Obituary: Joseph Cantey Elliot Sr.


   Joseph Cantey Elliott, Sr., 79, widower of Frances Horton Elliott, died Saturday, March 9, 2019, at his home.

   Born January 22, 1940, in Summerton, he was a son of the late Robert Venning and the late Julia Anderson Cantey Elliott.

   Mr. Elliott graduated from Summerton High School and the University of South Carolina.  He received a Master of Arts degree in History from Appalachian State University and did post-graduate work at other schools. He was by profession a school administrator, serving as a principal at Ninety Six Elementary School, Estill Elementary School, District Personnel Director, Estill, and Headmaster at Bowman Academy and Clarendon Hall School.

   His techniques as a school administrator were nationally recognized and he was the subject of a separate article in Learning: The Magazine of Creative Teaching, which stated that Mr. Elliott created in his school “an atmosphere of trust, cooperation and good humor.”  He was one of the founders of a bi-racial group in Summerton, organized to bring citizens of all economic groups together with the town's betterment in mind.  He was elected an original co-chair of this organization called the Summerton Revitalization Corporation, Inc. For his efforts to improve race relations, he was the subject of a separate article in Time Magazine.  Elliott did his part in bringing recognition to the brave petitioners whose case in Clarendon County led directly to the momentous Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling. Elliott made TV and radio appearances and had a part in the documentary, “With All Deliberate Speed,” a film produced by the Discovery Channel, which appeared in select movie theaters in various parts of the country.  

   He was recognized by three separate legislative resolutions for three separate and unrelated contributions. Mr. Elliott was on the Adjunct Faculty at USC-Salk and USC-Aiken regional campuses, teaching fifteen years at USC-Aiken, where he was a member of the Speakers' Bureau.  His interest in history led him to write many published magazine articles, including several for Sandlapper: The Magazine of South Carolina, and he assisted in the writing of a book on Clarendon County, Shadows of the Past.  Mr. Elliott was the author of a biography published by two separate presses on Confederate Lt. General Richard Heron Anderson and contributed articles in the publication, the Encyclopedia of the Early Republic and Antebellum America.  Later in life he became interested in natural history and published articles locally and nationally, most recently in Bird Watcher's Digest.  He held membership in The Society of First Families of South Carolina, The Society of the High Hills of Santee, and the international honorary social science fraternity, Pi Gamma Mu.  He served as an Elder in the Ninety Six and Summerton Presbyterian churches and as Clerk of Session for the latter.

   Mr. Elliott is survived by his children, Dr. Julia Elizabeth Elliott and her husband, Steve Dennis, of Cayce; three sons, Joseph Cantey Elliott, Jr. of Augusta, Georgia, William Roderick Elliott and wife, Beth Simon Elliott, of Austin, Texas and Robert Anderson Elliott of Asheville, North Carolina; a grandson, Rubin Oliver Elliott of Austin, Texas; a granddaughter, Eva Elizabeth Dennis of Cayce; a sister, Eugenie E. Bonnette of Bamberg; and his cherished companion, Karen Storay of Aiken.  

   In addition to his beloved wife of 48 years and his parents, he was preceded in death by four of his five siblings.

   Visitation will be held from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at Stephens Funeral Home.

   Graveside services will be private.

   In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Summerton Presbyterian Church, 16 S. Cantey Street, Summerton, SC 29148 or to Clarendon Hall School, P.O. Box 609, Summerton, SC 29148.

   Stephens Funeral Home & Crematory, 304 N. Church Street, Manning, is in charge of arrangements, (803) 435-2179.



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