Marilyn Worley Smith



Marilyn Worley Smith passed away Feb 14th at her home in Pawleys Island after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. The daughter of Dan and Mary Stephens Worley, she was born July 21st, 1943 in Sumter, SC. She attended Sumter County public schools and received a BA degree in elementary education from Columbia College. She married Cary Smith of Columbia, SC in April of 1964. Following her graduation she taught one year in the Richland County School system.

Following his graduation, her husband joined the IBM Corporation and together they embarked on a career that took them to numerous locations and provided many great experiences. Moving ten times in twenty years, Marilyn was the consummate homemaker. Quickly organizing each new home, parenting three children and supporting their busy lives, she consistently remained the steadying rock for her husband. While steadfastly supporting her family she never gave up being a southern girl at heart and longed to return. After decades away she and her husband returned to Columbia, SC and while continuing her long established roles she engaged in following her passions fiercely. In 1987 she opened and operated the Gillyflower gift and home accessories business. Her passion for the merchandise and the customers brought her much pleasure. In 1990, following the death of their son while serving in the USMC, she closed her business and moved on to pursue other interests. She completed the Master Gardener program in 1991. She loved being in the yard with her plants, many of which resided in multiple spots before finding just the right place. She created two certified backyard habitats. She volunteered as a gardener at Riverbanks Zoo, Historic Columbia sites and the Women’s Shelter. She became involved with Columbia Green in numerous activities and ultimately served as its President. She was an active member of the Mimosa Garden Club and her PEO Chapter serving as President of both organizations. While she never sought leadership roles, when asked she was willing to give her all for favorite causes.

Upon retiring she and her husband moved to Pawleys Island where she became a member of the Georgetown Garden Club and continued her PEO membership. She was a member of Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet.

She was loved by many for her surprising and sharply focused sense of humor punctuated occasionally by a little sarcasm. Perhaps her greatest passion was her grandchildren. She personified the expression “they are the reward you get for having children.” For those who knew her it has been painful to see her brightness, energy and spontaneity dimmed but they will remember her warmly nonetheless.

She was preceded in death by both her parents and her son 1st Lt. Cary K. Smith Jr, USMC. She is survived by her husband Cary Smith, two daughters, Sloan Smith Huckabee of Litchfield Beach and Sara Smith Corcoran of Nashville, Tenn. and their husbands Robert and Kevin; her six wonderful grandchildren, Drew, Nicholas and Brittany Pope and Cary, Catherine and John Henry Corcoran.

A service to celebrate her life will be held at Belin UMC on Feb. 22nd at 11:00 am.

Following the service the family will receive guests in the church’s Family Life Center.

A second life celebration service will be held in Columbia, SC on Feb. 23 at 3:00pm at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church following a private interment service at Elmwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to the Mercy Care Hospice of Myrtle Beach or Belin UMC land fund would be appreciated.

Online condolences may be directed to:

Burroughs Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Murrells Inlet (843.651.1440) is assisting the family.