Bishopville, South Carolina
Services for Mr. John Lawrence “Jack” Shuford will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Bethlehem United Methodist Church with the Rev. Henry Altman and the Rev. Gordon Timmons officiating, directed by Norton Funeral Home, Bishopville Chapel.
Burial will be in Bethlehem Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Few men are blessed with a life as long and full and purposeful. Jack Shuford, 100, quietly rejoined his maker Thursday night, March 21, 2013.
He was born Sept. 5, 1912, in Bishopville, the first of five children to Florence Marion Powe and Jacob Lawrence Shuford. He graduated from Bishopville High School in 1930 and attended The Citadel, where he was featherweight boxing champion and played on the tennis team. The Great Depression drove him back to Bishopville to help support his family and younger siblings.
Jack worked with the United States Postal Service in Bishopville for the next 34 years, except for a period of three years during World War II. As a member of the 84th Infantry “Railsplitter” Division, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the campaign against the Axis in Belgium, France and Germany.
He was preceded in death by his three younger brothers, Davie Shuford, Harry Shuford and Hope Shuford, each having served his country during the same time in the Marines or in the Navy.
The game of tennis was Jack’s pastime, and he played the sport from the age of 7. He coached for decades at Bishopville High School and at Robert E. Lee Academy, ending his coaching career at the age of 80, with his Robert E. Lee team reigning as South Carolina State Champions. Demanding, but patient and generous with his praise, Jack Shuford shared his tennis skills and love of the game across the state with hundreds of young men and women whom he mentored in the sport.
His impact was recognized in 2003 by the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. Shuford Park, the result of tireless effort by Jack and his fellow tennis enthusiasts around Lee County, stands today as a tribute to his contribution to tennis and to his community. Jack also served as a Scout leader and as president of Little League Baseball.
Jack worshipped his entire life at Bethlehem Methodist Church, where his grandfather, Jacob Laban Shuford, ministered in its early days. He was a member of the Joe Fanning Sunday School Class, a fellowship he cherished.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Petty Shuford, and predeceased by his first wife, Eileen Elizabeth Plampin, who died in 1975. Their children are Joan Shuford, Columbia; John Hope Shuford (Glenda), Kitty Hawk, N.C.; Mary Ann Boyd (Hal), Mt. Pleasant; and Jacob Shuford (Cathy), Tampa, Fla. Surviving also are nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren; and his sister-in-law, Melba Shuford of Bishopville. His step-children surviving are Dale Underwood (Tommy), Walhalla, S.C.; Steve Petty (Debbie), Walhalla; Carolyn Sloane (Randy), Atlanta, Ga.; Mark Petty (Sheila), Columbia; and Julie Bates, Bluffton.
Friends and his family will remember Jack Shuford as a man of moral strength, physical energy and spiritual devotion.