Enquirer Herald

Bethany mourns death of Charles McGill, 84

BETHANY -- For maybe the first time ever on a weekday that wasn't a holiday, McGill's Store west of Clover was closed Monday.

That's because Charles McGill, who ran one of the last remaining general stores in the area for more than 50 years until handing over the business to his sons a couple of years ago, died Monday. He was 84.

The store, and the McGill name, had been synonymous since 1883 with the Bethany community where S.C. 161 and S.C. 55 meet.

Charles McGill was a man of generosity, said people who knew him -- and that was just about everybody in Clover and points west in York County.

"No one was a nicer man; no one cared more or knew more about Bethany and Clover than Charles McGill," said Bobby Meeks. "He had an insight into this area, always wanted it to be a great place for everyone like it was for his family."

McGill was a trustee of the York Electric Cooperative for almost half a century. He served Bethany Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and the volunteer fire department for decades.

Yet, Charles McGill shunned the limelight, preferring to be a "quiet servant" to church and community and people who needed a hand, said one of his daughters, Margaret Grier.

The country store tradition of caring about customers was the Charles McGill trademark, said son-in-law Jack Grier, who worked at the store for years. Even after retirement, McGill was at the store every day.

"Charles McGill cared about people," Jack Grier said. "He took care of customers, his family, everybody. He waited on generations from the same family, knew them by name, was appreciative of their business."

McGill leaves behind his wife, Ruth, daughters Margaret and Katherine, and sons Jimmy and David, who bought the business McGill took over from his father before him.