Miriam L. “Mim” Woodring, a former publisher of the North Augusta Star and longtime community activist, died May 2 at her North Augusta home. She was 83.
Woodring and her husband, Sam, bought the North Augusta newspaper in 1954 for $1,000. Over the next 45 years, the couple established the Star as a platform for civic activism and community journalism.
Many in the community remember Woodring for helping to develop the city as it is today. She helped find investors for the North Augusta High School stadium, grow the Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and establish the library and North Augusta Bible Chapel.
Friends say she was the type of woman to help out in the community in any way that she could.
“She was instrumental in putting together the North Augusta Idol Show,” said Ken Smith, the executive director of the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council.
She also used her background in pageantry to direct the Miss North Augusta Senior High pageant for a number of years.
Woodring has served on Aiken County Council and numerous boards, including Friends of The Nancy Carson Library Foundation and the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council.
Among her honors was a Golden Deeds award through the Exchange Club of North Augusta.
In 1972 she was honored as Citizen of the Year through the Chamber, and in 1997 the Woodrings were awarded Small Business Persons of the Year.
“She was a wonderful lady, and her impact in North Augusta cannot be overestimated,” said Brian Tucker, president of the North Augusta Chamber. “She will be missed, but her legacy will always be remembered.”
Angela Burkhalter first met Woodring in the early 60s when she directed the high school pageant that she was in. She said Woodring looked after each girl in the pageant.
“She is a great encourager and she is inspirational, a great role model,” Burkhalter said.
The two became friends through the years and served together in the community.
“She and Sam called us one Christmas season and said they didn’t have children and asked if they could come share Christmas morning with us,” Burkhalter said, which became tradition for the past 35 years.
Burkhalter said Woodring always encouraged people by doing things such as writing notes for people's anniversaries, birthdays and other occasions.
For many years she also served as a wedding director, Burkhalter said.
Burkhalter said that even though she grew more physically disabled in recent years, that Woodring continued to work out with a trainer twice a week and it helped keep her active.
“She has amazing determination, motivation and persistence,” Burkhalter said, noting that Woodring was a breast cancer survivor.
Woodring also was named the South Carolina Press Association’s Newspaper Woman of the Year in 1966 and was the first woman elected to serve on the association’s board of directors.
The Woodrings sold the Star in 1998 to the Evening Post Co. of Charleston, S.C., which also publishes The Post & Courier and The Aiken Standard.
Sam, a native of Pennsylvania, died in 2001.
Burial services were held Saturday at Pineview Memorial Park.