MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - Dr. Bessie ("Tina") Rainsford Yarborough, 66, died in University Hospital on May 19, 2016 after battling leukemia for a number of years. Originally from Edgefield, SC, she was the daughter of the late William G. and Bessie R. Yarborough. She was an accomplished and revered professor at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA, where she taught Art History and Interdisciplinary Studies. As a mentor, professor, and friend, she inspired many students with which she passionately shared her love of art and her appreciation for cultural diversity. As a proponent throughout her life for equal rights, Tina was distinguished in 1972 to serve as the first female messenger in the U.S. Senate. Hired into that role by Senator Strom Thurmond after Tina's college graduation, she was also the first female to ever raise the U.S. flag over the Capitol. Tina earned both her undergraduate and her masters from the University of South Carolina. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Art History from the University of Chicago, and wrote her dissertation on the "Exhibition Strategies and Wartime Politics in the Art and Career of Edvard Munch, 1914-1921." Tina was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Norway, as she prepared her dissertation. Her love, intelligence, and joie de vivre influenced all those around her. Surviving are her brothers, Colonel William Glenn Yarborough, Jr. and his wife Betsy of Thomson, GA, Herbert Smith Yarborough and his wife Susan of Edgefield, SC; eight nieces and nephews, William Glenn Yarborough III, Clinton Joseph Yarborough, Elizabeth Gibson Yarborough, Frank Rainsford Yarborough, James B. Luquire, Jr., William H. Luquire, Mary Caroline Yarborough, Anna Smith Yarborough, and five great-nephews and two great-nieces. She is also survived by her beloved 'rescue dog,' Freckles. She was predeceased by her sister, Allene Elizabeth (Betsy) Luquire. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at Edgefield Mercantile Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Edgefield, SC on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Honorary pallbearers will be her nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to the Edgefield Civic League c/o OEDGS (315 Wigfall Street, Edgefield, South Carolina 29824) or a
. Please sign the online register book at www.edgefieldmercantilefh.com.
Edgefield Mercantile Funeral Home, Inc.
801 Columbia Road
Edgefield, SC 29824
Published in The Augusta Chronicle on May 21, 2016