Each year the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association (LIBPA) presents a Community Spirit Award to a individual or business that has made a significant contribution to the community in the past year. On very special occasions the contributions to the community of a husband and wife performed over a lifetime are of such merit that together the couple is recognized with a Lifetime Community Spirit Award. Such is the case with Lady’s Island residents and long-time LIBPA members Fred and Doti Wilson.
Fred, who is an ordained minister in the United Lutheran Church, completed 30 years of service in the Air Force as a military chaplain during which time he and his wife Doti raised their two daughters and moved 15 times. Upon retirement in 1985, after three decades of service to our country, they chose Lady’s Island as their home and, once settled, began contributing to the community. Fred served as an interim pastor at six churches while Doti volunteered to help the Beaufort Friends of the Library. Soon the Friends of the Library volunteer effort became a family team effort and together, in various capacities, they have each given more than 20 years of service in support of the Beaufort library. For many years Fred was one of the driving forces behind the collection, organizing and display of books for the annual Friends of the Library book sales.
While Fred was on active duty, Doti began serving as a as a member of the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and upon arrival in Beaufort, along with several others, established a VITA site which she has supported each tax season for the past 20 years. Her other volunteer activities have included service as a Literacy Volunteer of the Lowcountry at Beaufort Elementary, support of the annual Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) fundraiser, participation in the American Red Cross blood drives and charity gift wrapping at Belk.
In addition to their many contributions to the community, they are very active in their support of St. John’s Lutheran Church where Fred has served as the supply pastor for Lowcountry churches, initiated the use of the Labyrinth (a form of Christian prayer and devotion), conducted the prayer program during Holy Week while Doti cuts, sews and stuffs cloth animals for the emergency room at Beaufort Memorial. Each Easter they erect and decorate a 14-foot Chrismon Cross with hand-made symbols of Christ.
As a result of their many exceptional acts of generosity over a lifetime of service to both our country and our community, Fred and Doti Wilson will be recognized as recipients of the Lifetime Community Spirit Award at the November 11 meeting of the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association. In keeping with their request, in lieu of a plaque of recognition, a contribution in their honor will be made by LIBPA to the charity of their choice.