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Willie James Best

October 20, 1942 ~ February 27, 2022 (age 79)

Obituary Image


We belong to God; not only for a few fleeting years that we call life, but for eternity. God is on both sides of the river. He walks with us during our earthly life and is there to receive us for our eternal life. We are in God’s presence in life, death, and everlasting, yet we must cross the river to receive our crown of life. Deacon Willie James Best’s earthly life began in Hampton County, South Carolina, on October 20, 1942, when God gave this gentle spirit to the late Willie Best and the late Estella Dobson Best. Deacon Willie James was affectionately known as “Nick” to his family and close friends.

He was educated in the public school system of Hampton County, South Carolina. In his early years as a youth, he attended Mount Zion Baptist Church. To make a better life for himself, he left the area for many years. He attended several churches in Brooklyn, New York, and in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After returning to his original roots, Deacon Best surrendered his life to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and rejoined Mount Zion Baptist Church, where he was baptized. He later moved his membership to Goodwill Baptist Church. He was then ordained as a deacon and grew more spiritually in the Lord. When a man finds a wife, he finds a good thing. After dating his wife, Willie Mae Johnson, in their youth, they rekindled their relationship as adults and were married on August 25, 2007.

Deacon Willie James Best lived a full life, but God saw he was tired, and the hills were too hard to climb. He gently closed his eyes. He quietly succumbed to the Lord on Sunday, February 27, 2022, at his residence in Estill, South Carolina.

Those left to cherish fond memories: sisters, Lizzie M. Best of Chester, PA, Alice Best Tolan of Washington, DC, Dottie Jean (Ronnie) Jackson of Allendale, SC, Minister Veronica E. Best, Vivian (Alvin) Murdaugh, Carolyn Risher, and Jackie Lee, all of Gifford, SC; brothers, Kenneth Best, Dwayne Best, Henry Best, and Oscar “Drag” Wesley; son-in-law in love, Herbert J. Boston; seven sisters-in-law; six brothers-in-law; special nephew and niece, Joshua Woods and Selena; and a host of cousins and friends.

Due to the current state of (COVID-19) pandemic and in order to promote social distancing, anyone entering the funeral home for viewing; as well as attending all graveside or funeral service, either inside or outside, must wear a mask. We will also limit the number of persons allowed to enter the funeral home or any other facility at any given period during the viewing process.  We ask that you leave the premise upon exiting the building. The family is most appreciative to each of you for all acts of kindness shown to them during this difficult time in their lives

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Willie James Best, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


March 5, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Martin Funeral Home Chapel
161 Clarke Avenue South
Estill, SC 29918

March 6, 2022

12:00 PM
Goodwill Baptist Church
364 Goodwill Road
Estill, SC 29918

Interment following funeral service
March 6, 2022

Goodwill Baptist Church Cemetery
364 Goodwill Road
Estill, SC 29918

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