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1931 Ione 2023

Ione Hanks Broadwater

August 18, 1931 — September 23, 2023

GREENVILLE – Ione Hanks Broadwater, 92, of Greenville, passed away peacefully in her sleep on
Saturday, September 23, 2023 at NHC HealthCare Mauldin.
Born on August 18, 1931, in Shreveport, Louisiana, she was the daughter of the late Leonora Byrum
Hanks and Edison Newton Hanks.
At the age of 18, she met her soul mate and best friend, Cecil Broadwater, who would become her
husband of 50 years and sweetheart of 52 years.
Cecil was employed by the construction company building a hospital in Shreveport. After Cecil asked his
landlord about a lady who was his age, he was told about Ione who lived down the street. Ione turned him
down initially due to church work and other commitments but suggested he go on a date with her sister,
who was two years younger. Her sister said he was too old, so Cecil reached back out to Ione.
Their first outing was to a prayer meeting at her church. Cecil was not a Christian at the time but knew
Ione was the one for him. He persisted and the two started dating. Even when Ione went to college 70
miles away, that didn’t slow their love story. They saw each other on weekends. Cecil would take a two-
hour train ride to her college town or Ione would catch a ride home with someone.
After a year and a half, the two got married. They spent the next 50 years building a family and life
together, eventually bringing them back to Cecil’s hometown of Greenville where they raised their four
She was an active leader with Girl Scouts where she helped her daughters and other young girls develop
skills and character traits they needed for the future. Though she never considered herself an artistic
person, she wrote a play for her troop, painted scenery for the play, and performed in it. She was even
featured on television news telling the story of Girl Scouting.
Her faith was always highly important in her life. She loved God and loved singing hymns, including in
her church choir. Over the years, she and Cecil were involved in many activities at Eastlan Baptist Church
in Greenville, including working with young people missions. Later in life, Ione served her Lord on
international mission trips to Trinidad.
At the age of 14, Ione was editor and typist for a young people’s weekly church paper in Louisiana,
something she’d repeat in her 20s at Eastlan and for Girl Scouts. She later put those clerical skills to work
professionally as a secretary at the Donaldson Center and for various lawyers. She later was a medical
secretary for Dr. William Hawkins, whom she remained close friends with after her retirement. She also
sold World Book Encyclopedias.
After she and her husband retired, they spent years traveling, including in their RV. Ione spent a lot of
time meticulously planning every trip but also documented their travels through photos and notes. They
traveled to every state in the United States and to every province in Canada. “It was a great deal of work
planning the trips, but it was always worth it,” Ione told her family.
At the age of 70, her beloved Cecil passed away on August 27, 2001. This was life-changing and caused
Ione to reflect on her life. Though she experienced bouts of disappointments, bitterness, and hardships
that everyone goes through, Ione focused on how lucky, blessed, and fortunate she was.
“I have lived a very full life, and I am ready to join your father and my Heavenly Father whenever my
time comes,” she wrote in a letter to her daughters in December 2001. Though she couldn’t imagine more
than she could accomplish, she said she hoped God was keeping her around because someone needed her.

For the next 22 years after that letter, Ione continued to live her life for God by using her money, time,
and talents to help people. This included locally by serving her church and far away through missions.
Her greatest joy was her family. “I love you all so much,” she wrote in her letter.
Left to cherish her memories are her four daughters, Linda B. (Robert) Hellams and Vicki B. (Doug)
Chapman, both of Greenville, Sharon B. (Charles) Vickery of Barnwell, and Jeanine B. (Danny) Helms of
Waxhaw, N.C.; six grandchildren, Chris (Heather), Rob (Barbara), and Ryan (Angie) Chapman, Michael
(Christian) and Stephen (Ashley) Hindman, all of Greenville, and Jonathan (Dawn) Vickery of Barnwell;
numerous step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews in Louisiana.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sister, Virginia Ann Hanks Passman;
grandson, Lloyd Charles Vickery IV; and great-granddaughter, Naomi Christian Hindman.
Services will be held Thursday, September 28, 2023, at 2 p.m. at Graceland East Chapel in Greenville.
Rev. Jerry Stepp, her former music minister, will lead the music and service. Visitation to follow.
Memorials can be sent to Hunter’s Hope, P.O. Box 643, Orchard Park, N.Y. 14127, or to the charity of
one’s choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ione Hanks Broadwater, please visit our flower store.


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