Here's a look at some of those we lost in 2012

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comDecember 29, 2012 

Those who died in 2012 who left a mark on the community include:

  • Gerhard Spieler, 92, of Beaufort, died June 14. The native German spent nearly four decades in Beaufort, researching and writing about historic people, places and events in the Lowcountry. He wrote a weekly column in The Beaufort Gazette from 1972 to 2007, and in 2008 the Beaufort County Historical Society published his book, "Beaufort, South Carolina: Pages from the Past."
  • Arnold C. "Coach" Mitchell Sr., 78, of Beaufort, died Nov. 26. He was the first basketball coach at Beaufort High School when the three local high schools merged for integration in 1970. He started at Robert Smalls High in 1958, coaching basketball, track, baseball and football. He retired in 1989 at Beaufort High, where the gym is named for him. He was Beaufort County's first recreation director.
  • Dr. Charles S. Aimar Sr., 87, of Beaufort, died June 7. He operated Aimar Pharmacy on Ribaut Road from 1951 to 2008. He helped found Beaufort Academy and revive the Republican Party in Beaufort County. He was a China Marine in World War II who earned a Purple Heart on Iwo Jima. He was a co-founder of the Heritage Society of Beaufort, and a city councilman who served on many municipal, church, civic and business boards. He had an abiding interest in history and was a lifelong sailor who loved to camp "down the river," going alone as recently as last year.
  • Jack Keener, 65, of Seabrook, died Oct. 22. He was a retired Clemson Extension Service county agent who started the Master Naturalist program in South Carolina, and taught it and the Master Gardener classes in Beaufort County for many years. He was a farmer, pilot, shag dancer and leader in many local and statewide organizations, serving as president of the Beaufort Rotary Club and assistant district governor. He was a charter member of the Exchange Club of Beaufort.
  • David Jennings "D.J." Lucas Jr., 78, of Beaufort, died June 26. He was Beaufort County sheriff from 1991 to 1995, serving with the department for 18 years after retiring as a Marine Corps major.
  • Clayton Ellis, 69, of St. Helena Island, died Aug. 6. He was the first full-time, paid fire chief of the Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District in 1970. He served in that position until retiring in 2005, overseeing construction of all five district stations. He also volunteered with Beaufort County EMS for more than 20 years.
  • Nathaniel "Shakie" Grant, 93, of Burton, died May 15. He was a civic leader; pillar of St. Paul Baptist Church, which named its fellowship hall for him; a farmer; a Mason; and 43-year civil service employee at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. He gave free rides to work, church, polling places and recreation to countless people over the years in the back of his pickup truck, which he lined with wooden benches. His family was named the Gullah Family of the Year in 2004.
  • LaSalle Vaughn of Port Royal, 88, died Sept. 16. He was a retired Marine gunnery sergeant who recently was among a group of Montford Point Marines honored with a Congressional Gold Medal. He was in the Montford Point Marine Association Hall of Fame. In retirement, he and his wife ran a preschool. He was the model who sat for the bust of Civil War hero Robert Smalls on the grounds of Tabernacle Baptist Church. He was known as a great cook, whose specialty was cinnamon rolls.
  • Craig Washington, 58, of Lady's Island, died May 1. In 1964, he was one of the first black children to integrate Beaufort County schools. He was student body president and a National Merit student at Beaufort High School. He was a jazz musician.
  • Nettie Carter Jenkins, 98, of Burton, died June 22. She taught in local schools for 42 years, dating to the one-room schoolhouse, Jericho Elementary. She was a pillar of Third Macedonia Baptist Church, which named a junior choir for her, and served in the regional Baptist association for more than 20 years. She provided transportation and food for the homebound, was a poll worker, and was active with the Child Abuse Prevention Association and Beaufort Little Theater.
  • Madeleine Pollitzer, 92, of Beaufort, died Oct. 30. She moved to Beaufort in the mid-1940s after marrying Beaufort native Richard G. Pollitzer. She started Beaufort's first dance school, teaching dance for 20 years while also arranging recitals and making costumes. She started a pony club that became the Beaufort Saddle and Bridle Club. She was a gourmet cook with elegant entertaining skills, which she practiced as manager of the Tidalholm bed-and-breakfast, the exclusive Okatee Club in Jasper County, the Royal Pines Country Club and private catering for parties and weddings. She was noted for her homemade ham biscuits with homemade mustard, sold on the honor system from a refrigerator on the back porch of her house in the Old Point neighborhood.
  • Port Royal Police Chief James "Jim" Cadien Jr., 62, died Feb. 23. He had served as police chief since 1995 and was in the department for more than 35 years.
  • Dr. Ahraya Tocharoen, 74, of Beaufort, died Sept. 5. He treated patients for more than 39 years with the Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services clinic on St. Helena Island.
  • Keith Cummins, 55, of Beaufort, died Feb. 14. He was commodore of the 2006 Beaufort Water Festival.
  • Wendy Allen, 53, of Beaufort, died May 7. She was youth services coordinator for the Beaufort County Library for 25 years.
  • Peggy Allen, 83, of St. Helena Island, died May 29. She was one of four founders of the Sea Island Quilters guild.
  • Joy Smith Lawlor, 73, of Beaufort, died Sept. 30. She was named employee of the decade at River Oaks Residential Care, where she was dietary manager for 17 years.
  • Judy Keyserling, 66, of Beaufort, died Feb. 11. She was founder of a marketing firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and Beaufort, with many national accounts. She was the first child of the late Dr. Herbert and Harriet Keyserling, and sister of Mayor Billy Keyserling.
  • Harvey Garbade "Hop" Lucas, 79, of Ridgeland, died May 1. He was a former fire chief and volunteer for 50 years with the Ridgeland Fire Department.
  • Leo V. Sweatte Jr., 85, of Beaufort, died Aug. 15. He coached youth football from 1962 to 1978.
  • Eloise Martinez, 75, of Beaufort, died Aug. 30. She coached youth league bowling for many years at Ribaut Lanes and was inducted into the hall of fame of the Lowcountry Association of the U.S. Bowling Congress.
  • Roger Lee Steele, 67, of Beaufort, died Aug. 4. He taught art at Laurel Bay schools and the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and was an accomplished artist and national expert in printmaking and color-blend lithography. He donated works to many local charities for fundraising.
  • Rhonda L. Seckinger, 62, of Seabrook, died Jan. 9. As a retired over-the-road trucker, she was founder and head coach of Island All Stars Special Needs Cheerleading Squad on Hilton Head Island.
  • Sydney W. Falk, 86, formerly of Fripp and Callawassie islands, died June 19. He served as president of the Sea Island Rotary Club and chaired the Rotary youth exchange program at the district level.
  • Steve Rich, 59, of Beaufort, died Aug. 23. He founded the Original Port Royal Sound Dixieland Jazz Band and played woodwind and brass instruments with a number of local orchestras, combos and ensembles.
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