Skip to content

Obituaries January 10, 2024

Barbara Daphine Byrd

SOCIETY HILL – Barbara Daphine Byrd, 72, passed away on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. Barbara was the daughter of Mrs. Barbara Edwards Keith and the late Clyde Keith. Barbara was a faithful member of Welsh Neck Baptist Church. She served as a Sunday school teacher for many, many years. Barbara enjoyed baking and cooking. She babysat and helped raise many of the kids in the Society Hill area. She enjoyed spending time and making memories with her family. Most of all, Barbara loved her kids and grandkids with all her heart.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Marvis Byrd; daughter, Casey Byrd; brothers, Tony Keith and Gregory Keith; and daughter-in-law, Kimberly Michelle Byrd.

Left to cherish her memory is her son, Erick Byrd of Society Hill, SC; granddaughter, Taylor Byrd Jordan (Jonathon) of Florence, SC; grandson, Brycen Byrd of Society Hill, SC; Hannah Stevens of Myrtle Beach, who was like a granddaughter, brothers, Dennis Keith of Chesterfield, SC and Toby Keith of Society Hill, SC; special friend, who was like a sister, Elaine Byrd of Darlington, SC; and many special nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

A graveside service was held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 7, 2024 at Welsh Neck Baptist Church Cemetery in Society Hill, SC. The family received family and friends after the service at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Faith Christian Academy to the Brycen Byrd Scholarship Fund.

Kiser Funeral Home has been entrusted to serve the Byrd family during their time of grief.


Casey Ellen Byrd
SOCIETY HILL – Casey Ellen Byrd, 43, died on Friday, December 29, 2023. Born in Florence, SC she was the daughter of Barbara Byrd and the late Marvis Byrd. Casey loved spending time with her family and was loved by anyone that met her. She had a heart as big as the world. Her son Brycen was her biggest love. She was a home health caregiver, she was passionate about those that she cared for, that it didn’t seem like a job.

Casey is survived by her son, Brycen Carter Byrd, her mother, Barbara Byrd, of Society Hill, SC, a brother, Erick Byrd, of Society Hill, SC, special niece, Taylor Byrd Jordan, of Florence, SC, Hannah Stevens, of Myrtle Beach, SC, who was like a daughter, a grandmother, Helen Byrd, of Bennettsville, SC, special friends, Jamie Pegues, of Cheraw, SC, Natasha Jones, of Society Hill, SC, and Brandy Howle, of Dovesville, SC

She was preceded in death by her father listed above, her maternal grandparents, Barbara and Clyde Keith and a sister-in-law, Michelle Byrd.

A graveside service was be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 7, 2024 at Welsh Neck Baptist Church Cemetery in Society Hill, SC. The family received family and friends after the service at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Faith Christian Academy, 220 Greene St, Cheraw, SC 29520, to the Brycen Byrd Scholarship Fund.


Michael T. Kopchick Sr.

CHERAW – Mr. Michael T. Kopchick, Sr., age 64, entered into rest on Thursday, December 28, 2023. A Celebration of Life Service was held at 6:00 PM Tuesday, January 2, 2024 from the Chapel of Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home. The family greeted friends from 5:00 – 6:00 PM Tuesday, prior to the service at the funeral home.

Mr. Kopchick was born December 24, 1959 in Stratford, CT a son of the late Peter and Freda Comer Kopchick. He was a graduate of Stratford High School and the owner and operator of Rage Fuel Systems for over 28 years. Michael enjoyed hunting, boating, target shooting, but his passion was drag racing. He was the crew chief and owner of MNS Motorsports where he won the best engineered car. Michael was selected as one of the 2024 inductees into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and his memory and legacy will be honored soon at their prestigious induction ceremony.

Survivors include his wife of 18 years, Sheila Kopchick of the home; children, Michael P. Kopchick, Jr. of Bristol, CT, Thomas B. (Chelsea) Kopchick of Portland, CT, and Michelle Lyn Tafur of Germany; 3 grandchildren; siblings, Jane (Peter) Crossman of Cheraw, SC, Peter Michael Kopchick of Stratford, CT; sister of the heart, Geraldine “Dee” M. Relyea of Cheraw, SC; and brother of the heart, Jody Stroud of Chesterfield, SC, in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.

Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home ( of Chesterfield, SC is serving the Kopchick family.


Vivian M. Powell

Mrs. Vivian M. Powell, age 94, entered into rest on Monday, January 1, 2024. A Celebration of Life service was held at 11:00am Saturday, January 6th, 2024 at Miller Rivers Caulder Funeral Home located at 318 East Main St., Chesterfield, SC. The family received friends following the service.

Vivian was born on November 27,1929 in Bethune, South Carolina. She was the daughter of the late Ora Dell Ingram and late William McLaughlin. She met the love of her life, the late Charles Travis Powell, while he was working on a bridge in Bethune. She was in a rocking chair hanging out with friends on the porch of the Bethune Hotel when she toppled over and Travis came to her rescue. It was love at first sight. She married Travis in 1948 and continued to reside in her hometown where they raised their two children. Travis embraced Vivian’s hometown and they loved serving in the community. They were married 64 years.

Vivian worked at McBee Manufacturing for fifty years before retiring to a life of flowers and fellowship with friends. She loved taking care of her large flower gardens and sharing the beauty with her church and friends. She attended Bethel United Methodist Church where she crafted the beautiful flowers and foliage from her gardens into beautiful arrangements that graced the altar and vestibule every Sunday. Travis and Vivian were always were together in their community. Vivian often cooked amazing meals or sweet treats that the two would deliver to shut ins and those that were sick or grieving. They both were involved deeply in their church and community. Vivian continued to be a servant to others after the passing of her husband. Her home and yard were a beautiful testament to her love of nature. On Saturdays she and her son could be seen working side by side in the gardens she loved and cared for. Vivian worked in her gardens and attended her beloved church for the last time in 2016 when she moved to an assisted living facility in Georgia where her daughter worked.

Vivian was a loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, and “Mema.”  She welcomed the arrival of her first great-grandchild in 2022. Vivian always had a smile on her face and a kind word for all. She had a sweet, infectious laugh that she shared often. She was a true southern lady, gentle and kind, strong and determined, gracious and giving.  She will be greatly missed by her family and the many she called friends.  We rejoice knowing that she is with her Lord and ​Savior, whole and healthy. We are sure she is basking in the glory of the Lord and holding the hand of her beloved Travis.

Vivian is survived by her son, Dr. Charles Travis Powell, Jr. (Anita) of Pageland, SC, Daughter, Lynn Rice (Bob) of Madison, GA, granddaughters: Ashley Powell of Waynesboro, PA, Casey Powell Lowry (Dillon) of Murfreesboro, TN, Lyndsay Powell Fetter of McDonough, GA, grandsons: Charles Travis Powell III of Charlotte, NC and Alexander Fitzgerald Edwards of Watkinsville, GA, Great grandson, Aidan Michael Fetter.

Memorials may be made to Bethel United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 191, Bethune, SC 29009.


Angela ‘Angie’ C. Thurman

Mrs. Angela “Angie” C. Thurman, age 50, entered into rest on Saturday, January 6, 2024. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 6:00 PM on Thursday, January 11, 2024 from the Chapel of Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home. The Reverend Ronald Thurman and Brent Taylor will officiate the service. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends from 5:00 – 6:00 PM at the funeral home, and then immediately following the service.
Mrs. Thurman was born on August 3, 1974 in Chesterfield, SC a daughter of Perry Crowley and Ann Gulledge Gainey. Angie graduated from Chesterfield High School in 1991 and went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts in History at Coker College. She furthered her education by obtaining her Masters of Education from the University of South Carolina.
Angie had a passion for teaching and started her career as an educator teaching second grade and special education at Morven Elementary. Later on, she taught special education at Chesterfield – Ruby Middle School. In addition to her teaching career, Angie served with dedication for over 16 years as a Victim’s Service Provider, Violent Crime Paralegal, and Case Manager for the Fourth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Despite her demanding work schedule, Angie also found time to teach early childhood education classes both online and in the evenings at Northeastern Technical College.
Throughout her life, Angie supported her husband’s coaching career wholeheartedly and cherished their two daughters and beloved granddaughter Madalyn dearly. Angie treasured time spent with her family attending Ruby Baptist Church.
In addition to spending quality time with loved ones, Angie found joy in making memories during family trips to the beach. She also enjoyed indulging in her hobbies, including shopping and getting her nails done. Furthermore, Angie was an avid fan of USC Gamecocks football.
Angie will be remembered as a lady who deeply loved her family, work family, and friends. Her warm and caring nature touched the lives of those fortunate enough to have known her.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Thurman was also preceded in death by her step-father, Gladd Gainey Jr.
Surviving Angie is her husband Kevin Thurman, with whom she shared nearly 30 years of marriage. She is also survived by her daughters Mary-Kaitlin Thurman (Blake Jacobs) and Leah Thurman (Clayton) Hurst, both reside in Chesterfield, SC. Additionally, Angie leaves behind a precious granddaughter named Madalyn Hurst. She is also survived by her sister Melinda Crawley of Chesterfield, SC; niece Brittany (Chase) Winstead of Cheraw, SC; nephew John Michael Crawley of Chesterfield, SC; aunts Sally Crowley of Surfside Beach, SC, Carolyn (Travis) Outlaw of Cheraw SC, and JoAnn Teal of Chesterfield SC; a host of extended family members, cherished friends, as well as her close-knit work family at the Solicitor’s Office.
For those who wish to offer memorials in Angie’s honor may contribute to the Fourth Circuit Victim Restitution Fund through their website at or by mail at P.O. Box 594, Chesterfield, SC 29709.
Miller-Rivers-Caulder Funeral Home of Chesterfield, SC is serving the Thurman family. For more information or to leave condolences for the family online visit


Keith ‘Dennis’ Turner

Our forever happy and smiling, Keith “Dennis” Turner departed this life for his heavenly home at the age of 64 on January 1, 2024.

Dennis was a devoted son and mama’s boy of the late Lillie Mae Long Turner and the late J.L. Turner. He was born August 9, 1959 in Mullins, South Carolina. He was blessed to have married his forever love, Teresa sharing 42 wonderful years together. He was known and respected by many working for Crestline Homes for over 20 years. He then joined the sales team at Lowe’s Home Improvements sharing his expertise along with his infectious smile with their many customers.

He was passionate about antique trucks and cars, especially his pride and joy 1951 Chevy Truck that he and Teresa enjoyed countless rides while listening to his favorite music artist, Elton John. He enjoyed car shows, football, was a fan of the Andy Griffith Show about the simple Mayberry days, enjoyed spending time antiquing with family. He was a people person and wanted everyone to be happy. He shared his humorous personality with all he encountered joyfully making friends everywhere. Dennis adored his wife, loved his family and treasured devoted friendships. His shining light of joy will truly be missed by all.

Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by sisters, Pam McVicker and Phyllis Pruitt.

Dennis is survived by his loving wife, Teresa Crawford Turner of their home; brother, Jimmy Turner of Laurinburg; sister, Susan Riddle and husband, Allen Riddle of Statesville; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Ricky Pruitt, Jimmy McVicker, Betty Shepherd, Marie Holt (Terry), Shirley Watts (Terry), Judy Crawford, Teresa C. Pearce; five nephews, eleven great nieces and great nephews; and a host of loving extended family and devoted friends.

Memorial donations are requested to be given to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 5, 2024 at the Richard Boles Funeral Service Chapel with burial following in Hillside Memorial Park.

Visitation was from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, January 4th at Richard Boles Funeral Service.


Paul R. VanGuilder

CHERAW – Mr. Paul R. VanGuilder, 83, passed away on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at Cheraw Healthcare of natural causes. Paul was born on August 21, 1940, in Proctorsville, VT to the late Paul A. and Charlotte Stone VanGuilder. Paul grew up and graduated from Poultney Highschool in 1959. He enlisted in the Air Force for 8 years in the Military Police. He then came back to Vermont and enlisted in the Army National Guard and served as a Platoon Sergeant in HHC, 2nd Battalion, 172 Armor. He retired from the Vt. National Guard after 12 years, in which he was very proud of his service. He then went to work for Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, and General Electric for many years until retiring in 2000.

Paul was very community involved and helped start Thanksgiving dinners at FOE #3907 in Fair Haven, Vermont. After moving to Cheraw, he was a part of American Legion and the VFW. Paul was a member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church and enjoyed being a part of their church choir. Paul was a proud supporter of the Cheraw Braves and the Booster Club. Paul’s love for the Clemson Tigers went beyond football; it was a way for Paul to show his love and support for his grandchildren, who graduated from Clemson University. Paul’s love for his family was steadfast.

Paul lived his life with unwavering courage, determination, and the indomitable spirit that defined Paul. Just like the iconic song My Way, Paul embraced life on his own terms, leaving an indelible mark on all those fortunate enough to have known him. Paul lived life fearlessly, never conforming to societal expectations or succumbing to the pressures of conformity. With every joy and every setback, he faced life head-on, always choosing to follow his own path. Paul could proudly say, ‘I did it my way.’

Paul taught his family and friends the importance of staying true to themselves, embracing their passions, and reminded them that it is never too late to start anew. He touched the lives of many, leaving an indelible impression with his unwavering spirit and infectious enthusiasm. He inspired them to embrace their own uniqueness, pursue their dreams with unwavering determination, and live life fully, just as he did.
Paul was predeceased by his parents listed above, his brothers, Richard VanGuilder and Gary VanGuilder; the mother of his children, Keiko Igarashi VanGuilder.

Paul is survived by his wife, Lois Melton VanGuilder of Cheraw, SC; his sons, Robert VanGuilder (Melissa) of Vermont, Bruce VanGuilder (Lisa) of Vermont; grandchildren, Brandon, Trevor, and Oliver; great-grandchild, Everlee; and his sister, Laura Bronson VanGuilder.

A graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at the Florence National Cemetery, 803 E. National Cemetery Rd, Florence, SC 29506.

Kiser Funeral Home has been entrusted to serve the VanGuilder family during their time of grief.


Thomas E. ‘Tommy’ Wallace

CHERAW – Thomas E. “Tommy” Wallace, Jr., 69, died Saturday, December 30, 2023. He was a son of the late Thomas Edward, Sr. and Mary Emma Powe Wallace. Tommy was a past employee of Burlington Industries in Cheraw, SC. He enjoyed watching sports on TV. Tommy adored his wife Peggy and has missed her dearly since her death in 2016.

He is survived by his sisters, Eleanor Burr of Cheraw, SC, and Paula Williams, of Jefferson, SC, brothers, Bryan Gray, of Georgetown, SC, and Kevin Wallace, of Charlotte, NC, an aunt, Susie P. Huggins of Cheraw, SC, a granddaughter, Mallory Brooke Outlaw, nephews, Austin Mashburn, and Richard Mashburn, and several other nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and wife listed above, and a step-daughter, Kacie Taylor.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


Leave a Comment