JANE MCNIEL DILLON – Jane Connor Peterkin McNiel, 92, passed away on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, after a period of failing health at McLeod Hospice House. She had resided at Florence Presbyterian Community for several years until February 2018.
Born August 15, 1925, in Fort Motte, she was the only child of Edward Ancel and Alma Connor Peterkin. She lived in the Carolina section of Dillon County for most of her life. She was homeschooled by her mother then attended Oakland School in Dillon County. She graduated from Dillon High School in 1942 and was valedictorian. In 1946 she graduated from Winthrop College in Rock Hill with a bachelor’s degree in home economics.
It was while a student at Winthrop that she met her future husband, Robert Leland McNiel of Atmore, AL, while he was stationed there for training with the US Army Air Corps during World War II. They married on August 30, 1946, at Carolina Presbyterian Church in Little Rock and celebrated 56 years of marriage before he predeceased her in 2002.
She was a lifelong active member of Carolina Presbyterian Church and was one of the first female elders elected to serve the congregation. She was also a former Moderator of the Women of the Church, adult ladies Sunday school teacher, and vacation Bible school teacher.
She was a former primary school teacher having taught in Dillon County public schools for many years. She then taught 2nd grade and later established the kindergarten program at Avalon Academy from which she retired.
At Saint Eugene’s Medical Center she was chosen to be the first female board member and was an active member of the Auxiliary. She was a member of The National Society of Magna Charta Dames, and, also a member and former registrar of the Rebecca Pickens Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a former member of the Rose Garden Club. She also served as an assistant leader for local Brownie and Junior Girl Scout troops. She enjoyed cooking, genealogy, being a lady farmer, and took great pride in her family and their accomplishments as well as being an avid Auburn University Tigers football fan.
She and her late husband were very proud of their Scottish heritage and enjoyed learning about their ancestors’ migration to America. They loved sharing their knowledge with others and encouraged many to learn about their own family lineage. For many years they were regular attendees at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville, NC. In 2000 they were presented the Highlander Award from the Scottish Heritage Center at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC, for being outstanding representatives of Scottish heritage in the southeastern US.
In addition to her parents and husband listed above, she was preceded in death by her son, Robert Leland McNiel Jr. in 1972.
Surviving are her daughter, Frances Susan McNiel, and son, Daniel Edward “Danny” McNiel (Elisabeth), both of Bennettsville; six grandchildren, Francis Marion “Brink” Hinson IV ( Krista) of West Columbia, Robert McNiel Hinson (Brittany) of Hamer, Rebecca Connor Hinson (Derek McKee) of Mount Pleasant, Robert Leland “Lee” McNiel III of Cary, NC, Margaret Jane McNiel of Clemson University and Seville, Spain, where she is currently studying, and William Light Kinney McNiel of Bennettsville; four great-grandchildren, Adair Nanette Hinson of West Columbia, and Caleb Hinson, Colby Plummer and Connor Hinson, all of Hamer; and daughter-in-law, Marilynn Hensley McNiel Shaughnessy of Summerville.
Funeral services will be held at Carolina Presbyterian Church, 4446 Carolina Church Road, Little Rock, on Friday, March 23, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. with burial in the church graveyard immediately following. The Rev. Dr. Scott B. Andrews and The Rev. Ray A. Howe officiating.
The family will receive friends in the church Fellowship Hall following the committal. At other times, the family will be at their respective homes.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons: Brink Hinson, McNiel Hinson, Derek McKee, Lee McNiel and Light McNiel; and family friends, Bobby Glenn, John Manton Alford and Glenn Greene.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are encouraged to be made to the McNiel Family Fund, c/o Eastern Carolina Community Foundation, P. O. Box 1615, Florence SC 29503. Contributions will be donated to various entities and activities that she loved and supported throughout her lifetime.
Burroughs Funeral Home of Bennettsville is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at bfhbennettsville.com.