This week, many in Sumter are remembering Richard Lauren Booth, 65, known for his charitable nature and compassion for his community, who passed away on Monday.
Born in Sumter, Booth was a graduate of Thomas Sumter Academy and later earned a …
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Born in Sumter, Booth was a graduate of Thomas Sumter Academy and later earned a degree in financial management from Clemson University. He continued his education by earning a Juris Doctor Degree from University of South Carolina School of Law.
He was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1977 and began his law career by practicing law with Lee & Moise, and Nash, Chappell & Wilson before starting his own firm in 1986.
Booth was appointed special referee and interim master for Sumter County by Chief Justice Jean Toal in 2006 and as permanent master in equity for Sumter County by Gov. Mark Sanford in 2008.
Booth was a lifelong member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where he was an active member of the Boyle Bible Class and a Sunday school teacher for more than 45 years.
He is also known for his participation in numerous community groups and boards and for coaching youth basketball.
Booth is survived by his wife, Gayle, of 37 years; daughter, Jayne Booth Shiver, and her husband, John Willis Shiver IV; son, Richard Lauren Parrott Booth, and his wife, Jamie Jackson Booth; and two granddaughters, Jayne Fraser Booth Shiver and Hunter Elizabeth Booth.
Everything he did was for the good of the community and his family, Richard L. Booth said. He wasn't looking for acknowledgement, he said.
"There has never been a day in my conscious life that I didn't feel so blessed and incredibly fortunate to be my father's daughter," Jayne Shiver said.
Through word and example, she said her father taught the importance of honesty, self-sacrifice, character and love.
"His passion was contagious and set the tone for all of us that were fortunate enough to be graced by his presence," Shiver said.
"I never took this special man for granted," she said. "He lived a full and joyful life."
"My brother and I hope that we can carry on the tremendous legacy my father established by living a life defined by integrity, dignity and honor."
Booth was remembered by his friends just as fondly as he was by his family.
"Professionally, he was known as a man of great integrity and insight," Anthony Hoefer, a fellow member of the Fortnightly Club and good friend, said.
As a judge, he enjoyed delving into complex legal issues and was never satisfied until he had researched it thoroughly and came up with the right decision, he said.
Outside of his legal career, Booth is known for his dedication to his family and contributions to the community.
"Dick was one of these people who fully participated in life and was a member of a number of organizations," he said.
"We grew up together," said Fred Brogdon, one of Booth's longtime friends.
Brogdon recalled playing basketball together, one of Booth's passions even into adulthood. "We were gym rats," he said.
Dick was also a renaissance man who loved music and literature, Brogdon said. He wrote some of the most thought-provoking papers for the Fortnightly Club, he said.
"More importantly," Brogdon said, "he was just a good friend."
It was just natural for him to want to help, he said.
Dick came from a family that always served the community, and he carried on that legacy, he said.
He was deeply concerned about Sumter and its people - just like his father, he said.
A funeral service for Richard Booth was held on Thursday at Trinity United Methodist Church. He was buried in Sumter Cemetery.
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