It is with sadness, I tell you of the passing yesterday (July 8) of Berlin G. Myers. He was 98. Myers was the founder of Berln G. Myers Lumber Corp. in Summerville, SC.
Myers was born in 1917 in Knightsville, SC to James Myers and Floride Knight Myers. He displayed an entrepreneurial spirit and keenness for business at a young age earning money as a young boy by selling cold drinks, bread and cigarettes at a road-side stand.
He started his lumber company in 1938, but left the business temporarily to serve his country in the military during World War II. As an Army Sgt. in June 1944 Myers landed on Omaha Beach during the Normandy Invasion and then followed General Patton into Paris. He earned four bronze stars for his service in WWII.
Prior to his military service, Myers married Janie Farmer of Florence, SC. Following the war, he returned home to his family and lumber company in Summerville. He spent his entire business career as a lumberman and celebrated the 75th anniversary of his company in 2014. Myers was president of the Carolinas Building Material Association in 1975.
Myers first ran for public office in 1965. He was elected town alderman, later assuming the position of temporary mayor when Summerville Mayor Allan Luke died in office. Myers then was elected to the position in 1972. He served 10 terms as Summerville’s mayor, making him one of the longest serving mayors in South Carolina history. Myers chose to step down as Mayor in 2011.
While in office, Myers was awarded the Order of the Palmetto and the Order of the Silver Crescent. He was a life deacon at Summerville Baptist Church and was honored by the Exchange Club of Charleston with its “Book of Golden Deeds”. He was a 60-year member of Clemson University’s IPTAY booster club, past president and member of the Summerville Rotary Club, co-founder of Charleston Southern University and the longest serving board member of First National Bank of South Carolina.
Myers is survived by his wife Marlena Redfern Lewis Myers. He is also survived by his four children from his late wife Janie Farmer Myers: Loretta Atkins (LG), Berlin Myers Jr. (Betsy), Marie Brigham (Ed), and Jimmy Myers. Also surviving him are his granddaughters Johannah Myers, Elizabeth Brigham and Amy Myers and step-children DeLane Lewis (Kevin McKeown) and Van Lewis (Laura) and step-grandchildren Brook and Kevin McKeown and Jake and Callie Lewis.
Visitation for Myers will be held Sunday, July 12 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Summerville Baptist Church. The funeral service is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Monday at the church.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to Summerville Baptist Church (417 Central Avenue, Summerville SC 29483), Charleston Southern University (9200 University Blvd, N. Charleston, SC 29406), Columbia College Myers Call Center (1301 Columbia College Dr., Columbia, SC 29203), or the charity of one’s choice.
In rememberance of this extraordinary man, all flags on Summerville town buildings are being flown at half-staff through Monday afternoon.
Please keep the Myers family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.