By Reese Fant
On Nov. 11th, the Augusta Road Ruritan Club celebrated it’s 65th anniversary with Representative Eric Bedingfield delivering the keynote address.
The meeting was opened and closed by the South Greenville Fire Department Color Guard, and special recognition was given to member Willis Creamer for 64 years of faithful service.
His wife, Grace, was given flowers and also recognized for her service. She joined the club in 2000, when women were first admitted as club members.
Creamer, who is now 85 years old, continues to work tirelessly for his community.
In presenting his plaque, the speaker referred to a recent article in the Ruritan newsletter that said, “If your neighborhood does not have a Willis Creamer, you need to pack up and move to one that does. Because Creamer, and men like him, help keep the world together”.
At 85, Creamer cannot be faulted for slowing down just a bit, and actually he could be considered a transplant in his South Greenville County home. Actually his is an Anderson County native, which is maybe five miles away.
Through the years, folks have watched Willis work, tirelessly, and sometimes commented that he needed to be a twin.
What they don’t realize is he actually is a twin. His brother Wallace went into service following graduation in 1951 and was a victim of the Korean conflict in 1952.
Willis went to work in the local Winn Dixie store in the produce department and in 1953 got a job in the Williamston Mill. He and Grace got married in 1954.
Willis entered service and served from ’56 to ’58. then he went to work for Greenvillle Oil Company, as delivery driver,k and as he made his deliveries, and heard about someone, anyone, having trouble with their heating unit Willis was right there to make sure everyone was warm and safe.
Once he got started helping people, Willis just kept at it.
When the Oil Company changed hands, Willis joined the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department and then he went on to work in a huge Security firm, where he was a supervisor.
Long time friend Lloyd Kelly talked Willis into joining the Greenville County School District into becoming a member of the district’s security team.
But through the years, with all of the experience working with machines, with people, and how to head off trouble, Willis was steadily working with the Augusta Road Ruritan Club.
“The club formed 65 years ago and I joined two years later,” Willis said. “I’ve been president a few times and held other posts.
But for 16 years Willis and Grace took care of the Ruritan building, an old school located on US 25.
south of Greenville.
They would go to meet the prospective renters, make sure everything was as it should be, then go unlock the place that evening,
hen came the hardest part, making sure the facility had been cleaned properly.
For 16 years He held this job, only giving it up a year or so ago, and he still wishes, sometimes, that he and his wife’s health was good enough for them to continue the task.
Every community needs a Willis Creamer.
The one’s who don’t, just suffer. The Augusta Road Ruritan Club is located at 7788 Augusta Road, Piedmont. There are currently 41 members. The club is always seeking community-minded individuals and businesses willing to join in efforts to maker our community a better place in which to live.
By Reese Fant