotland Regional Hospice, P.O. Box 1033, Laurinburg, NC 28353.

Condolences may be sent at

Joy P. Hitchcock, 46, speech therapist at rehab center

April 11, 2019

Joy Parsons Hitchcock of Pawleys Island died April 6 at home surrounded by her family and close friends. She was 46. She fought a courageous battle against melanoma for nearly five years, the family said.

She was born Feb. 3, 1973, in Georgetown, a daughter of Sylvia Ann Hearl Parsons and the late Louis Payton Parsons.   She graduated from Georgetown High School, earned a bachelor’s degree at the College of Charleston, and a degree in rehabilitation from the Medical University of South Carolina.  

Mrs. Hitchcock was a speech therapist at Tidelands Health and the Next Step Rehabilitation Center, where she was greatly loved and respected by her co-workers and her patients.  She had a compassionate way about her, and a gracious personal touch with all of the people for whom she cared.

She loved spending time with family and friends, most especially with her daughter Alice and her dog Lola.  She was always so happy when she was at the beach or on the water.  

Her sense of humor was unmatched, her laughter sincere and contagious, and she had a sparkling personality complemented by her beautiful eyes and unforgettable smile.  She was remembered as a kind woman full of grace, love, strength  and spirituality.  

She was a member of the Georgetown Presbyterian Church, as were and are many generations of her extensive family.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by  her husband, Daniel Russ Hitchcock, her daughter, Alice Louise Clark of Pawleys Island; her twin brother, Payton Parsons (Wendy) of Pawleys Island; a sister, Ellen P. Thames (Tim) of Columbia; nieces Anna and Ashley and nephews L.P. and Mac; many cousins, aunts and uncles, a multitude of friends, and her precious dog Lola.

In addition to her father, her grandparents, Richard and Virginia Hearl and  Clifford and Lucille Parsons, died before her. 

A memorial service will be held today at 11 a.m. at Georgetown Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Dr. Cory Ingold and Marcy and Bruce Carl, close family friends.  A reception will follow in the church Fellowship Hall. 

There is a guest book at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Melanoma Research Foundation (; Georgetown Presbyterian Church Youth Ministry, 558 Black River Rd., Georgetown, SC 29440; or to the charity of your choice.

Rosalie R. Oetzel, 95

April 11, 2019

Rosalie R. Oetzel of Pawleys Island died April 4. She was 95.

She was born Jan. 7, 1924, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Sam and Mary Faber.  She grew up and spent most of her life in the Philadelphia area until moving to the Georgetown/Pawleys Island area in 1988.  Mrs. Oetzel was a member of Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church.

Rosalie was preceded in death by her husband, John; sister, Anne Cepluch and brother, Francis Faber.  

She is survived by her sons, John T. Oetzel (Patricia) and Terence Oetzel (Susan); her grandchildren, John Oetzel (Keri), Matthew Oetzel (Irene), Katie Roberson (Jim), Amy Ryan (Mike) and Beth Burner (Craig); her great-grandchildren, Jamie Oetzel (Arielle), Nichole Gallegos, William Gallegos, Spencer Oetzel, Ethan Oetzel, Payton Burner and Madison Ryan; and her great-great grandchildren, Elijah Oetzel and Abigail Oetzel.

Her family thanks the staff at Home Instead Senior Care and the Lakes at Litchfield for the care and compassion they provided.

A funeral Mass will be held April 24 at 10 a.m. at Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church. Interment will be in the columbarium. A one-hour visitation period will precede the Mass for those who wish to pay their last respects at that time.  

The services will be followed by a memorial gathering in the Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the church, 1633 Waverly Rd., Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

There is a guest book  at

Leona M. Zawislak, 85, helped plan Peach Festival

April 2, 2019

Leona M. Zawislak of Pawleys Island died March 21 at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. She was 85. 

She was born May 27, 1933, in Lafferty, Ohio, the daughter of Emil Hupcik and Helen Marcus Hupcik.

Known as Lee, she was remembered as a faithful woman with a heart of gold. She was an active parishioner at St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist Church, where she loved to plan and coordinate the annual Peach Festival. She was very active in women’s support groups in Philadelphia and Pawleys Island. Above all else, she loved her family.

She is survived by her sons, Eugene Francis Zawislak (Diane) of Pawleys Island, Gregory Joseph Zawislak (Donna) of Murrells Inlet and Christopher John Zawislak (Lisa) of Murrells Inlet; her grandchildren, Jason Zawislak, Jennifer DeDore, John Zawislak, Gregory Zawislak Jr., Justin Zawislak and Jaclyn Zawislak; seven great-grandchildren; her sisters, Emily Elwell and Marianne Taylert; as well as an extended family.

A celebration of her life will be held April 13 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Compassion International (

There is a guest book at

Andy Quattlebaum, 22

April 2, 2019

Donald Anderson “Andy” Quattlebaum of Pawleys Island and Clemson, died March 27. He was 22.

He is survived by his parents, Don and Hayden Quattlebaum; a brother, Paul; a sister, Rett; and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and his beloved dog Oak.

A private family service will be held and a memorial gathering will take place at a later date.

There is a guest book at

Memorials may be made to the Cotton Memorial Vet Clinic at St. Frances Animal Center, 125 N. Ridge St., Georgetown, SC 29440.

Nell Cribb, 88, former school secretary became city’s storyteller

April 2, 2019

Miss Nell Cribb, who told the stories of Georgetown with the local knowledge of a native and the accuracy of a historian, died March 26 at her home on Front Street surrounded by her family. She was 88.

She started Miss Nell’s Walking Tours in 1988. After retiring after 29 years as secretary of the former Winyah High School, she wanted to work outdoors, she recalled in a 2016 interview. 

She had been a student of history all her life. “When friends were going to movies, Daddy was taking us around to see something,” she said. “I realize the value of that today.”

She did some research, put her talking points on index cards and walked the route to get her timing down. She wasn’t sure how the tours would fare, but they grew steadily over the years. And people interested in the city’s history would track her down for information.

Mrs. Cribb was careful walking the boundary between fact and legend. “You hear all kinds of things,” she said. “I’m careful to say this had been handed down.”

She was a co-author of “A Walk Down Front Street,” a 2011 project of the Georgetown County Historical Society that detailed downtown buildings. She was the typist for another historical society project, “Tombstone Inscriptions of Georgetown County.” She compiled a history of her childhood church, Sampit United Methodist, for its 150th anniversary. 

Nell Morris Cribb was born Jan. 12, 1931, one of 12 children of Edgar Cleveland Morris and Dosia Trisvan Anderson Morris. She graduated from Winyah High School in 1947 with extended educational courses through Coastal Carolina University. 

In addition to her work at Winyah High, she worked for several years at the school district finance office. During those years, she also did relief work at Georgetown Memorial Hospital. She was named by Gov. Carroll Campbell to the Commission on Women.

Mrs. Cribb chaired the committee that got the Winyah High named to the National Register of Historic Places. She also helped get state historical markers for Sampit United Methodist and Oak Grove United Methodist churches.

She received numerous awards for her contribution to local history and tourism. The city of Georgetown gave her the Indigo Award, its highest honor for service and leadership to improve the quality of life, in 1997. She received the Order of the Silver Crescent in 2016 from Gov. Nikki Haley. It is the state’s top honor for community service.

As a member of First Baptist Church, she organized the first Young Married Couple’s class and taught other Sunday school classes.

Although she was known for local history, Mrs. Cribb was also a collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia and her house became a museum, with the rooms organized by subject. People often left collectibles on her porch, knowing they would have a good home. She received the Coca-Cola centennial medallion from CEO Roberto Goizueta.

She is survived by two daughters, Cammie C. Steele of West Columbia and Vickie C. Tompkins of Georgetown; four grandsons, Sam Steele (Haley) of Indian Land, Ben Steele of Charlotte, Michael Steele (Darla) of Johnston and Daniel Steele (Lindsey) of Simpsonville; five great-grandchildren, Ava Steele, Beckett Steele, Mykah Steele, Jack Steele and Hank Steele; and a sister, Ann McDaniel of Highlands, N.C.

Another grandson, Bradley Tompkins, died before her, as did her brothers Rufus Morris, Clifton Morris, Dan Morris, Herbert Morris, Jack Morris and Francis Morris, and her sisters Lucille Milton, Marie McCormack and Ide Morris. 

A celebration of her life was held Saturday at First Baptist Church by the Rev. Dr. Ted Sherrill and Rev. Keith Wall. Burial was in the Sampit United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Sampit United Methodist Church, 3485 Saints Delight Rd., Georgetown, SC 29440 or First Baptist Church, 219 Cleland St, Georgetown, SC 29440.

There is a guest book at

C. Eugene Austin, 79, founded insulation company

April 2, 2019

Croson Eugene Austin of Willbrook Plantation, who started an insulation company in Charlotte, died March 23. He was 79.

Known as Gene, he was born April 29, 1939, in Charlotte, the son of Croson and Ruth Hanline Austin. He graduated from Central High School in 1957 and served in the National Guard. He married Nellie Kidd in 1958. They built a home in east Charlotte’s Marlwood Acres and raised two children before moving to Lake Norman in 1977. 

Mr. Austin loved the outdoors and had a deep passion for gardening, fishing and golf. At the peak of his golf game, he had a 5 handicap. He wasn’t one to sit still long, always on the move with the next project or adventure.

His career started at Charlotte Insulating, where he worked many years before starting his own business, Austin Insulating Co., in 1970. It is now known as Austin Co. 

He was remembered as a fair and generous man whose success in business was attributed to treating his employees as family. He often asked candidates for employment, “What comes first, your family or work?” If the answer was work, there would be doubt and further discussions about family. There were too many employees, suppliers and customers who became lifelong friends. 

He retired in 2000 when he and Nellie moved to Pawleys Island while maintaining a second residence in the Lake Norman area. 

He was a member of Pawleys Island Community Church and enjoyed Tuesday morning Bible study. 

In addition to his wife of 60 years, he is survived by his daughter, Donna Austin; his son, Daniel Austin (Jova Jamison); his granddaughters, Amy Long and Amber Scott (Tony); his great-grandchildren, Macey, Kylee and Tayden Scott; his sisters, Lavern McMillan and Barbara Winters; a practically adopted son, Matt Pope; and many nieces and nephews. 

A celebration of his life was held March 28 in Huntersville, N.C. Memorial service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Pawleys Island Community Church. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 10500 Beatties Ford Rd., Huntersville, NC 28078; Pawleys Island Community Church, 10304 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC 29585; or Unity Presbyterian Church, 8210 Unity Church Rd., Denver, NC 28037. Condolences may be sent at

Imogene Friedrich, 76

March 28, 2019

Imogene Friedrich of Pawleys Retreat died March 24 at her home with her family by her side. She was 76.

She was born July 13, 1942, in Caldwell County, N.C., a daughter of Clenard and Nada Ray Watson.  She was married to the late Hans Friedrich, who spent many years as an accountant in the film industry prior to retirement.  

Mrs. Friedrich was active at St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist and with Women of the Motion Picture Industry.

She is survived by three brothers, William Arewood Watson (Alice) of Lenoir, N.C., Alex Keith Watson of Gastonia, N.C., and Chiplon Grey Watson (De) of Gastonia; and many loving nieces and nephews.

Two other brothers, Charlie Lunis Watson and Coaston Hartwell Watson, died before her.

Funeral services will be held March 29 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s by the Rev. Scott Efird.

Memorials may be made to Embrace Hospice, 11943 Grandhaven Dr,, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576.

There is a guest book at

Daniel Roy, 29, veteran ‘made for the fire service’

March 28, 2019

When Daniel Roy decided to move from Gwinnett County, Ga., to Pawleys Island, his mom, Sue, was worried that he didn’t have any family or friends here.

Roy became part of the Midway Fire and Rescue family, who gathered at Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church on Saturday to say goodbye to their fallen brother. Also on hand were Roy’s classmates from paramedic school and firefighters from other departments in the state.

“It wasn’t until all this went down that [Sue] realized how big Daniel’s family was,” said Midway Battalion Chief Jeff Pifer, who was Roy’s supervisor. “It’s a brotherhood. I think she was overwhelmed by the support of the brotherhood family.”

Roy, 29, was involved in a motorcycle accident on March 17 on Bypass 17 in Myrtle Beach. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered significant head injuries. He died on Friday afternoon.

“He fought strong and hard,” Midway Fire Chief Doug Eggiman said. “You hope for a miracle and pray for a miracle. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out the way everybody hoped and prayed for.”

Pifer said Roy was full of energy and he never had to disciple or redirect him.

“If he was running calls all night there was never a complaint,” Pifer said. “If he was finishing a shift and I told him he had to work overtime, he was OK.”

“He didn’t like sitting around [and] he was self-motivated for sure.” said Midway Lt. Howard Lutz, who worked with Roy on C shift. “When we went to fires or critical calls, he always did his job.”

When Roy got his motorcycle last year he showed up for a shift at Station 83 inside DeBordieu Colony. The guard at the gate told him he couldn’t ride a motorcycle inside the development and made Roy park it near the guard shack. He then gave Roy a ride to the fire station.

“He learned a lesson that day, I suppose,” Lutz said.

What Lutz remembers most about Roy was that he liked to have fun. Roy loved eating Capt. Crunch cereal; baking, not broiling, pierogies; and his hedgehog named Willow. Lutz said rumor has it Willow paid a clandestine visit to Roy in the hospital.

Roy was on schedule to graduate from paramedic school in May. Pifer said Roy looked at becoming a paramedic as a way to be better at his job. 

“He fit the fire service,” Pifer said. “He had a direction, he knew what he wanted to do.”

Roy was a native of McDonough, Ga., and an Air Force veteran. He graduated from culinary school and worked as a chef before joining the Henry County Fire Department in Georgia. Two years ago he was hired at Midway.

“He was a fine young man, nice and polite,” Eggiman said. 

Pifer said a lot of firefighting knowledge comes from hands-on learning and that’s what worked best for Roy.

“He was made for the fire service,” Pifer said. “He was high energy. He needed something to do.”

“You could tell he liked what he did and he was in it for the right reason,” Egiman said.

Pifer said Roy’s parents, Sue and Mark, will remain part of the Midway family. “If they’re ever in this area, they can make one phone call and they’ll have family around them,” he added.

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help Roy’s family with medical and other expenses. Search for the “Fighting for Roy” page.

Jacob B. Elliott, 30, worked as financial advisor

March 21, 2019

Jacob Brandon Elliott of Murrells Inlet died Feb. 26 at his home along with his beloved dog Bubba. He was 30. 

He was born March 8, 1988. Jacob was adopted on July 28, 1988, by William and Donna Ellliott. It was the couple’s ninth wedding anniversary. He attended Stafford High School in Fredericksburg, Va., and earned an associate’s degree from the Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach.  He worked at golf course resorts in North Myrtle Beach and Scottsdale, Ariz.  He then worked for East Coast Honda in Myrtle Beach for five years as a salesman and business manager.  

In 2017, Mr. Elliott embarked on a new career as a financial advisor for Edward Jones.

He was remembered for his compassion, generosity, hard-work and loving commitment to family and friends.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his grandmother Nettie C. Merritt; his grandfather, W. Edward Elliott; his uncle, Travis Merritt (Patty); and numerous cousins.

A funeral service was held at Warsaw Baptist Church Cemetery in Warsaw, Va.  Pall bearers were Shawn Huskins, Brandon Huskins and Terry Reynolds of Murrells Inlet; Adam Packett of Warsaw; and Daniel Wilson and Travis Merritt of Fredericksburg, Va.  

A memorial service will be held March 23 at 4 p.m. at Pawleys Island Community Church.  His family will receive friends afterward at the church. The celebration of his life will continue at  6 p.m. at the Hot Fish Club.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Huntington Beach State Park, 16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576.  Specify that the donation is in memory of Jacob Elliott and Bubba.

There is a guest book at



Georgetown County Tourism Management Commission: Oct. 17, 3:30 p.m., Chamber of Commerce office, Litchfield.

Georgetown County Planning Commission: Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m., County Council chambers.

Waccamaw Neck Council of POAs: Annual meeting includes updates on land planning. Oct. 19, 9 a.m., Waccamaw Library.

Georgetown County Republican Club: Candidates for sheriff will speak. Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Waccamaw Library.

Georgetown County Council: Oct. 22, 5:30 p.m., council chambers.

Georgetown County Board of Education: Oct. 22, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center.

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