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Ernestine Wiggins Youmans, a faithful servant to the Community

“What a faithful servant is she”…It takes very special people to care for others, especially at their most vulnerable moments. Ernestine Wiggins Youmans is by far one of those special people. She is the oldest of three siblings, Norris Wiggins and Sennie Adams. At the dazzling age of 71, Youmans has served the Colleton County Community for nearly 50 years as a healthcare professional, volunteer, and faithful servant. On any given day she will be one of the first bright faces you’ll see at the Welcome Desk when you walk through the front doors of Colleton Medical Center. For the past six years, Youmans has been one of the outstanding and dedicated volunteers at the hospital. But her story at Colleton Medical Center didn’t start as a volunteer. Youmans has been a part of the hospital’s legacy as a compassionate nurse for 42 years before returning as a faithful volunteer.
Youmans was born and raised in Colleton County. She knew very early in life; she wanted to be a nurse to help care for others and improve the health of her community. Therefore, immediately after graduating from Ruffin High School in 1965 Youmans went directly to nursing school at Beaufort Nursing in Beaufort SC. Two years later she graduated with her nursing degree. Knowing that she wanted to work in her community Youmans came back to Walterboro to start her nursing career. Youmans got her very first job at Colleton Regional Hospital which was the original hospital located on Lemacks street. Youmans said, “I was part of the move when Colleton Regional Hospital relocated and became Colleton Medical Center. I worked as a nurse in the Rehabilitation Unit for 25 years where I enjoyed working with the older patient population. I also worked on other units throughout the hospital before I retired.” Youmans shared fond memories of working with physicians like Dr. Joe Flowers, Dr. John Johnson, and Dr. William Felder.
After Youmans retired, she took two years off but couldn’t stay away. Youmans said, “This hospital, the staff, the patients, and this community is a part of who I am, and I am proud to be a part of it. I get along with everyone, and most importantly I love how we take care of each other and of the community. It was such a joy coming to work at the hospital. That’s one of the main reasons I came back as a volunteer. I missed my connection with the patients and my former co-workers. But for the past 6 years, I have loved every minute of being a volunteer at Colleton Medical Center.”
In addition to volunteering at the hospital, Youmans has found many ways to outside of volunteering to fill her retirement. She enjoys traveling, cooking, watching TV, and spending time with her grand and greatgrandchildren since retirement Youmans has been on 18 cruises and 7 trips at various places around the world with family, friends, and her best friend of over 32 years Yonne Payne. “I’m planning my next trip to Aruba in July 2020 as well as preparing to host my annual Family and Friends Christmas Dinner at my home,” said Youmans. Not only is Youmans a faithful servant of her community she has also inspired generations of nurses including her grandchildren. Her oldest granddaughter Antavai is currently in nursing school, and her youngest granddaughter Tye wants to become a nursing assistant. Youmans shared how important it is to encourage young people and inspire them to reach their goals. “I helped to support my favorite niece Tanisha Smith, sent her to college in Atlanta, GA, and I am so proud of the woman that she has become,” said Youmans.
Youmans was married to the late Leroy Youmans. She has one son James Wiggs who gave her three grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren whom she loves dearly. Youmans is a member of Mquance Baptist Church located in Lodge SC, pastored by Rev. J.E. Simmons, where she served as an usher for 37 years. “I love attending my church and appreciate Rev. Johnny Fryer and his wife Marylin, who has been my travel companion for many years to church and reunion meeting,” said Youmans. Youmans is a great example of how to have a fulfilling life after retirement while still making an impact in your community. “If I could give one piece of advice to anyone it would be to choose a job that you are passionate about doing where you can be kind to others and share your whole spirit. If you do that it won’t feel like a job, it will feel like it’s what you were put on this earth to do, and you will be serving your life’s purpose with joy and fulfillment. I’m grateful to everyone who has crossed my path in life, every day, I look forward to sharing my spirit and living each day with purpose,” said Youmans.

Cokeitha Gaddist
Cokeitha Gaddist (82 Posts)