Former Williamston mayor, Marion Middleton Sr. passed away Saturday at his home. Middleton served as a Williamston councilman, teacher and coach. He was 88. Visitation for Middleton will be Monday (Oct. 16), from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Gray Mortuary in West Pelzer. The funeral service will be the at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home’s chapel.
Middleton received many awards including the Order of the Palmetto and he was inducted into the Greenville Textile Heritage Society Hall of Fame in 2014. He was an All Star Player for the Pelzer Bears Baseball Team. He also coached winning textile league teams in Piedmont and later at Palmetto High School. Pictured are Betty and Marion Middleton, Sr. at the Southern Textile Athletic Hall of Fame Award Ceremony in the Hughes Library, Greenville on October 4, 2014. (File Photo by Dianne Lollis)
Marion Middleton Sr. was born on August 20, 1929 in the Grove Creek area of Piedmont, SC. He was the only child of William Johnson Middleton and Bertha Owens Middleton. In 1946, he graduated from Pelzer High School and graduated from Erskine College in 1950. He received a MS from Clemson University in Physical Education with an additional 30 hours above the Masters.
After college, he was drafted into the service and was a combat veteran of the Korean War, receiving the Combat Infantryman Badge. After the war, he taught, coached and served as a guidance counselor at several schools including White Plains, Piedmont and Palmetto High School. He finished his career as a guidance counselor at Palmetto Middle School.
During his early years, he was a highly rated and successful baseball player with the Textile League. He played with Piedmont, Pelzer, Belton and Matthew Mills. He was a member of Greenville Heritage Textile Hall of Fame.
He served as a Councilman and later Mayor of the Town of Williamston for 36 years and oversaw the construction of many projects including the purchase and renovation of the old Williamston Elementary School building for use as a police department and municipal center. While he was mayor, he received the Order of the Palmetto and served as President of the South Carolina Municipal Association.
He was also a lay speaker in the Methodist Church. His life was one of service to his country, students, town and family.
In addition to his wife of 64 years, he is survived by two children, Marion William Middleton, Jr. and his wife, Cheryl Willis Middleton and Caroline Middleton Ellison and her husband, James Colie Ellison; five grandchildren, Marion (Will) William Middleton, III, James Garrett Middleton, Elizabeth (Libby) Paige Middleton, Colie Middleton Ellison and Caroline Claire Ellison.
Visitation will be from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, October 16, at Gray Mortuary, Pelzer.
The funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 17, in the mortuary chapel with the Rev. Tim Whited and the Rev. Karen Radcliffe officiating. Burial will follow in the Williamston City Cemetery.
Those who were coached by Marion are invited to serve as honorary pallbearers.
Memorials may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 460, Williamston, SC 29697 or to Epworth Children’s Home, P.O. Box 50466, Columbia, SC 29205.
The family is at the home.