James M. Dwyer Jr. was born on June 29, 1931, in Sumter. He was the eldest of six children born to the late James Marcus Clyde Dwyer Sr. and Julia Dubose Givens Dwyer.

On Sunday, May 10, 2020, he departed this earthly existence and was greeted by his Lord and Savior.

Mr. Dwyer began his early education at Stone Hill Elementary School and later attended Lincoln High School. After high school, Mr. Dwyer enlisted in the United States Army, where he served combat tours in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Mr. Dwyer retired from the U.S. Army in 1968, after serving honorably for 20 years. After retiring from the Army, Mr. Dwyer returned to Sumter. Having grown up with both parents who were successful entrepreneurs who contributed to the local economy, it was only natural for him to follow suit. Mr. Dwyer briefly owned and operated Dwyer's Exxon Station on West Liberty Street. Whether it was pump service, checking oil and tire pressure or conducting maintenance tune-ups, Mr. Dwyer's customers could always count on him for excellent service. It was while operating this business that Mr. Dwyer met the love of his life, Ione Jones. They were married in 1972, and to this union were three children born: Monica, James III and Anita.

After successfully owning and operating the gas station, Mr. Dwyer left the service industry and entered the food service industry. An outstanding chef who took joy in being able to create wonderful meals for his family and others, Mr. Dwyer was known for creating delicious dishes that were known to impress. Honing his talents while serving in the Army, Mr. Dwyer later ended up managing and overseeing several large-scale food operations in the public sector. Mr. Dwyer served as the director of food service at two historically black colleges and universities - Morris College in Sumter and Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. He prided himself on being able to provide nutritious, healthy and delicious food options for students who were away from home. He later was also delighted to serve as the director of food service for Williamsburg County Schools and the Department of Juvenile Justice.

An outstanding member of his community, Mr. Dwyer was extremely passionate about helping others. Wanting to continue his service, he was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and The Goodfellows Club of Sumter.

Mr. Dwyer was devoted to his beautiful wife, cherished his wonderful children and doted on his precious granddaughters. His greatest joy was spending time with his family.

Mr. Dwyer confessed Christ at an early age and was a lifelong member of Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church.

He leaves to cherish his precious memories: his loving wife, Ione J. Dwyer of the home; a son, James M. Dwyer III of Maryland; a daughter, Anita (Fremont) Dwyer Nelson; two granddaughters, Olivia Grace and Kendall Elyse Nelson, both of Columbia; a brother, Cornelius A. Dwyer of Sumter; a brother-in-law, Arthur Williams of East Orange, New Jersey; a special cousin, Everett Felder of East Orange; five nieces, Lisa (Clifford) Dwyer-Dantzler of Rock Hill, Cheryl (Ernie) Butler Chaplin of Summerville, Natasha Dwyer of Rock Hill, Mary F. Brown and Geneva (Johnny) Mayers of Newark, New Jersey; four nephews, Andre Dwyer of Sumter, Rickey Johnson of San Antonio, Texas, John Ware of Newark and Jeffrey (Rhonda) Ware of Irvington, New Jersey; and a host of relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Dwyer was preceded in death by his daughter, Monica Jones-Gatson; three sisters, Rosa Mae Dwyer Ross, Erma Viola Dwyer and Mary Louise Dwyer; and a brother, Henry L. Dwyer.

Public viewing will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. today at Job's Mortuary.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at Salem Chapel & Heritage Center, 101 S. Salem Ave., Sumter, SC 29150. Those wishing to attend on Thursday are requested to follow social distancing protocol and wear a face mask.

Interment will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

Job's Mortuary Inc., 312 S. Main St., Sumter, is in charge of arrangements.

Online memorials may be sent to the family at jobsmortuary@sc.rr.com or visit us on the web at www.jobsmortuary.net.