William Coskrey Plowden Jr.
by Stephens Funeral Home | September 13, 2017 2:21 pm
Last Updated: September 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm
NEW ZION – William Coskrey Plowden Jr., 99, widower of Ruth Pearson Wilbur Plowden, died Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at McLeod Health Clarendon.
Born July 15, 1918, in New Zion, he was a son of the late William Coskrey Plowden Sr. and the late Juanita Boykin Plowden. He attended Salem Centralized Schools in New Zion and was a 1939 graduate of The Citadel, where he received a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He served in the U.S. Army from June 1941 until December 1946.
He entered with the rank of second lieutenant and was honorably separated with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was the youngest lieutenant colonel in the CBI Theater. After returning from World War II, he remained active in the Army Reserves and retired with the rank of colonel in 1965.
Mr. Plowden was a Ford dealer and farmer in New Zion until March 15, 1976, when he became the director of veterans employment and training for the state of South Carolina. He remained the director for South Carolina until Dec. 14, 1981, when he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to become the first assistant secretary of labor for veterans employment and training for the U.S. Department of Labor.
On July 21, 1984, he returned to South Carolina as the state director for Veterans Employment and Training.
He received the Order of the Palmetto from Gov. Carroll Campbell on June 4, 1992. He also received The Strom Thurmond Founders Award in 1998 for his work with the U.S. Department of Labor and The Exceptional Service Impact Award in 2002.
Mr. Plowden was an elder of Sardinia Presbyterian Church where he also was a former treasurer, adult Sunday school teacher and past president of the Men’s Club. He was past moderator, stated clerk and treasurer of both Calvary Presbytery (PCA) and Palmetto Presbytery (PCA).
He was a former member of the Lions Club of Columbia, a member of the Association of Citadel Men, Class Chairman for The Citadel Class of 1939 and a member of IAPES. Mr. Plowden was past President of the Reserve Officers Association of South Carolina, past director of the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Ford Dealers Association of South Carolina, former Chairman of the local school board, former Chairman of the First Economic Opportunity Committee of Clarendon County and former member of the Board of Directors of the Kidney Foundation of South Carolina.
Mr. Plowden was a life member of the American Legion, post commander of the Black River American Legion Post 149, former Americanism chairman, former member of the National Americanism Commission, former member of the National Education Committee, former member of the National Legislative Council and a member of the 40 and 8. He was past department commander, past district commander, District 11, past chairman, membership and post activities, past zone commander for Zone 4, and past chairman for the Commerce and Industry Committee, The American Legion, Department of South Carolina.
Mr. Plowden was a member of Military Orders of the World Wars, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and he was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. He was past executive committeeman for the Local Voting Precinct for former State Campaign chairman for U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond in 1964, 1966 and 1972.
He was past secretary for the Thurmond Speaks Committee for Barry Goldwater in 1964 and past vice-chairman of the Thurmond Speaks Committee for Nixon in 1968.
He is survived by a son, William C. Plowden III (June) of Columbia; a daughter, Martha Norris Grigg (Reggie) of Campobello; four grandchildren, Michael West (Melisa) of Greenville, Scott West (Meghan) of Charleston, Andrew Grigg (Laura) of Ft. Mill and Elizabeth Grigg of Greenville; a granddaughter-in-law, Dana Lane Plowden of Chantilly, Virginia; eight great grandchildren, Johanna West, Patrick West, Catherine West, Kaleigh Plowden, Leah Plowden, Zoey Plowden, Callum Grigg and John William Grigg; and a granddaughter-in-law, Dana Lane Plowden.
In addition to his beloved wife of 61 years and his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Juanita Plowden West; a grandson, William C. “Bill” Plowden IV; a granddaughter, Allyson Rebecca Plowden; and a sister, Evelyn Plowden Keels.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at Sardinia Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Robert M. Jolly, Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Gordon K. Reed officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in New Zion United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers will include Michael West, Scott West, Andrew Grigg, Bill Simmons, B.D. Yarborough, Bill DuRoss and John Depenbrock.
Honorary pallbearers will include Deacons and Elders of Sardinia Presbyterian Church, Willie Jordan, Jimmy Player, Burnette Yarborough and General James Allen.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2017, at Stephens Funeral Home.
The family would like to thank Nita and Burnette Yarborough and their entire family, Amedisys Hospice and his caregivers, Lois Bryant, Lyz McElveen, Diane McFadden, Kimberly Douglas, Sarah Alexander and Daisy Cook.
Memorials may be made to Sardinia Presbyterian Church, 1386 Garland Road, New Zion, SC 29111; or to The Citadel, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, SC 29409.
Stephens Funeral Home and Crematory, 304 N. Church St. in Manning, is in charge of arrangements, (803) 435-2179.