John Altman III

  • "Rest in peace until the God of all tender mercy will call,..."
  • "The Altman Family, You and the rest of humanity have lost..."
    - Sammie & Marcie Douan
  • "On behalf of the Marshall Family, Patricia, Steven, Todd,..."
  • "My condolences to the family and may you look to the future..."
    - Alexander's
  • "May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of..."
    - Ann

John Altman III CHARLESTON - John Graham Altman III, 79, of Charleston, SC joined his parents and many other saints on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Born on June 15, 1934, in Charleston, he was the only child of the late J. Graham Altman and Thelma Porter Altman. After graduating from St. Andrews High School in 1952, he went on to the University of South Carolina, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1956 and his LLB in 1958. He was selected for the USC Debate Hall of Fame and was known as a great orator. He practiced law in the Charleston area for fifty-six years. Mr. Altman was chosen as a SC Senate page from 1952-1958, while still a student at USC. He also served as Press Secretary for Gov. Fritz Hollings from 1959-1963. After moving back to Charleston, he opened his law practice. In 1976, he was elected to the Charleston County School Board, where he served for twenty years, including five as Chairman. During this time, the CCSD Board was recognized as being in the top 1% of school boards by the National Education Association. He was then elected to the South Carolina Legislature, representing District 119 in the House of Representatives, where he served until 2006. During this time, he was chairman of the Judicial Committee and was a Whip for the Republican Party. He was honored by Governor Mark Sanford in 2006 with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor. Mr. Altman was a charter member of John Wesley United Methodist Church, where he served as Lay Reader, Sunday School Teacher for the Lupo Class, and on the Administrative Board. The story goes among his fellow congregants that when he was layreading, the minister knew to shorten the sermon, because the scripture reading was going to include the background for the scripture and its place in the Bible. While serving as a greeter and usher, he always had warm words for those who came to worship. A close friend said he would be continuing those greetings at the church doors in Heaven. John Graham loved animals, almost to an obsession. He never met a stray that he didn't want to give a home to. He had numerous dogs and cats over the years that brought him much joy. Even more, he loved people and he loved to serve others. He often helped those who needed it - whether it was paying a bill for someone in need or helping them through the paper trail of immigration, often pro bono. Because of his dedication to helping others and learning, he has donated his body to MUSC Anatomical Research. If only they could study his brain! Mr. Altman is survived by his wife of twenty-five years, Charm Brown Shockley Altman; his children John Graham IV, David (Carolyn) Terri Altman Neal (Rusty), and Bartlett, all of Charleston; two step-children Tracie Shockley of Brunswick, Georgia, and Mark Shockley of Morgantown, West Virginia. He also leaves three grandchildren: Alex and Bart Altman and Shelley Neal, all of Charleston. Visitation will be held Friday, November 8 from 5-8 pm at John Wesley United Methodist Church (626 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407). A memorial celebration of his life will be Saturday, November 9 at 10:30 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Methodist Youth Fellowship of John Wesley United Methodist Church (626 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407). How fitting that a man who spent so much of his life dedicated to public service had his final "Victory in Jesus" on election day! Visit our guestbook at charleston

Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Nov. 7, 2013
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