Former Columbia County News-Times columnist Lois McGill died Thursday.
Lois McGill wrote for The Columbia County News-Times.
The 84-year-old, a Martinez resident for the past 50 years, was buried Saturday at Lincolnton City Cemetery in her native Lincoln County.
For more than 20 years, McGill reported on the people and events that transformed Martinez from a rural community to a burgeoning center of Columbia County commerce.
Though she downplayed her writing abilities in a 1989 story by News-Times columnist Barbara Seaborn (see her column on page 6), writing was in McGill's blood, said her daughter, Colleen Gaines."
"Her grandfather (James T. Hudson) was a schoolmaster in Lincolnton and a poet," the 60-year-old said. "It sort of runs in the family."
Gaines, one of McGill's six children, said her mother was always drawn to writing. She even studied writing for a year at the Georgia State College for Women, now Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga.
She began writing her column in the 1960s, and the job fit her perfectly, Gaines said.
"Momma and Daddy (the late Walter Collins McGill Sr.) were always involved in the community, so it was right up her alley," Gaines said. "She enjoyed it, probably to a fault."
In addition to writing, McGill enjoyed working on the campaign trail.
"My uncle Sam McGill was the (state) senator for our area at that time," Gaines said. "There was nothing she enjoyed more than campaigning for him."
Survived by her children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, McGill used her life example to teach her children about morals.
"I didn't realize it until I was sitting at the funeral that most of the things that we learned about right and wrong she never told us," Gaines said. "It was by the way she acted that we learned. The example was set that this is how you do and what you don't do."
Even growing up as a poverty-stricken child who lost her father at age 8 during the Great Depression of the 1930s in Lincolnton, McGill displayed a strong sense of morality, Gaines said.
Gaines emphasized her point with a story from her mother's youth told to her by her aunt Iris Norman.
"One of their duties as members of their church was to clean it up once a week," Gaines said. "They were up there, and my aunt, who was just a little tot at the time, found a dime in a crack in the floor. She said she was so excited about it. She was just thinking about all the things she could buy with that dime on the way home. My momma told her to go put that dime in the offering plate. It belonged to God. Iris said she learned a big lesson right there."
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