ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)–Tuesday, was the first Anderson County Council meeting since the passing of member, Gracie Floyd. Floyd died Friday from complications of COVID-19.
At the beginning of Anderson County’s Council meeting, it was somber– as members honored Floyd with a moment of silence and prayer.
“We come before you today with heavy hearts. We are feeling the loss of a fellow councilmen, a friend. And a champion for Anderson County,” said Jimmy Davis, Anderson County Council District Six.
A seat that is typically Councilwoman Floyd’s, was replaced with a memorial of flowers and her picture.
“We lift up the family of Mrs. Gracie Floyd, and we ask you to bring her family peace and comfort during this time,” Davis said during a prayer.
To Floyd’s fellow council members, she was a champion for all of district two residents, but to her son Kenny Floyd, her life was something deeper.
“She shined through being a mom,” Kenny said. “My mother was the most giving and gracious person, but if y’all had an issue and didn’t talk about it that day, she was going to remember it,” he said.
Floyd passed away from COVID pneumonia on last Friday, after family said she was hospitalized for nearly two weeks.
“They had to sedate her, and from then on it, we didn’t get a chance to talk to her anymore,” Kenny said.
Although her son was not able to talk to her in those final moments, it’s her full life he is remembering most, especially her more than 20 years on county council. In 1999, Floyd took the seat of her late husband, William Floyd, after he died.
“County council for her, was a chance to participate in a life that she really believed in,” Kenny said. “Mom was a neighborhood…a community person. Always was. Always was. And that’s why she and my dad made a perfect match,” Kenny said.
A fighter, a passionate servant, a seed planter is how her son described her.
“She was a constant person, making a way. She was a constant person who wasn’t afraid to standup to political pundits, and political people to tell them no you’re wrong,” Kenny said. “Mom planted seeds of inspiration and hope,” he said.
Whether it was giving kids other alternatives in the community, or mentoring, and being a trailblazer, her son said she was always honest and never back down.
“Mom had a program where if you wanted to go back to school, she had a bus come pick you up in Anderson to take you out to Tri-County Tech. Can you imagine what that’s like for single fathers, for single mothers,” he said. “One of her other programs, was the gang task force, giving these kids an opportunity to see the other things that are out there,” Kenny said.
Although Floyd’s life was cut short at the age of 75, it’s her full successful life her family will forever treasure.
“She loved life, and the way she chose to show it, is through her service,” Kenny said. “Mom was effective because her life was full,” Kenny added.
On Tuesday, Anderson County Council passed a resolution supporting local match for a Community Block Grant Program. This grant will demolish 15 run-down homes in the Homeland Park area, which was Floyd’s district.
Council said this was one of the last things Floyd was able to get approved before her passing.
“This is the resolution that Ms. Floyd had been working on. It has been turned down in the past. It was a grant of almost $250,000, to tear down 15 houses in her district. Again, she worked tirelessly on this, along with Mr. Steve Newton, and even in her passing, she’s still working for her constituents,” said Brett Sanders, Anderson County Council’s Vice-Chairman.
“I know she’d be very very proud of it and she did get to see this come into fruition as far as this being approved,” said Tommy Dunn, Anderson County Council Chair.
Newton said $239,150 in funding is coming from federal funds, administered by the SC Department of Commerce. Anderson County matched it with $24,350, to bring the total grant to $263,500. The resolution is effective immediately.
The family said funeral arrangements have not been made at this time.