Billie Jean <I>Martin</I> Sprawls

Billie Jean Martin Sprawls

Greenville, Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
Death 20 Dec 2003 (aged 65)
Williston, Barnwell County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Williston, Barnwell County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 118364037 View Source
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Billie Jean Martin was born in Greenville, SC, a daughter of Macie Love Martin and William Benton Martin. Her three sisters are Janice Wakefield and her husband, Roland, of Williston, Miriam Mills and her husband, Gene, of Columbia, and Donna Farr and her husband, Bill, of Augusta She was a 1956 graduate of Williston-Elko High School and attended the S.C. Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. She married Dick Sprawls in 1959 and lived in Williston until her death in 2003.
She was a member of Williston First Baptist Church for 52 years, during which time she worked in Sunday School, Training Union, and as a member of the choir.
She retired from Williston School District in 2000 after twenty-four years of service as a teacher’s aide. She was a member of the Williston Town Council for 21 years and was serving her seventeenth year as Mayor Pro-tem, having been the first woman elected to this position in Williston.
Billie Jean realized early in life the need for volunteers to do community service and dedicated her life to helping others. In June of 2002, the S.C. General Assembly passed a Concurrent Resolution "To commend Mrs. Billie Jean Sprawls for a lifetime of outstanding, unparalleled public service impacting and enriching the lives of countless numbers of her fellow South Carolinians and to express the deep appreciation of the members of the South Carolina General Assembly for her many years of extraordinary contributions to the state of South Carolina."
Her 45 years of community services included the S.C. Eye Bank Board of Directors, Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce, Region 3 Board of Directors, S.C. National Heritage Corridor, USC Salkehatchie Leadership Advisory Board, Mayor Pro-tem of Williston, "Relay for Life" of Barnwell County, President of the Magnolia Garden Club, President of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit # 75, Community Service Chairman, Williston Lions Club, serving two terms as president (the first woman to hold this position), Zone Chairman of District 32B, "Campaign for Sight First" Chairman for Zone 32B, Volunteer tutor for "Success by Six", Former Girl Scout Leader, Assisted with Boy Scout Troop # 65, Barnwell County Arts Council, Board of Directors of S.C. Lions, Barnwell County American Cancer Society Board of Directors, President of Barnwell County Business and Professional Women's Club, President of Barnwell County Beautification Committee, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Barnwell County Developmental Center, Barnwell County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Board of Directors, Chairman of the Williston Cystic Fibrosis, Barnwell County United Way, Coordinator of Williston Great Towns Project, Chairman and Co-Chairman of "Wonderful Williston Weekend," Chairman of the Health Fair Medical Search Committee, Founder of the Williston Museum, Department of Aging Volunteer, Barnwell County Community Improvement Committee, S.C. Leukemia Society, and the Museum and Steering Committee for Discovery Center.
She received many awards for her accomplishments, including Lion of the Year, District 32B 2001-2002, Lion of the Year Williston Club 1994 and 2002, Red Cross Volunteer of the Year 2002, American Cancer Society Volunteer of the Year 2002, Barnwell County Women of the Year 2002, S.C. American Legion Auxiliary Unit # 75 Member of the Year 2001, American Legion Auxiliary National Community Service Award in San Antonio, TX 2001, Top Waiter Award, Leukemia Society, 1993, Who's Who in the South 1991-1992, Who's Who in the Southwest 1991-1992, Nominated for Woman of Achievement 1991, Clemson's Outstanding Citizen of Barnwell County- Outstanding Contribution to Development, Best Friend Award for Outstanding Service to the Mentally Handicapped Citizens of Barnwell County, Citizen of the Year Award from the Town of Williston 1988, Woman of Excellence for CSRA 1988, Barnwell County Woman of the Year 1985, Certificate of Appreciation, Red Cross, Certificate of Appreciation, S.C. National Heritage Corridor, Certificate of Appreciation, Strom Thurmond Monument Commission, S.C. General Assembly Concurrent Resolution, June 2002, Barnwell County Outstanding Older American, May 29, 2003, and South Carolina Outstanding Older American, November 20, 2003.
Governor Sanford presented the 2003 Order of the Palmetto Award to the family on her behalf recognizing her for outstanding service and achievements as a South Carolina citizen.
Billie Jean was an inspiration to many in her battle with cancer, which she fought with courage and dignity, ending on December 20, 2003.
She once stated that her life was full not because of what she got; it was full because she gave it away reaching out to others.
Contributor: Perry Sprawls (47383380) • [email protected]

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