Over the past few months, our PCHFH family has grieved the loss of two staunch supporters and long-time volunteers with the passing of Dr. Dennis Bausman and Dr. Joe Dickerson. Both of these fine men were involved with PCHFH for more than 25 years, supporting the organization through their leadership as members of our board of directors, build site supervisors and volunteers, and faithful financial donors.
Dennis “Dr. B” Bausman, was a native of Iowa, but called Clemson home for the past 24 years as a beloved Clemson University Construction Science & Management professor. For all those many years, Dr. B was a consistent and joyful presence on Bowman Field, helping supervise the Campus Chapter’s annual Homecoming Build. He was equally enthusiastic whether working with skilled students or those experiencing a construction site for the first time. In conjunction with his wife Jennifer, Dr. B. secured a $400,000 grant in 2006 to begin a YouthBuild USA program at Clemson University, creating a partnership with PCHFH and the CSM Department. For three years, Dr. B. and Jennifer worked with high school dropouts, providing GED education, job training and counseling to prepare at-risk youth for a brighter future. When Dr. B. wasn’t leading the YouthBuild students on PCHFH build sites, he kept them busy serving the local community through other area non-profit organizations – building wheelchair ramps and making repairs to low-income housing. The YouthBuild program had a positive impact on many lives, and at least one program graduate went on to have a successful career in commercial construction in the upstate. Dr. B. passed away suddenly at his home in Seneca on November 29, 2022.
Joe Dickerson, a native of Arkansas, also enjoyed a lengthy career as a Clemson University professor, serving for 19 years as the Head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology. The founder of our still-active PCHFH “Tuesday/Thursday Regular Volunteers Group,” Joe was past president of the PCHFH board of directors and helped secure thousands of dollars in federal and state grants, which made possible the construction of numerous Habitat homes across Pickens County. Joe was heavily involved in the completion of the Clemson University Blitz Build Forest Lane neighborhood in Clemson, and was also responsible for helping to secure the land where the adjacent Stephens Road Habitat neighborhood is located. In conjunction with his wife Carol, Joe helped maintain historical archives of PCHFH’s activities, spanning much of the organization’s 42-year existence. Working with his long-time friend, attorney Stephen Chapman, Joe assisted in the pro bono legal closings for more than 20 PCHFH houses. In 2020, Joe was honored as recipient of the Have a Heart for Habitat award. Following several years of declining health, Joe passed away on January 15, 2023.
We have been blessed to receive memorial donations so graciously designated to us by the families of these two longtime PCHFH advocates, volunteers and supporters. We are honored to receive these gifts which will help their legacy continue as we use these funds to build homes for local families in need.
If you would like to donate, please mail your donation to: Pickens County Habitat for Humanity,
P.O. Box 330, Pickens, SC 29671, or online: https://pickenshabitat.charityproud.org/Donate.
Thank you for your support!