ORANGEBURG -- Tara Scarlett Ruple Williamson, 58, of Orangeburg, passed away Sunday, April 14, 2019. Tara was the wife of the late Dr. James "Rick" Richard Williamson. She was a daughter of the late John Henry Platt Ruple and Mary Louise Kirkland Ruple.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, April 19, at St. Andrews United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in the Denmark Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Dukes Harley Funeral Home.
With a passion for the youth of South Carolina, Tara helped the Orangeburg community in many ways. She was a passionate believer in education, a relentless advocate for the Orangeburg community, and most importantly, loved her family. Often described as one of “the nicest people I've ever met,” she had the ability to connect with others in an instant and relate to their needs and concerns, never wasting a minute to seek recognition or to expect reciprocation.
Tara worked at numerous schools and academic institutions throughout her career, guiding many young pupils in various capacities. Her passion for education extended into her civic life as well. Tara was a longtime member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church and was also on the board of trustees. She was a dedicated Meals on Wheels volunteer for many years, an active member of the Friends of the Library Board, and a sustaining member of the Junior Service League of Orangeburg. She smocked preemie baby gowns as a member of the Garden City Stitchers, served on the City of Orangeburg Election Commission and was a tireless volunteer for Scouting in both Pack 90 and Troop 45 as well as the Indian Waters Council. After Rick's death, Tara embraced his sylvan stewardship, continuing to manage the family farm as well as serving on the Orangeburg County Forestry Board.
During their happy marriage, Tara and Rick were the first couple to be honored in Orangeburg County with the Community of Character award for sincerity. Both were faithful ambassadors to Christ. Tara's family finds comfort in the thought of Rick and Tara's heavenly reunion, and most importantly, the eternal reunion with the God and Savior they loved so dearly.
Survivors include her sons, Richard Ruple Williamson and Andrew John Williamson of the home; sisters, Mary Kay Ruple, Janice Weathers Westbury (Tony), Breta Ann Ruple Rheney (John), Sharon Weathers Bonnette (Gerald), Holly Ruple Ulmer (Timmy) and Lisa Weathers Stack (David); mother Anna Mae Weathers; mother-in-law Harriet Williams Williamson; and brother-in-law Johnny Williamson (Kaki).
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wofford College, Inez and John Williamson Scholarship, Office of Development, 429 N. Church St., Spartanburg, SC 29303; or to St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 1980 Columbia Road, Orangeburg, SC 29115.