Mr. Edward R. Gandy, Jr. DARLINGTON - Funeral services for Mr. Edward R. Gandy, Jr. of Florence formerly of Darlington will be conducted 11:00AM Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Darlington. Interment will follow in Florence National Cemetery directed by Jordan Funeral Home, Inc. A soldier in the army of our Lord was called to his heavenly home on Wednesday, August 28, 2013. Affectionately called "Ronnie", Edward Rhone Gandy, Jr. was a gift to Esma Burgess Gandy and the late Edward R. Gandy, Sr., arriving on December 14, 1954. He was also the eldest grandson of the late Reverend L. B. and Carrie Richburg Burgess, and the late G. P. Gandy and Sarah Gandy. Being a "Grand-PK", his formative years were spent in many youth and young peoples groups in the church. Many of these experiences led him to pursue biblical and ministerial studies. He never gave up on different ways to bring others to Christ. His educational journey began at Mrs. Reuben Muldrow's Kindergarten in Darlington, S.C. The first half of his elementary schooling was at Cain Elementary School. Upon promotion to the sixth grade, Edward was asked to volunteer to desegregate St. John Elementary School under the Freedom of Choice Act. He found himself the only black child in a class of thirty-five but, he survived and persevered without any problems, and stayed on the honor roll through Junior and Senior High School. An order through the Federal Court in 1970 required Darlington Area Schools to completely integrate and redraw the attendance lines, therefore, Edward chose to accept the new attendance regulations and finished his schooling at Mayo High where he was chosen yearbook Editor, Battalion Commander of the fledging ROTC Program, and received the superlative as the "senior with the most ambition". Because he was the third Honor student in his graduating class, he had the distinct honor of introducing the Baccalaureate speaker for the class of 1972. Upon graduation from Mayo High School, it took the prayers of his parents and grandparents to accept Edward's decision to attend the United States Air Force Academy over Clemson University. He was the first person from Darlington Public Schools to attend the Academy. His decision was based on the Academy's superior education and leadership training, not to mention the four year scholarship he was awarded. Edward majored in Management with a minor in Economics. After leaving the Academy he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air force. He spent four years as a Communications Installation & Maintenance Officer. After serving his country, he returned home to Darlington to help manage the family business, G. P. Gandy Auto Parts and Service. For a while he worked as a Substitute School Teacher. He worked at Radio Shack for eight years, also a number of temporary Computer Data Entry assignments through ManPower. Truly, he could not find any satisfaction in his personal and spiritual life until he answered the call to the ministry under the leadership of the late Reverends Willie Graves, and Richard Hilliard, and finally the Rev. J. H., now Bishop Julius Harrison McAllister. He has been pioneering at Bethel AME Church by teaching Church School, assisting with the Culinary Ministry, lending his voice on the Male Chorus, and standing out as an ardent Son of Allen. He was a member of the Singles Ministry until his marriage to Delores on September 3, making them members of the Couples Ministry. Edward drew strength from the song "God Has Always Stood by My Side" and it became a personal testimony of his life. Edward is survived by a loving, devoted and caring wife of the home, Mrs. Delores Orange Gandy, a devoted and dedicated mother, Mrs. Esma Burgess Gandy. He was the proud inheritor of a grown, ready- made family of two daughters, Monique and April, one son, Tony and a grandson, Antwain. Delores in turn, inherited one son, Darius and two daughters, Ginney and Kelly from Edward's previous marriage and relationship. He is also survived by two brothers: Theodore (Queenie) Gandy of Connecticut; Kenneth (Lizzie) Gandy of Texas; God parents Mr. Edward Mack Todd (deceased) and Mrs. Bertha Todd. Numerous beloved cousins and dear family friends who have experienced many wonderful times with "Ronnie". The family is receiving friends at the residence, 1521 North Sierra Range, Florence.
This obituary was originally published in the Morning News (Florence, SC).