George W. Gregory, Jr. passed away January 3, 2018 with his loving wife, Debbie, by his side. He was the son of the late George W. Gregory, Sr. and the late Harriett Venters Gregory. George grew up in Jefferson, SC. He was a graduate of Fishburn Military School, attended Davidson College and earned his BA from the University of South Carolina in 1959.While an undergraduate, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, which conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Laws and later the degree of Juris Doctor in 1962. He practiced law in Cheraw for over 40 years. George served in the South Carolina Legislature both as a Senator and a member of the House of Representatives. Having been elected at the age of twenty-eight he was the youngest elected senator in the State’s history. While in the house, George was a founding member of the Fat and Ugly Caucus, a group of dedicated populists who looked out for the citizens of our State. George served three years in the United States Army, Judge Advocate’s Corps, attaining the rank of Captain. In 1969, at the age of 31, and as a civilian, George received a plea for help from a high school classmate who was serving as a Green Beret in Vietnam. The soldier, with 7 others, had been arrested and charged with the murder of a suspected Vietnamese double agent. George boarded a plane and ew to Saigon, much to the chagrin of the US Department of State, where he challenged the Army. The case was publicized internationally, and local residents enjoyed seeing him being interviewed on the national evening news and reading stories republished from the New York Times. During the course of the defense of his friend, investigations helped lead to the discovery of a CIA cover-up which resulted in the dismissal of all charges. The book “A Murder in Wartime” was written about this episode in our country’s history. While practicing law in Cheraw, George developed Bridlewood, a large development of homes near the town. His public service continued in his role as Deputy Solicitor for the Fourth Judicial Circuit for 10 years. He prosecuted criminal cases in Chestereld, Darlington, Dillon and Marlboro Counties and trained many young attorneys in Courtroom procedure and etiquette.
In later years George was a member of the Camden Hunt. As eldmaster, riding his big grey mare Bella, he led the hunt members on many a merry chase while never crossing the line of scent. In 2012, George and his cousin, Bill Gregory, began the development of Hound Hollow equestrian community in Camden.
George Gregory was one of the last great storytellers. He had a brilliant mind and memory and those who knew him were always enthralled with his recollections of history, politics and local lore. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Debra D. Gregory, daughters Sharon Kristen Gregory, Avril Gregory Franks, Gracen Jennings Watts, grand children Cooper, Emmie and Rowan, sisters Harriet G. Heriot and Susan G. Parker, brother Jack Gregory and sister-in-law Colleen, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held January 27th at 3:00 pm at the Douglas Reed House on the grounds of the Fine Arts Center in Camden, SC. In lieu of owers, donations may be made to The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, 810 Lyttleton St., Camden, SC 29020 or to the Kershaw County Humane Society, 128 Black River Rd., Camden, SC 29020.