Richard Alton McCollum, age 87, passed on to his heavenly home on June 25, 2021.
Mr. McCollum was born on July 23, 1933, in Hamptonville, North Carolina to Paul and Mamie McCollum.
A celebration service will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church of Bamberg with burial in Bamberg County Memory Gardens. Receiving of friends will be held from 9:30-10:30 AM at First Baptist Church of Bamberg.
He was raised on a tobacco farm in North Carolina where he worked and enjoyed his time with family, including working at the family restaurant, the Carolina Inn.
He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music at Lenoir Rhyne College and Master of Education and Administration at South Carolina State University.
He realized his dream of directing music when he moved to South Carolina, serving as
band director at Denmark High School for 4 years, then at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School for 15 years and Richard Carroll High School for 4 years. His bands at Bamberg-Ehrhardt were state champions for several years and represented the state of South Carolina in national competition at the Festival of States in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they placed fourth nationally. He directed the chorus at Olar High School for 2 years and Bamberg-Ehrhardt for 5 years. He was a founding director of the Edisto Band Conference, served on the Bamberg City Council for 6 years and was the Mayor of Bamberg for 18 years. He served as principal of Richard Carroll Middle School for 25 years. He was a member of the Bamberg Lions Club where he served twice as president and twice as Deputy District Governor. He was the honorary chairman of the Old Friends Golf Classic. He was soloist for hundreds of events, including weddings and revivals and community theater. He also was a member of the Men’s Garden Club. He served as Minister of Music at Williston First Baptist Church for 25 years and Minister of Music at Bamberg First Baptist Church for 31 years.
For the past 62 years he shared a wonderful life with his wife, Rose Marie Grooms McCollum who survives him. He is also survived by: son Rick McCollum (Christi) and daughter Jerina Boylston (David), and grandchildren: Blake Boylston (Julie), Tyler Boylston (Cailey), Alex McCollum and Emily McCollum and seven great grandchildren; brothers Wilfred McCollum and Mickey McCollum, sisters Dorothy Taylor, Shelby Parker, Lavone McCreary, and Diane Jenkins. He was predeceased by one sister, Hilda Robinson.
Special thanks goes to Agape Hospice and to caregiver Theo Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Bamberg and the Alzheimer’s Association. Cooner Funeral Home is assisting the family.