Former State Senator T. Ed Garrison (image by Paul Brown)
Pendleton, SC (WLTX/WSPA) - Longtime South Carolina State Senator T. Ed Garrison has died.
Anderson County Deputy Coroner Charlie Boseman said that Garrison died of natural causes at his home in Anderson County Sunday afternoon at age 91.
Garrison served in the South Carolina legislature for more than 30 years. While in the legislature, he served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Education committees, as well as on other committees. He was instrumental in agricultural legislation and education at agriculture programs across the state.
The T. Ed Garrison Arena at Clemson University was named in his honor due to his service to the university, where he graduated from in 1942. He was also honored with the Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award.
"The Clemson family is saddened to learn of the passing of one of our own, 1942 alumnus and former Senator T. Ed Garrison, a recipient of the Distinguished Service Alumni Award, and a friend to the university, his community, the State of South Carolina and the agriculture industry," said Bob Peeler, Clemson University Vice Chairman of Trustees and Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
"He had a long life of service, and we are forever grateful for his many contributions, which enhanced the quality of life for all South Carolinians. We will hold him and his family, many of whom are also Clemson alumni, in our hearts and memory in the days ahead. He will always be a special part of Clemson's history," Peeler stated.
Due to his commitment to Anderson County and the state of South Carolina, he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor bestowed upon a citizen of the state. He also served in World War II before returning home to prosper in agriculture at the family's Denver Downs farm.
The family released this statement: "We grateful for the sincere example our father, Ed Garrison, was for us in his service to Anderson County and the entire state. Daddy loved people, his family, and his farm. And we are confident that his legacy of public service and commitment to agriculture will live on."
John Parris, Director of the South Carolina Agri-News Service had this to say:
"I consider Senator Garrison to be the most outstanding state legislator in support of natural resource conservation in South Carolina in the twentieth century. He was instrumental in securing state legislation and funding for the Land Resources Commission to developing one of the outstanding conservation district programs in the nation. He was also instrumental in legislation providing for the state stormwater management program, mined land reclamation, dams and reservoir safety and landscape architects registration, all administered by the Land Resources Commission."
The funeral is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Welcome Baptist Church.