Cover photo for William J. Colvin's Obituary
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1917 William 2014

William J. Colvin

October 1, 1917 — March 23, 2014

HOLLY HILL - William Jerome Colvin, Jr. passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, March 23, 2014 after a long illness. Many of his family members were with him. He was the son of the late William Jerome and Lillian Sipple Colvin. Mr. Colvin was born October 1, 1917 in Badham, SC. As a member of the greatest generation, his life demonstrated his dedication and devotion to his God, his family, his community and his country. At the age of ten he moved to Holly Hill, SC, which was his home for 86 years. Bill attended Wofford College, graduating in1938 with degrees in mathematics and economics. After graduation he entered his family's business, Holly Hill Lumber Company, where he worked until World War II. Captain Colvin served in the 25th Infantry Division as they fought across Guadalcanal, New Georgia, and Luzon in the Philippines. He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service and was the recipient of 2 Purple Hearts with Oak leaf cluster. In 1946 he rejoined his father at Holly Hill Lumber Company. He served as Vice-President until the company merged with Georgia Pacific Corporation in 1981. During his years in the lumber industry his company was engaged in tree farming and the manufacture of lumber, plywood and fiberboard. Bill was instrumental in the inception of Santee Portland Cement, where he was President until the company was purchased by Dundee Cement Corporation. He was dedicated to the Holly Hill United Methodist Church, having served in numerous capacities including Chairman of the Administrative Board, Sunday school teacher, and delegate to the annual conference. Also, Bill served for 12 years on the Board of Trustees of Columbia College, the last four as Chairman. In 1980 he was awarded the Columbia College Medallion in recognition of his exceptional service to the college, his church and community. He served on the town council of Holly Hill, was active in the Lions Club for 35 years, having served as President. For 20 years Bill was a trustee of the local school district. He was predeceased by his first wife of 31 years, Elise Allen of Allendale in 1977. To that union were born one son, William Jerome Colvin, III (Rosemary Whitehead) and three daughters, Ann Payne (William), Kay Lillian Colvin, and Becky Colvin Barrett Jackson. In 1980 he met and married Betty Calhoun Griffin of San Diego, California and Dothan, Alabama. Bill enjoyed sharing the story of how they met on an airplane in San Diego and without exchanging names, met again 5 weeks later in baggage claim in San Diego. They felt like soul mates, were married on March 1,1980, and enjoyed their marriage of thirty-four years. Bill's loving influence extended to his five stepchildren, Steven Griffin, Linda Griffin Holmes (deceased), Scott Griffin, Kristie Griffin Kirkpatrick (Steve) and Spencer Griffin (Melody). Grandchildren include Ashley Hobbs (Allie), Tyler Hobbs (Regan), Elisa Hobbs, Lauren Colvin Zwitt (Matt), William Jerome Colvin, IV (Diana), John Ryan Colvin, Katherine Colvin Ramos, Caroline Colvin Ramos, William Jordan Colvin Ramos, William Christian Barrett Jackson, Lisse Barrett Jackson, and John Taylor Jackson. Step-grandchildren include Natalie Griffin Bodie (David), Travis and Tyler Woody, Nicholas Griffin, Skyler and Kyle Kirkpatrick, Kennedy and Connor Griffin. He is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren. His love, generosity, and kindness left a lasting legacy. Visitation will be between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 at Avinger Funeral Home at 2274 Eutaw Road in Holly Hill. The funeral service will be at the Holly Hill United Methodist Church at 1048 Peake Street at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 28. A graveside service will immediately follow at the Holly Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Holly Hill United Methodist Church, P.O Box 398, Holly Hill, SC 29059.
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