Originally created 05/20/05

Mr. Joe B. Wilder (BARNWELL, S.C.)



BARNWELL, S.C. - Joe B. Wilder, 81, died Wednesday, at his home in Barnwell. He was born in Royston, Ga. on December 25, 1923, a son of the late Garnett and Ruth Wilder. A graduate of the University of Georgia, his journalism career began with several Georgia newspapers. His broadcasting career began at WKLY in Hartwell, Ga. where he was program director and sales manager. In 1953, he opened WBAW radio station in Barnwell. Later, he owned WBHC, in Hampton, and WAKS in Fuquay-Varina, N.C. He served as President of the S.C. Broadcasters Association in 1965, and in 1995 was inducted in the S.C. Broadcasters Hall of Fame. A World War II Veteran, he flew numerous missions in the Far East Theater. His love for flying led him to a 30 year stint on the S.C. Aeronautics Commission and was named Chairman-Emeritus and was also named to the S.C. Aeronautical Hall of Fame. Joe Wilder's long career in public service began as a Hartwell, Ga. town councilman. In 1986, he s ucceeded Solomon Blatt Sr. in the S.C. House of Representatives where he served four terms. During his tenure as District 91 Representative, he was named Legislator of the Year by the S.C. American Legion, the State Association of Regional Councils and the Association of the Deaf and Blind. For his exemplary work on behalf of the disabled, he was awarded the state's highest civilian honor, The Order of the Palmetto. Mr. Wilder helped establish a Community Relations Committee which helped oversee a smooth transition for school integration in the 1960's. He was a charter member of the six county Lower Savannah Council of Governments where he served as chairman for several years. He was a 50 year member of the Barnwell Lions Club and a two time recipient of the "Lion of the Year" award. Mr. Wilder was involved in many other local and regional civic organizations. He served in many leadership positions within the Barnwell United Methodist Church and taught the Men's Bible class for 25 yea rs. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Barnwell United Methodist Church with the Rev. David Turner and Rev. Titus Parrott officiating. Burial will follow in the Barnwell County Memory Gardens. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday evening at Mole Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Barnwell United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 126, Barnwell, SC 29812 or to a charity of one's choice. Survivors include his wife, Margaret Sholar Wilder of Barnwell, son, Drew (Vicki) Wilder of Spartanburg; daughter, Diane (John) Smith of Greenville; stepsons, Kenneth Sholar, Robert Sholar and Elvin Sholar of Virginia Beach Va.; stepdaughters, Linda Cushman of Princeton Junction, N.J., Sherry Sholar of Virginia Beach, Va.; sister, Sara Ruth Eubanks of Marietta Ga.; 11 grandchildren, Chris Wilder of Hickory, N.C., John Wilder of Greer, Page Smith and Todd Smith of Greenville, Brandon Sholar, Shawn Sholar, Brian Sholar, Shannon Sholar, of Virginia Beach, Va., Adam Cushman, Carith C ushman and Meredith Cushman of Princeton Junction, N.J.; one great- granddaughter, Georgia Kate Wilder of Hickory N.C. He was predeceased by his first wife, Gwuen Page Wilder, and two brothers, Bruce and Garnett Wilder Mole Funeral Home, (803) 259-3166. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com

The Augusta Chronicle May 20, 2005