Cecil T. Sandifer, Sr., husband of the late Frances Annette Ballard Sandifer, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 at the age of 99.
Married for over 74 years, Cecil and Frances were reared at Connie Maxwell Children’s Home in Greenwood, SC where they met and were childhood sweethearts. They were always appreciative of Connie Maxwell for providing a loving and Christian home and never forgot the beautiful memories made there. They showed that appreciation by establishing the Cecil and Frances Sandifer Scholarship fund and by helping build the Sandifer Dining Hall.
Born in Bamberg, SC on August 15th, 1923, Cecil was the son of the late Lewis and Mattie Sandifer. After graduating from Greenwood High School and Eckels College of Mortuary Science, he began his 80 year career as a Funeral Director at Mackey Mortuary in 1942. Ten years later, he and Frances founded Sandifer Funeral Home in Westminster. Cecil was an active member of Westminster Baptist Church, serving as choir director, deacon and President of the Cecil Sandifer Sunday School class.
Cecil loved his country and served in the United States Army as a Technical Sargent in the 4th Infantry Division, European Theater, during World War II. For his service he was decorated with 3 Battle Stars, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. His most cherished was his Infantry Combat Badge.
He was Mayor of his hometown of Westminster for 10 years and a legislator in the South Carolina House of Representatives for 12 years. Cecil also served 12 years on the South Carolina Employment Security Commission. He received numerous local and state awards for his service. Most notably, he was honored with the Order of the Palmetto and the official naming of a portion of U.S. 76/123 to Sandifer Boulevard.
One of his most proud accomplishments was founding the South Carolina Apple Festival. Each year Cecil could be heard singing “God Bless America” at the Apple Festival banquet. He was a member of many organizations, including the Westminster Masonic Lodge 200, the oldest member of the South Carolina Hejaz Shrine Temple, the Westminster American Legion Post 107 and the Westminster Rotary Club.
Cecil is survived by his children Cecilia Gaddy (Charles) of Charleston, Sandy Sandifer (Sharon) of Seneca, Becky Miller of Westminster, Rosalyn Kaufmann (Stefan) of Hamburg, Germany, Greg Sandifer of Westminster, Jeff Sandifer of Westminster and Mimi Anderson (Bobby) of Anderson. In addition, he is survived by 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
In addition to his wife and parents, Cecil was pre-deceased by his brothers Marion (Mary), James (Nell), granddaughter Ashley and daughter in law Peggy.
Special thanks to our dear “sister” Katrina Crocker for her love and tender care for both our father and mother. Also, thanks to MSA Hospice for their wonderful and compassionate staff.
A special thanks to Brian and Tammy Allen, and the entire staff of Sandifer Funeral Home for continuing the legacy that he started and loved so much.
A celebration of life service will be held on 2:00 pm, Sunday, December 18th, from Westminster Baptist Church, with entombment to follow at Heritage Memorial Gardens. Mr. Sandifer will lie in state at Sandifer Funeral Home, Saturday, December 17th, 2022, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
The family is at their respective home. In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be made in Cecil’s memory to Connie Maxwell Ministries, P.O. Box 1178, Greenwood, SC 29648-1178. Condolences may be expressed online by visiting www.sandiferfuneralhome.com.
Online Condolences: Sandifer Funeral Home
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Cecil Tant Sandifer Sr., please visit our floral store.