Mrs. Katherine Alexander Mims, beloved wife, mother, & grandmother, passed peacefully into God’s hands December 3, 2010 at Palmetto Providence Hospital in Columbia, SC. Born January 16, 1934, in Charleston, SC, to the late Calbraith Capers & Mary Abbott Alexander, Katherine grew up in Batesburg, SC. Over the years, she resided in Batesburg, Anderson, Cayce, West Columbia, & Lugoff. Katherine was a member of West Side Baptist Church in West Columbia. She had been a member at First Baptist Churches in Columbia, Batesburg, & Anderson; & Broadacres Baptist in Cayce, where she had been active as a Sunday School teacher & in the women’s missions group. She also served as president of the Baptist Students Union at Columbia College while a student there. Receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science in 1956 from Columbia College, Katherine also attended the University of North Carolina & the University of South Carolina for post-graduate work.
Katherine served as librarian at a number of schools & other organizations including: Watkins Elem. School, Anderson College, Alcorn Middle School, Richland County Public Library, & Dreher High School. She served as the librarian for Springdale Elementary School in West Columbia, SC, beginning in 1967 until her retirement in 1992. With computers donated to her library by NCR at a time her superiors considered them “glorified adding machines,” Katherine pioneered the use of computer technology in elementary libraries in Lexington Cty & in South Carolina. She was one of the first “Media Specialists” in the state. Some of the organizations in which she was a long-standing member are the National Education Assoc., Delta Kappa Gamma, the American Library Assoc., American Assoc. for School Librarians, South Carolina Library Assoc., & South Carolina Assoc. for School Librarians. Utilizing Katherine’s knowledge & expertise in school libraries, the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools requested her service numerous times on accreditation & reaccreditation committees for schools throughout the state of South Carolina.
Katherine absolutely thrived on genealogy & actively continued her research throughout her life. She maintained her membership in the University of South Carolina Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution & served the chapter as First Vice-Regent from 1979-1982, & Regent from 1982-1984. Katherine was extremely proud of the fact through her research she discovered being a descendent of five of the first families to settle in South Carolina. In addition to her love of genealogy, Katherine, along with her husband, Richard, was a member of the Mid-Carolina Camellia Soc, Atlantic Coast Camellia Soc., & the American Camellia Soc., who appointed her as a nationally accredited judge. Over the years, she attended & judged camellia shows throughout the southeast United States. She & Richard were greatly honored last year when a camellia japonica ‘Royal Velvet’ was planted & a plaque placed in their honor in The Lace House Garden of the Governor’s Complex in Columbia, SC. Katherine so enjoyed going to the beach and other trips with their “group,” riding through the mountains, & attending the shows, social events & conventions of the various camellia societies throughout the southeast.
Surviving Katherine are her loving husband of 52 years, Richard C. Mims of Lugoff; three sons, Dr. Richard C. Mims, Jr. (Ellen) of Macon, GA, Franklin A. Mims of Springdale, SC, & David Neill Mims (Margit) of Singapore; a daughter, Mary K. Hall of Elgin, SC; ten grandchildren & five great grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters: Velmah Price of Greer, SC, & Sylvia Crosby of Greenville, SC. She was preceded in death by her sister, Frances Crosby of West Columbia, SC.
The family wishes to thank Dr. J. Frank Martin, Jr., Dr. Rodney Rhinehart, & the medical personnel at Palmetto Providence, Palmetto Baptist, & Palmetto Richland Hospitals in Columbia, SC, & all their wonderful friends & family, for assisting God with her medical miracles & good life especially over the past two decades.
Visitation will be at 2:00 pm & the funeral service immediately following at 3:00 pm, Monday, December 6, 2010 at Barr-Price Funeral Home - Lexington, 609 Northwood Road, Lexington, SC 29072. Pastor Clinton Lawyer of Westside Baptist Church will officiate. A private graveside service will immediately follow in Batesburg, SC.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to Wateree Elementary School, Media Center, 424 Wildwood Lane, Lugoff, SC 29078 -- to purchase books for the library in memory of her love of teaching and sharing reading with children; or to Westside Baptist Church, 2100 Platt Springs Road, West Columbia, SC 29169.
Online register at www.Barr-Price.com, (803)356-4411.