NORTH AUGUSTA — Miriam L. “Mim” Woodring, a former publisher of the North Augusta Star and longtime community activist, died Wednesday at her North Augusta home. She was 83.
Woodring and her husband Sam Woodring bought the North Augusta newspaper in 1954 for $1,000. Over the next 45 years, the couple established the Star as a platform for civic activism and community journalism.
Friends say she was the type of woman to help out in the community in any way that she could.
“She was instrumental in putting together the North Augusta Idol Show,” said Ken Smith, the executive director of the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council. She also used her background in pageantry to direct the Miss North Augusta Senior High pageant for a number of years.
Woodring has served on Aiken County Council and numerous boards, including Friends of The Nancy Carson Library Foundation and the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council. Among her honors was a Golden Deeds award through the Exchange Club of North Augusta.
“She was a very inspirational lady and very warm-hearted,” Smith said. “She will really be missed.”
Peggy Burnett, a friend who served with her on the Cultural Arts Council, said Woodring lived for community service.
“She loved the community so much,” Burnett said.
Kelly Zier, the North Augusta city attorney, said he recalled the Woodring’s activism from the time he was in junior high school. It would be difficult to calculate their impact on North Augusta, he said.
“It’s hard to talk about Mim without talking about Sam,” he said. “They were extremely involved in all aspects of the community. They loved North Augusta and they loved North Augustans.”
Zier said in recent years Mim Woodring suffered from several debilitating health problems, but refused to let them slow her down.
“She would not give up,” Zier said. “It was really courageous on her part to continue doing the things she did.”
In 1997, the Woodrings were honored by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Persons of the Year.
Mim Woodring also was named the South Carolina Press Association’s Newspaper Woman of the Year in 1966 and was the first woman elected to serve on the association’s board of directors.
The Woodrings sold the Star in 1998 to the Evening Post Co. of Charleston, S.C., which also publishes The Post & Courier and The Aiken Standard.
Sam Woodring, a native of Pennsylvania, died in 2001.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Posey Funeral Directors in North Augusta. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday from First Baptist Church of North Augusta with interment in Pineview Memorial Park.