Woman who worked to bring clean water to the needy drowns on vacation, SC church says

South Carolina humanitarian Molly F. Greene died while on vacation in the Bahamas.
South Carolina humanitarian Molly F. Greene died while on vacation in the Bahamas. Water Mission

A woman who co-founded an organization to supply clean drinking water to those in need around the world drowned Wednesday, the South Carolina Diocese said.

Molly Greene, the co-founder of Water Mission, was in the Bahamas when she “died in an accidental drowning,” the church said in a news release.

“Please pray for George Greene and family on the death of his wife Molly,” the release said.

Her son, George C. Greene IV, confirmed his mother died while on a family vacation, the Moultrie News reported.

“No words can describe this heartbreaking loss for our family,” Greene’s son said in a statement shared by the newspaper. “Yesterday, Molly passed away in a tragic accident while on vacation with our family in the Bahamas. We mourn the loss to our family.”

Further information on the circumstances of her death was not available.

Greene, who was 72, founded Water Mission with her husband in 2001, per

The couple that ran an environmental engineering company in Charleston were inspired following a 1998 trip to Honduras to provide relief and aid following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, according to Water Mission. Upon learning “that billions are forced to drink dirty water every day,” they launched the humanitarian operation.

Since it began Water Mission has supplied clean drinking water to more than 4 million people in 55-plus countries around the world, including several where they employ full-time workers, according to its website.

While many of the nations where Water Mission has provided aid are developing, it has also served communities in the U.S. It sent help to Columbia during the historic floods in 2015, and more recently to Flint, Michigan, during its clean-water crisis, WCSC reported.

Visitors looking to memorialize Greene are invited to Water Mission’s North Charleston headquarters during business hours, according to the Moultrie News.

“We know that a larger global family mourns with us and celebrates her life, as she blessed so many around the world,” George C. Greene IV said in the statement.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.