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Goodbyes to Dr. Stukes, Chrissy

on Tuesday, 19 January 2016. Posted in Columns, Opinions

My condolences go out to the families of two beloved Florentines who passed on to Glory last week.

Dr. Joe Stukes died on Jan. 12. He was 88 years old. A former history professor at Francis Marion University, Dr. Stukes was well-known in our community for sharing his love of history.

I first met him in the early 1970s when I worked for The Florence Morning News. At that time he conducted travel tours to Europe during the summer. He must have been a wonderful tour guide because I imagine the historical knowledge he shared about the places visited made them come alive for those on his tours.

It just never worked out for me to go on one of his tours, but Dr. Stukes would bring me a small gift when he returned. I still have a bottle of cologne from one of his “Studycades tours.”

After he stopped leading tours, he brought history to us with his lectures and programs held at the Peoples Federal Building and later his history series hosted by the Friends of the Florence Library.

I was fortunate to attend many of them including his last one on Nov. 25, 2014. We were blessed to know this college professor and we will miss him.

This past Sunday, we lost another beloved Florentine – Chrissy Rainwater Conner. She suffered a heart attack earlier in the week and Facebook lit up soon after with friends requesting prayers and commenting about how much she meant to them.

I was fortunate to know Chrissy and her husband Darrell. They were a very close couple and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to him, their sons and family.

Here are few comments gleaned from Facebook about this sweet lady: Larry Miller posted “...I can’t help but marvel at the impact Chrissy Conner left in this world. The joy and love that radiated from her so naturally would light up a room, and that laugh – oh my goodness, you just had to join in.”

Carolanne Shrums-Hanks posted “...She was always the same and always loving and kind. You could not see her for years and she’d act as if you were the most important person in the world.”

Probably the best comment about Chrissy is that she was loved by everyone. She too will be missed!

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