Willie Aiken Jr., better known as Uncle Willie, was born in 1939 and he quickly became a pillar of the community. Growing up in the small town of Santee, South Carolina, Willie, along with many other farmers, pioneered in a new era, providing access to healthy foods for residents on a tight budget.
With no more than an acre, Uncle Willie was able to successfully grow a wide array of vegetables and make his homemade cane syrup. When he wasn’t working in the dirt, he was relaxing on the water where he was oftentimes unmatched as an avid fisherman. Even if the big one did get away from time to time.
Uncle Willie wasn’t all work, as he loved to party. In his younger years, he had community dancing while performing as a DJ at a local club. Aside from being a father and taking care of his family, he also donned the uniform of a firefighter, volunteering his time at the local fire department. In true Uncle Willie fashion, he even got married on Halloween night.
As the years started to catch up, he showed no signs of slowing down. Now a grandfather, Uncle Willie was also a dedicated member of the local church where he worked as maintenance and lawn care. Even though he had a 45-minute drive to church, he was always the first one to show up and the last one to leave.
Uncle Willie was always the kind of person to make sure everyone was doing alright. He could be tough, but always fair. He was a man of God and faith. He was dedicated to his family and always put the well-being of others before his own. He was a cornerstone of this neighborhood for a lifetime, and with Uncle Willie’s Grocery Store, his name will continue to spread joy and happiness while also being synonymous with quality and great prices.
My name is Christa Williams, I’m the owner of Uncle Willie’s Grocery Store. Not only was he a great man, but he was also my great uncle. He raised me as his own, and with everything he’s done for me, our family, and the community, I could see no better person to dedicate my store to. We aim to touch just as many lives and help even more families, just like Uncle Willie would want.