BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Dr. Emily Clyburn, wife of House Majority Whip and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, has died.
According to the 6th district representative’s office, she passed away Thursday morning in Columbia at the age of 80.
“I ask that South Carolinians keep Jim Clyburn and the Clyburn family in their hearts and lift them up through prayer today,” Governor Henry McMaster said in a statement. “Peggy and I are saddened by the passing of Ms. Emily, but are heartened that she has left a legacy of love, joy, and strength with the Clyburn family.”
Dr. Clyburn was known by many as Ms. Emily and Dr. Em to some. She attended Berkeley Training High School, then South Carolina State College, and furthered her studies at Atlanta University and the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Clyburn was a librarian in Columbia and Charleston public schools before working 29 years as a medical librarian at the Charleston Naval Base and Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia.
The Associated Press reports Rep. Clyburn skipped several recent public events, at which officials sought prayers for his family and Dr. Clyburn in his absence.
The Clyburns met while both were students at South Carolina State University and had been married for nearly six decades. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.
Clyburn’s office said a celebration of Dr. Clyburn’s life and legacy will be held Sunday at Brookland Baptist Church. Homegoing services will be held Monday at Morris Brown AMEC in Charleston.
Rep. Clyburn’s office says the family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Emily England Clyburn Honors College Endowment at South Carolina State University and the Emily E. Clyburn Huddle Room at the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center in Columbia.