Frances R. Counts, age 96, passed away peacefully in her home in Prosperity on November 18, 2018. “Miss Frances”, as she was affectionately called by those who knew her was born in Newberry County, on February 13, 1922. She was the loving daughter of Mary Cornelius Caldwell (“Nenie”) and George Sligh Ruff. Her childhood was spent in the Mt. Bethel Garmany Community of Newberry County where she attended King’s Creek ARP Church. She was raised with her brothers, George S Ruff, Jr. (deceased), and James Caldwell Ruff (deceased), and two first cousins, Elizabeth Renwick Baker (deceased) Catherine Renwick Hardwick now of New Hampshire. After graduating with honors in 1939 from Newberry High School, she received her BA and her Business Degree from Newberry College in 1943. She taught school at Greenwood High School for two years before beginning her 39-year vocation in the graduate school at the University of South Carolina. In 1984 Miss Frances completed her career at USC serving as Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Miss Frances married Edward Wheeler (Ed) Counts in 1954. The couple raised two children from Ed’s first marriage; Edward Wheeler (Buddy) Counts, Jr. and Jake Stevenson (Steve) Counts in Prosperity where Mr. Ed was the local druggist. Ms. Frances was a long-time member of Wightman United Methodist Church in Prosperity where she was a devoted member of The Clarkson-Counts Counts Circle and was also an active member of the Prosperity Garden Club for many years.
Miss Frances was pre-deceased by her husband of 53 years, Edward Wheeler (Ed) Counts of Prosperity, and one of her sons, Edward W. Counts, Jr. She is survived by her son, Jake S. (Steve) Counts, daughter-in-law Marge Counts of Brooks, Georgia, and her daughter-in-law Connie Chalk Counts of Columbia; five grandchildren Dr. M. Reid Counts Toth, Stephanie Counts Skinner, Brycen A. Counts, Zachary F. Counts, and Jake S. Counts II, and five great grandchildren; Ashlan Counts, Nea Counts, Margaret Skinner, Shannon Counts, and Genevieve Counts.
Services will be held at Wightman UMC in Prosperity at 2:00pm on Saturday, November 24 with visitation starting at 1:00pm. Burial will follow at Prosperity Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wightman UMC, PO Box 376, Prosperity, S.C., 29127, or Buddy Counts Foundation Scholarship, Newberry College, 2100 College Street, Newberry, S.C., 29108.
Pallbearers will be Larry Graham, Ted Graham, Zach Counts, Brycen Counts, Jake Counts and Cole Skinner.
We give a special thank you for France’s loving friends Johnie Mae Bookman, Annie Corley, Patricia Dewalt, and Detra Bookman who shared her life. Our thoughts are best expressed by the following elegy by Angelo Patri:
There Is No Death
In one sense there is no death. The life of a soul on earth lasts beyond his departure. You will always feel that life touching yours, that voice speaking to you, that spirit looking out of other eyes, talking to you in the familiar things he touched, worked with, loved as familiar friends. He lives on in your life and in lives of all others that knew him.
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