Rae Rhoden Phinney, 98, widow of George L. Phinney, to whom she was married for 60 years, passed away Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at Martha Franks Retirement Community in Laurens, SC. Born in Johnston on August 23, 1918, she was a daughter of Joseph Talbert and Leila Derrick Rhoden.
Mrs. Phinney was a proud graduate of Johnston High School, Class of 1935, where she and friend Annie Lewis R. Hall were the top students. After her marriage to Mr. Phinney and the completion of his military service, the couple lived in Columbia and Anderson and then moved to Laurens in 1948. She was a homemaker and devoted wife and mother. Underlying her sweet, gentle manner was her strong Christian faith. A member of First Presbyterian Church of Laurens, she taught youth Sunday School for many years and had leadership roles in the Women of the Church and Vacation Bible School. In addition to her church involvement, she was a March of Dimes lead volunteer and served as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed the many friendships from her bridge clubs through the years.
Mrs. Phinney is survived by two sons, Larry (Cindy) of St. George, and Allison (Clare) of Greenville; daughter, Margaret P. Byers (Will) of Charlotte; three grandchildren, Derrick Phinney (Sigrid), Keys P. Hamilton (Milton), and Kate Phinney; three great-grandchildren, Anneleise Phinney, Rease Hamilton, and Ellis Hamilton; and several nieces and a nephew. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family, having been preceded in death by her father and mother; brothers, Emory “Buddy” Rhoden, Lewis Rhoden, and Clarence Rhoden; and sisters, Cleopatra Rhoden, Chloe R. Cullum, and Edith R. Ripley. Mrs. Phinney and her husband were preceded in death by their infant son.
A private burial will be held Thursday, December 8, 2016, in Laurens City Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends in Hunter Hall immediately following the service.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 400 West Main St., Laurens, SC 29360, or the charity of one’s choice.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff at Martha Franks Retirement Community for the loving care given to Mrs. Phinney over the past eight years.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.thekennedymortuary.com.