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Irma Kathleen Dunbar Myrick

May 4, 1933 April 16, 2020
Irma Kathleen Dunbar Myrick
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Obituary for Irma Kathleen Dunbar Myrick

BEAUFORT, SC – Irma Kathleen Dunbar Myrick, 86, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 16, 2020.Kathleen was born in Allendale, SC, on May 4, 1933, to a delighted William Patrick Dunbar and Sophie Schramm Dunbar and spent an idyllic youth near many beloved Dunbar relatives of the Martin-Millett community on the Savannah River. She, along with her best friend and younger sister Wilhelmina (Billie) had a goat cart, a pony named “Dice”, and participated in many impromptu parades in downtown Allendale with childhood friends, many of whom remained close friends for her entire life. The names are numerous, but the depth of affection would be difficult to overstate.Kathleen was married to William Edwin Myrick, Jr. (Buddy). The couple moved to Mobile, Alabama where Buddy served in the United States Air Force. Upon a return to Allendale, South Carolina in the 1950’s, Kathleen turned to the causes which meant the most to her for her entire career – education and public health. She received her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the University of South Carolina. Kathleen taught generations of students Physical Education, English and Civics at Barnwell and Allendale high schools, and at the University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie Regional Campus. Her students meant the world to her, and she loved to see them at any opportunity and learn of developments in their lives.On a lark turned great adventure, Kathleen established the Allendale Real Estate Agency with business partner and bon vivant Roberta J. Allen. Not much real estate was sold, but the persistence of purpose and laughter both ran high.Deep love for the people of Allendale County inspired Kathleen as a member of the First Baptist Church of Allendale, a charter member of the Allendale County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, a member of the Allendale “Great Town” Committee, and as an elected member of the Allendale County Board of Education. She served as an Executive Member of the Allendale Rural Health Initiative, helping to renovate the local hospital, and as a board member of the Allendale County Business Association. In 1980, Kathleen was a candidate for the South Carolina House of Representatives.In the 1980’s, Kathleen moved to Columbia to join the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control as a Health Education Consultant. As a grant writer and administrator, she was instrumental in effectuating the infant care seat program in South Carolina supervising project planning, budget development, and implementation of the Infant/Child Safety Seat Project. Kathleen served as the SCDHEC representative on the Governor’s Office Division of Volunteer Services Consortium, helped develop a Resource Manual and Trainer’s Guide used by all state agencies to manage volunteer training, and was instrumental in drafting and promoting key SC projects such as “Project Safe Riders”, “To Increase Seat Belt Use in a Small, Rural Community”, and “Never Shake a Baby Campaign”.In 1994, upon a move to cherished Lands End on St. Helena Island, Kathleen devoted her work to the Alzheimer’s Family Services (Beaufort Area Caregivers’ Support Group) serving as Vice President from 1996 to 1997, the President from 1998-1999.In semi-retirement from 2001-2006, Kathleen served as Director of the Allendale County Chamber of Commerce. She saw the “untapped talent” in the exceptional people of all races in a community she knew and loved her entire lifetime.Kathleen is survived by three of her four children, Jane Ashley Myrick McMillan, James Dunbar Myrick (Elizabeth Rhoad Myrick), and John Morrison Myrick (Sandra Aimar Myrick), and her daughter-in-law Linda Murphy Myrick. She was predeceased by her first-born son, William E. Myrick, III. Her grandchildren include William E. Myrick, IV (Gracyn Mix Myrick), Frances Dunbar Myrick, John Justin Reeves McMillan, James Lawrence McMillan (Erin Penington McMillan), James Dunbar Myrick, Jr., Sophie Joyner Myrick, Georgia Jaudon Myrick, Savannah Kate Graham and a step-grandchild Rebecca Gallagher Brandon (John Brandon). Kathleen also leaves behind her special friend Arthur Williams of Fairfax.A memorial service to celebrate the life of Kathleen will be held at a date to be determined.Special thanks go to the staff at The Retreat at Ladys Island and Tidewater Hospice, who treated her with kindness and respect during her final days. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Allendale Enterprise (Allendale-Enterprise.com), Alzheimer’s Family Services of Greater Beaufort, PBS/South Carolina Educational Television, or the United Way.Keith Smith Funeral Service, 128 Water Street, Allendale, SC. 29810 (803) 584- 2492

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