Eugene A. Failmezger was born in Dewitt, New York on July 12, 1935, to Elsie and Eugene Failmezger. He attended public schools in the DeWit area from which he graduated. In 1953 he was accepted as a student at the University of SC. In 1954, he left the University and joined the US Air Force in 1954. He remained with the Air Force reserves until 1960. After a year and a half he came back to the University of SC and attended until 1956. After that he came to the town of Summerton as a businessman owning and operating the Western Auto. He was a community minded young man and wanted to make a difference in the small town of Summerton. It was during these years that he joined the Summerton Lions Club. He was a member of the Summerton United Methodist church where he served on every commitee over the years. He is currently a member of Summerton Baptist church where he is a deacon. He was Chairman of the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce when the first industry came to Summerton, the Summerton Uniform company. This was a most viable business for the the town during the early 60's. Sometime thereafter he was instrumental in getting Federal moguls into Summerton. This business served the people well for many years until the company chose to relocate. In 1988, Failmezger relocated his business to a larger building and changed over to True Value Hardware. He ran a successful business until he decided to retire and sell his business in 1997. Since that time, he has been active in community activities, always supporting all activities regarding our town and improvements therein. He has been instrumental in getting Boys and Girls State candidates through the American Legion.
Failmezger served as a volunteer fireman while in high school in DeWit in the early 50's. When moving to Summerton, he immediately joined the Summerton Fire Department as a volunteer where he gave much of his time and effort for many, many years. He was named to the Clarendon County Fireman's Hall of Fame in 2004. Failmezger was very supportive of the Boy Scout Troop 382 in Summerton, having four sons in the scout program. Two of his sons attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He served on the regional Boy Scout board during the 1980's. His main hobby was airplanes. He owned many different ones and always loved taking folks on Sunday afternoon flights.
Failmezger has been a member of the Summerton Lions club since April 1, 1960. Back in the day, this was "The Place" to congregate and uphold the town community. Outside activities were few and far between but the Summerton Lions club put on a "dance of the century". Gene was the chairman of the dance committee and was a part of getting the famous Jimmy Dorsey band to come to Summerton. He has held every position in the club. Before we had the portable eye camera, he had the Sight bus truck come to Summerton yearly. He has been involved in our bi-yearly pancake suppers, not only manning a griddle but selling the most tickets. He has worked diligently with the yearly golf tournament and always having a team to play. Gene has helped on the highway cleanup in our town, bingo suppers in the past, promoting sight day, selling brooms and in the early years selling light bulbs.
Gene is married to the former Suzanne Harvin of Summerton. They have 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.