Mary Elizabeth Smith Horger
CLEMSON -- Mary Elizabeth Smith Horger, wife of the late Richard Culler Horger, M.D., passed away in Clemson, on Sept. 24, 2021.
A graveside service will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery in Orangeburg at 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. Following the service, the family will greet Mary's friends on the patio at Chestnut Grill, 1455 Chestnut St., Orangeburg, SC 29118.
Born in 1923 in Savannah, Georgia, Mary was a daughter of the late Paul Hayne Smith and Alline Bussey Smith, Mary grew up in Savannah, where she attended Savannah schools before enrolling in the Nurse Training program at Columbia Hospital, where she met Richard, who was in Resident Training at the hospital. It was wartime in America, and knowing he could be called up for service at any minute, he asked Mary to marry him; and on June 29, 1943, they began their 68 years of life together.
After returning home from the war, Richard and Mary made their home in Charleston, where Richard completed his OB-GYN studies at MUSC. They moved to Orangeburg in 1947 and Richard established the City's first OB-GYN specialty practice.
Mary was an avid bridge player and gardener. On most pretty days, you could find her working endlessly with her flowers, many of which were rooted and transplanted from her mother's garden in Savannah. Her favorite color was red and you could always find something red blooming in her garden. More than flowers or bridge, Mary loved sports, particularly sharing decades going to Gamecock football games and ACC Tournaments with her beloved Dick and dear friends, Ruth and Cliff Morgan. Even in her last years, Mary took great interest in sports on TV, and preferred even a good cricket match over most of the other offerings on the cable. Mary was a lifelong member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church, The Thalian Club, The Assembly Club, and a sustainer of the Orangeburg Junior Service League. For much of her life she was an active supporter of beautification efforts in Orangeburg and in the Orangeburg Regional Medical Center auxiliary and its predecessor.
In addition to her husband and parents, Mary was preceded in death by her sisters, Louise S. Purkerson, of Greenwood, and Jene Peters Lane, of Savannah, and a brother, Kulman B. Smith (Lt. Col., U.S Army, Ret.). Mary is survived by her daughters, Elaine H. Albergotti (Robert), of Seneca and Connie S. Horger, of Greenville; her son, Richard C. Horger Jr., of Mount Pleasant; her grandchildren, Allison A. Homan (Matt), of Charlotte, North Carolina; Robert D. Albergotti, Jr. (Cassie), of Charlotte; and Courtney H. Southerland, of Columbia; and a brother, J. Carlyle Smith (Col., USAF Ret.) and wife Ava, of Alexandria, Virginia; as well as six great-grandchildren.
Mary's family appreciates the care and compassion of those who cared so lovingly for Mary over the past few years, including Janice Jones, Judy Carson, Diane Keitt, Sam and Lucious Jenkins, and the staff at Clemson Downs and Crescent Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorials for Mary to be sent to St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1356 Amelia St., Orangeburg, SC 29115.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.dukesharleyfuneralhome.com or https:/www.facebook.comukes-Harley-Funeral-Home-and-Crematory-304968586272868