Ernestine Wyndham Huxford Conrad passed into the presence of her Lord on July 21, 2021 at 89 years of age after a courageous battle with both cancer and heart issues. She remained perky, positive and passionate about her life and faith until she closed her eyes in death. She lived well and finished well.
Ernestine was born at Bull Head Hill, the family home of her parents Ernest and Ethel Wyndham, near Moncks Corner, SC on March 2, 1932. She enjoyed an idyllic childhood there surrounded by her brothers Frampton, EG, Friendly, Johnny and her sister Doris Ivey. She graduated from Macedonia High School where she excelled in academics, sports and music. After graduation she enrolled in Winthrop College where she received a degree in Music Education with a focus in piano. Upon graduation she launched the first Music Program at Irmo High School. Later she moved to the Holly Hill High School to teach closer to her family. Eventually, she found her home teaching music for both St. Stephen Elementary and High School, St. Stephen’s Academy and finished her career leading the music program at College Park and Sangaree Elementary Schools. She was honored as Teacher of the Year when she retired after 48 years of Music Education. Her musical gifts combined with innate leadership ability enabled her to draw and compel students to participate in many musical expressions. “Miss Ernestine” developed and led holiday musical programs for her schools, taught private piano lessons as well as leading a Community Choir for volunteer vocalists who served Christ together for 50 years. In addition, she led the music program for Russellville Christian Church for 60 years.
Ernestine married the love of her life, Thomas Campbell Huxford Jr on December 19, 1954. Her marriage produced two sons: Thomas Campbell Huxford III and James Eric Huxford as well as two daughters in law, 6 grand sons and 14 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Sadly, Campbell suddenly died after 13 years of marriage and Ernestine remained a widow for 31 years until she married Frank Conrad in 1998. She was the greatest supporter of the work of her sons and daughter who are all committed to Christian ministry. She was steadfast and immovable as she invested in the spiritual life of five generations of her family. Her work for Christ was not in vain.
It would be hard to estimate the impact of Ernestine’s life as a parent, teacher, musician, worship and ministry leader, coach, encourager, camp counselor, retreat speaker, mentor, servant of Jesus and friend. The week she died she was surrounded by friends and family who sang for her and with her the spiritual songs that she taught to so many. Music was her heart language. She spoke that language on earth until she was promoted to her new position in Heaven.
A Celebration of Ernestine's life will be held at Russellville Christian Church, Sunday evening, July 25, 2021 at 5 o'clock. Interment will follow in the church cemetery, directed by Russell Funeral Chapel. For those unable to attend the service, it will be recorded and posted to Russell Funeral Chapel's Website and Facebook page. The family will receive friends at Russellville Christian Church, Saturday afternoon, July 24, 2021 from 4 to 7 o'clock.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Central India Christian Mission c/o Compassion Christian Church (www.compassionchristian.com) or to Russellville Christian Church, 1681 Hwy 35, St. Stephen, SC 29479.
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