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.

A note of remembrance may be written to the family by clicking the "Add Comment" link below.

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#12 Buck and Luke Black 2018-11-28 10:50
So sorry to hear about the loss of Mrs. Frances. She will be remembered and missed by many. Please accept our deepest sympathy.
#11 Jon m Lowe 2018-11-26 14:14
It is with sadness that I learn of Ms. Frances passing. Though I did not know her well, when I visited my parents, Jonathan and Lucile Lowe and we went to Wightman she, and others, would speak if possible and always made me feel very welcome. My parents thought very highly of Ms. Frances. My sympathy to her family.
Jon M. Lowe
#10 Frances & GW Dawkins 2018-11-25 18:15
Our condolences to the family. Miss Frances was a dear friend and will truly be missed.
#9 Heather 2018-11-24 12:37
I wanted to reach out to you during this sad time to offer my condolences. While nothing will completely take away your grief, by meditating on God's promises found in the Bible, you can find real hope and the strength to keep going. I have found the scripture at Isaiah 25:8 to be especially comforting. Here it promises that God "will swallow up death forever, And the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces."
#8 Mollie Graham 2018-11-22 10:38
Dear Steve and family, I am so very sorry to hear about Mrs Frances what a lovely lady she was. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. LOVE AND BLESSINGS MOLLIE
#7 Alice & Brice Boozer 2018-11-21 13:58
We are so sorry to learn of Ms. Frances' parting. She was a wonderful lady and she will be truly miss. Please accept our condolences for your loss. May God bless you during this difficult time.
Brice and Alice Boozer.
#6 Bennie Sue Hiller 2018-11-21 09:25
#5 Rev. Jim Williams 2018-11-20 11:42
Accept our condolence in your time of mourning. All who knew Mrs. Frances found a blessing in her life. Truly, her life was a life well lived as she made her journey on this earth. She is now comforted in our Lord's arms, who has already said to her, "Well done good and faithful servant." Now she is celebrating the joys of eternal life where there is no more sorrow, pain or tears of grief.
#4 Kelly Warren 2018-11-19 20:55
My prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Ms. Frances will always be in my heart. My God bring you comfort.
#3 Doug & Debra Templin 2018-11-19 19:33
Sincere love and sympathy to Mrs. Counts's family. She was a lovely woman and her influence is felt through the lives of those she reared. May our Heavenly Father bless you all with the peace and knowledge you will see and be with her again one day.
#2 Thomas Carlson 2018-11-19 17:13
Mrs. Counts was an amazing person. I will always remember “Aunt Frances” and my grandmother, Elizabeth Renwick Baker. They both were so special and so impactful on my childhood. We love you Aunt Frances.
#1 Sheriff Lee Foster 2018-11-19 15:10
Our deepest sympathy is sent on the passing of Mrs. Frances. What a wonderful, graceful, kind, and caring woman she was. I appreciated her checking on me when I was at USC and taking an interest in me through our Church. She was certainly one of the people that made Prosperity a great place to grow up. God be with you all. Lee, Carol, Joseph, Amelia and Jennylee

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