CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Former school teacher, Charleston City Council member and mayor pro tem Hilda Hutchinson Jefferson died Sunday.
She was 93.
Mayor Joe Riley called Jefferson "a most wonderful public servant and an extraordinarily kind civic-minded person" in a statement Monday.
Jefferson was honored in 2010 when she became the first recipient of the Marjorie Amos Frazier Pacesetter Award, named after the first woman, African American and non-legislator elected to the state Public Service Commission.
"She was so completely responsive to the needs and concerns of her constituents and, at the same time, maintained a wonderful, clear vision for the city as a whole and its future. She cared greatly about the neighborhoods in the district she represented, but she cared just as much for every neighborhood in Charleston," Riley said.
Riley called Jefferson one of the most generous people he had ever known and said she was responsible for creating an annual Christmas party for Charleston city employees and their families, adding that she worked on the event for 365 days a year.
"She would personally solicit donations for gifts for the children. Usually at the party, there would be 40-50 bicycles that would be given away, many other presents for the children and a wonderful meal to share with the City family. Many children of employees of our fine Environmental Services Division and other Departments had a special Christmas because of Mrs. Jefferson," Riley said.
Riley said that she reminded him of the importance of the annual event during his last visits with her at the hospital. He said she received his "continued assurance that it would continue."