Mary Frances Stophel, 72, of Walterboro, the devoted wife of Jim Stophel, passed away Friday morning, August 25, 2023. Frances, after a long hard fight with Alzheimer’s, has finished her race. With her true grace and determination-she fought to the very end. We are relieved to know that Heaven has a new choir member.
Frances was the middle daughter of William Earl Altman and Bobbie Chitty Altman. She was born June 9, 1951, in Hampton, South Carolina. She was a tireless worker for the churches that she attended and a supportive wife to Jim in his ministries; and a blessed and tremendous mother to her 2 boys, Rhett and Kevin.
Frances demonstrated a strong work ethic in her career. She worked for 15 years as the payroll clerk for Hampton Regional Hospital. After moving to Walterboro with Jim, Rhett, and Kevin, she worked at the Colleton County Health Department and Department of Social Services, and then took a position at Asten Hill. She was a customer service representative for the specialty fabrics division for several years. She finished out her career at Lowcountry Council Government in Yemassee where worked for 7 years.
Her strong devotion to Christ and the local churches, led her to open a Christian bookstore in Walterboro. The Master’s Touch operated for several years, where Frances made many friends. She was a devoted prayer partner for many.
Frances, for all her life was devoted to her church-most recently Harleyville Christian Church, Harleyville, South Carolina, where Jim has been minister for 10 years. Frances was a meticulous Vacation Bible School Director. She managed successful Vacation Bible Schools especially during her membership at Northside Christian Church. She taught Sunday School Classes and led many Bible study groups on a weekly basis. Frances also played the piano and organ for her churches and sang with her sweetheart, Jim. They were very popular for singing duets in the local communities. They had plans to expand their singing before Alzheimer’s took its toll. A tremendous soldier for Christ and His church – Frances worked tirelessly in all these roles.
Left to cherish her precious and sweet memories are her husband, Jim Stophel of Walterboro; her sons, Rhett Mixon of Walterboro and Kevin Mixon and his wife Donna Gail of Ruffin; her beloved granddaughters, Sarah Hayden and her husband Brandon of Ruffin and Amanda Alvarez and her husband Bryan of Ruffin; her darling great grands whom she adored, Owen Hayden and Addison Hayden; her sisters, Shirley Lightsey and her husband Charles of Hampton and Alice Cook of Hampton; her nephews, Charlie (Ana) Lightsey and his family, and Will Lightsey; and niece, Kimberly (Jake) Sullivan and her family. She was preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Ginna Stophel.
The family would like to thank Pruitt Healthcare in Walterboro for the care given during these last years. Thank you to Pruitt Hospice, as well, your devotion to Frances was above and beyond.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Harleyville Christian Church, Post Office Box 246, Harleyville, South Carolina 29448; or to: Northside Christian Church, Post Office Box 1793, Walterboro, South Carolina 29488.
Funeral services will be held 2 o’clock, Monday afternoon, August 28, 223, at The Brice Herndon Funeral Home, Walterboro Chapel. Interment will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Hendersonville Highway, Walterboro.
The family will receive friends for a time of visitation Sunday evening from 6 until 8 at THE BRICE W. HERNDON AND SONS FUNERAL HOMES AND CREMATORY, WALTERBORO CHAPEL, 1193 Bells Highway, Walterboro. 843.538.5408. Visit the registry online at: www.briceherndonfuneralhome.com.