Barbara Duncan Willm, “Babz”, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and Queen of the Sunrise Club, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2022. She lived with cancer for nearly six years, and lived each day to the fullest.
A funeral service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 9:30am. A graveside service will be held at 3:00pm at Hillcrest Cemetery in Conway, SC. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 from 4:00pm until 7:00pm at Dunbar Funeral Home Devine Street Chapel.
She is survived by her loving husband, Dale, her daughter Hallie Willm Biediger (Brooks), son Robert Duncan Willm, grandson John Michael “Jack” Biediger and granddaughter, Elizabeth Barbara “Lizzie” Biediger, coming later this year. She is also survived by her sister, Jane Duncan Lee, and her brother Benjamin H. Duncan (Jane), in addition to many brothers and sisters in law, nieces and nephews, and grand nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Harold and Viola Crumpton Duncan, mother-in-law Joy Willm Collins, father-in-law Robert L. Willm, and brother-in-law Bill Lee.
Barbara was a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Nursing, and had a long and distinguished career in the medical field. After several years at McLeod Medical Center in Florence and working the 3-11 shift in the operating room at Richland Memorial Hospital, she began her career in the Lexington Medical Center network of care as an operating room manager at Lexington Medical Center Irmo. Over the course of her 35-year career at Lexington Medical Center, Barbara became a Vice President of community medical centers, opening all of Lexington Medical Center’s six original community medical centers, before she became the Vice President of Community Relations and the Foundation.
Extremely active throughout the Midlands philanthropic and business communities, she was widely recognized as an advocate for the underserved.
In November of 2021, Barbara was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the State of South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.
Barbara served as the chairman of the Free Medical Clinic Board, the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce Board, the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board, the Leadership Lexington County Board, and the Saluda Shoals Foundation Board. She served as a board member on the Lexington County Economic Development Board, the United Way of the Midlands, chairing their Community Impact Committee, and the board of Transitions Homeless Recovery Center.
Barbara was awarded the Key to the City of Irmo in 2020 by the Irmo Town Council to honor her decades-long service to the people of Irmo.
She was awarded the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year award in 2005. She received the South Carolina Girls Scouts Mountains to Midlands Women of Distinction Award in 2013. She was named a Komen Champion by the Susan G. Komen Organization in 2016 for her work with breast cancer awareness and research.
Barbara was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cayce West Columbia Chamber of Commerce in 2019. In February of 2020, she received the Mike Till Community Impact Award from the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. In March of 2020, Barbara was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce.
Her greatest achievements and joys were her two children, of whom she was immensely proud. To her children she was simply the very best mother in the world.
The family would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the countless friends and family who provided so much love and support during the last six years. A special thank you to Margaret Hall for her love and support.
Thank you so much to Agape Care Group, Nurse Tonia Shepard, Dr. Jimmy Wells, and the team of healthcare providers in the Lexington Medical Center Family.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Barbara D. Willm Fund to Provide Hope: https://www.lexmed.com/giving/donate/.
Donate by mail: Lexington Medical Center, Attn: Foundation Office 2720 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, SC 29169.