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Anne Springs Close, founder and namesake of Fort Mill greenway, dies

She died peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by family.

FORT MILL, S.C. — Anne Springs Close, the founder of the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, South Carolina, died Thursday, her organization announced. She was 95. 

Springs Close reportedly passed away peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by family. A memorial service is being planned where the community can gather to pay their respects and meet with the family. 

"The family would like to thank the community that loved her so much for the prayer and support during this difficult time," a press release from the Greenway said.

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Springs Close and her daughter, Gracie Close, were struck by a falling limb near Anne's home in Fort Mill earlier this month. Both suffered serious injuries in the incident and were treated at Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The Greenway did not say if her death was related to those injuries. 

Springs Close was the daughter of textile tycoon and fighter pilot Col. Elliott White Springs. According to a 2017 biography, she carried the 1996 Olympic torch and was the last living passenger of the Hindenburg's 1936 transatlantic flight over New England.

The Anne Springs Close Greenway in York County opened in 1995. The 2,100-acre greenway is a popular attraction for nature lovers in the Carolinas and has protected wildlife for nearly three decades.

"My desire to conserve the land grew over time as I watched area farms get swallowed up by development and disappear," Springs Close said in 2017. "I decided then to find a way to preserve some land so other children could play in the woods as I did as a child."

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