One was soft-spoken, the other gruff.
But both have displayed an uncommon resolve and determination to improve the lives of those living on Hilton Head Island, resulting in a number of institutions that still undergird the community to this day.
The late Will "Billie" Davis Stebbins Hack, who died in 1998, and Thomas Curtis Barnwell Jr. were inducted Friday night into the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame. They join inaugural inductees Charles Fraser, Fred Hack, Charlotte Heinrichs and Charles Simmons Sr.
The Rotary Club of Hilton Head launched the hall last year to pay homage to those residents, past and present, who made lasting and extraordinary contributions that have enriched the lives of many on the island.
Both will be enshrined in an exhibit overlooking Jarvis Creek at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.
"The hall of fame is a way to bridge the past with the present," said hall committee chairman Hank Noble. "... More important than what they did and their recognition is they serve as inspiration for the people who are here now, to rise above their accomplishments and make this community an even better, more important place -- a more exceptional place for us all to live."
Billie Hack and her husband, Fred, moved from Hinesville, Ga., to Honey Horn Plantation in June 1950.
They committed the rest of their lives to improving the island.
Fred, a timber man, was the first to discover the resort possibilities of a slumbering island in 1949, co-founding the Hilton Head Co.
But both would set the tone of the island's modern development with their devotion to nature, community, faith and mankind.
"Billie Hack was a pioneer and community builder on Hilton Head Island in her own right, shaping the modern community with her deep principles and extensive volunteerism," Noble said.
Hack's soft-spoken leadership helped establish a number of institutions the continue to thrive today.
She was one of the founders of First Presbyterian Church and helped organize the Children's Center, which still provides affordable daycare for working families.
She also helped establish the Bargain Box thrift store, which has donated millions of dollars to charity.
Described as a considerate, loving and quiet person, her contributions were numerous and lasting, yet she was never comfortable with any attention attributed to her community service, said daughter Avary Hack Doubleday.
"She would say what led to those projects was her doing what need to be done," Doubleday said. "... We are quite humbled that of the first six inductees into the Hall of Fame, both mother and daddy have been chosen."
TOM BARNWELL JR.
When doors are closed to Tom Barnwell Jr., he finds a window to climb through, according to those who have worked beside him.
"Barnwell has never been afraid to confront obstacles. He has used his experience, connections and common sense to improve life in the Lowcountry," according to the hall committee.
Barnwell, 78, has been the most consistent voice for the Gullah culture on his native Hilton Head -- best known for his work to improve health care, affordable housing, education and economic development on the island. He has helped local families clear land titles, write wills and make sure taxes are paid.
He has steadily reminded everyone that Hilton Head did not begin the day the first bridge was built in 1956, Noble said, and has worked tirelessly to open eyes to the Gullah people who by that time, against all odds, had established many small churches, schools and stores.
"He points to the ingenuity, pluck and wisdom this required," according to his hall of fame bio.
Barnwell also has relentlessly told outsiders about the needs and cultural differences he believed were overlooked as modern development evolved.
His message, Noble said, is clear: "Respect. Listen. And try to improve the community, wherever you are, to the best of your ability without being rude or disrespectful to others."
"I'm still adjusting," Barnwell said Friday of being inducted. "I never thought in my mind to be honored by anyone. My commitment has been to try to do something every day to improve the quality of life of persons from all aspects."
Videos: 2nd annual Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame inductionHank Noble, chairman of the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame, talks about recent inductees Billie Hack and Tom Barnwell. They join inaugural inductees Charles Fraser, Fred Hack, Charlotte Heinrichs and Charles Simmons, Sr. Videos by reporter Tom Barton
Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/IPBG_Tom