Willodene R. Lumpkin
Willodene Rion Lumpkin of Columbia, South Carolina passed from this life on February 16, 2019 into the arms of Jesus Christ. Willodene was the widow of the late Alva M. Lumpkin, Jr. of Columbia. She is survived by two children, Mary Holbrook Lumpkin of Columbia, SC and Peyre Thomas Lumpkin (Andrea) of Columbia, SC. She was predeceased by a son, Alva M. Lumpkin, III. She is also survived by two sisters, Mary Berry Wittenberg of Hilton Head, SC and Irving Rion Alvey of Columbia, SC; and by three grandchildren: Peyre Thomas Lumpkin, Jr. of Charleston, SC, Matthew Moore Lumpkin of Columbia, SC and Caroline Hope Lumpkin of Pawleys Island, SC who all grew up calling her “Neena”.
She was born in Columbia, SC on August 13, 1920, the third child and first-born daughter of Alva Holbrook Rion and Willodene Elliott Rion. She attended Converse College in Spartanburg, SC and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon the return of Alva Lumpkin from World War II they settled and lived in Columbia. Willodene was active in the Palmetto Garden Club and The Assembly, both of which she served as President, The Colonial Dames of America, The Columbia Historical Society and other social, civic and philanthropic organizations. Along with many Columbia women she worked tirelessly to raise money to renovate and preserve the Robert Mills Home in Columbia as an historic landmark. She was an avid gardener and appreciated the beauty of nature as it found expression in plants and flowers everywhere. There were few plants native to South Carolina that she could not identify by name.
Referred to as “Willo” by her friends she will be remembered as a lifelong member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia where she served on the Altar Guild and as a frequent visitor to Still Hopes as a friend and bridge partner. She was especially fond of the mountains of Western North Carolina and loved to travel. She was fortunate to have been able to visit Europe several times during her last years.
Service arrangements are pending at this time and will be announced by Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel.
The family would like to thank the staff of Harborchase Assisted Living for their love and care during her last years and Heartstrings Hospice for their gentleness and support at the end of her life.