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Wofford Malphrus

1929 - 2018
Wofford Malphrus Obituary
Wofford Evans Malphrus of Ridgeland, S.C., died peacefully in his sleep Thursday night after celebrating his 89th birthday. He often told family and friends that he was "ready" to join his wife, Joyce, who preceded him in death in 2008. Wofford and Joyce had three children who survive them, Anne Bailey of Greensboro, N.C., Wofford "Bucky" Malphrus Jr. of Albany, Ga., and Virginia "Ginger" Moore of Guyton, Ga.

Born in Jasper County on August 23, 1929, Wofford was the fifth child of Theodosia Malphrus and Willouck Malphrus, game keeper for Good Hope Plantation. Like father, like son, Wofford was more interested in hunting than in Ridgeland's public schools, which he left to join the U.S. Army Air Force in 1946. Although his superiors at Shaw Air Force Base urged him to enter officers' training school, Wofford opted to attend Furman University. Struggling to balance his studies against hunting and fishing, he finally graduated in 1954. After executive training with the Boy Scouts of America, he began his career as a district executive and camp director in Charleston. He then moved to Reidsville, N.C., where he secured land and funding for a new 2,000-acre camp. In 1971, he moved to Albany, Georgia, where he also built a new scout office and "left a legacy of leadership and growth." In 1979 he moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he also established a new office as well as building yet another highly successful camp. In all three councils, membership swelled - while the population of deer, doves and quail declined.

Wofford was well-known for his annual deer hunts , not to mention his uncanny ability to kill more deer than anyone else. One executive remembers Wofford shooting an eight-point buck, and then saying, "Tom, I wish I had put you on that stand - so I could show you how to shoot a deer that big." Wofford's knack at bagging more game was legendary, a status he and his older brother Ted vied for.

Once "retired," Wofford and Joyce moved to Ridgeland, where Wofford became interested in local history and genealogy. Braving briars, snakes and chiggers, he identified the location of every known gravestone in Jasper County and published a book detailing their locations and inscriptions. He also became the president of the Jasper County Historical Society and established there the first new Audubon chapter in South Carolina in decades.

Throughout his life, Wofford was a model Christian and lived that part of the Scout oath that specified "helping other people at all times." From stopping on the road to help stranded travelers to giving unfortunate people whatever they needed, his actions came from his heart and his deep devotion to God. Like his dad, Wofford passed on his love of nature and the outdoors to his son and daughters, who passed them on to their children.

A complete obituary can be found at: www.saulsfh.com/listings
Published in Jasper County Sun on Sept. 5, 2018
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