HYBERT MIDDLETON BELK, JR. 82, of Florence, SC, passed away on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.
HyBert (Bert) was born in Lake City, SC, son of Hybert Middleton Belk and Jettie Singletary Belk of Lake City, SC, and married to Marilynn McClam Belk.
He was member of St. John's Church in Florence, SC, as well as several civic organizations, including the Florence Rotary Club, Blue Water Fishing Club, and Pee Dee Traffic Club, where he once served as the club's president.
Bert was a graduate of J. Paul Truluck High School in Lake City, SC, where he was an active member of the Class of 1958. He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina, School of Business, in 1962. While in college, he also served in the National Guard as well as a page in the SC Senate.
Upon graduation from USC, Bert held several notable jobs. He worked as a tax agent for the IRS, an inspector for Commercial Credit, a salesperson for Amway, and a pecan buyer for Youngs Pecans. However, his first prominent job occurred in 1965, when he was named the traffic manager for Southeastern Paper Board in Florence, SC. In 1972, Bert became a sales representative for Hennis Freight Lines, finally capitalizing on the sales skills he gained while selling Waxy Shoe Spray for Amway! In 1976, Bert left Hennis and took a sales position with Ringle Express, where he managed the company's Southeastern region sales department through 1981.
Later that year, Bert parlayed his transportation knowledge into starting his own company, when he purchased Rabon Transport, a trucking company in North Carolina, which morphed into Sunbelt Express and eventually The Match Maker, Inc., the transportation brokerage company for which he is most recognized. The Match Maker is part of a larger transportation corporation, Sun Belt Line, Inc., where Bert served as its founder and president, and includes Match Factors, Inc. (factoring); Truck Insurance, Inc. (commercial insurance); Logistec/TTS Resident Agents Service, Inc. (licensing and permitting); and The Match Maker Center (event hospitality). In addition to Sun Belt Line, Bert also started and sold several transportation, telecommunications, and auto businesses.
Highly regarded for his entrepreneurship spirit and his gift of gab, Bert was perhaps best known for his hospitality and friendship. He had many friends, young and old, that enjoyed spending time with him over lunch and dinner, trips to the beach or South Carolina football games, and parties at The Match Maker. His infectious smile, sense of humor, and stress-free demeaner endeared him to everyone that knew him. He viewed his employees as friends and partners, and he always valued the trust and confidence they displayed in him.
However, Bert took the most pride in his family. He enjoyed being around his children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, and nephews, and he especially relished having his family members work closely with him in his various businesses. The ultimate delegator, Bert entrusted others to implement his business ideas and he would support them in that effort.
Surviving are sons, Marc (Shannon) Belk and Eric (Cindy) Belk; daughter, Anna Catherine Belk (Chris) Wentzell; grandchildren, Gregory (Madeline) Belk, Jr., Deric Belk, Liam Tindall, Sam Tindall, Sophie Belk, Laura Mason Belk, and Caroline Ann Wentzell; great grandchild, Eleanor Iris Belk; brother, Jamie (Patsy) Belk, and sisters, Judy Jacobs, Abigail (Charles) Wilson, and Mary (George) Eaton. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 52-years, Marilynn McClam Belk, and his parents, Hybert and Jettie Belk.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bert's memory to the South Florence High School Athletic Booster Club (Marilynn Belk Memorial Scholarship), 3200 S. Irby Street, Florence, SC 29505.
The family will receive visitors from 6 – 8 PM Friday, September 17, 2021, at Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home at 2402 S. Irby Street, Florence, SC 29505.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, September 18, 2021, at St. John's Church at 252 S. Dargan Street, Florence, SC 29506. Burial will immediately follow at Mount Hope Cemetery at 100 Cherokee Road, Florence, SC 29501.
Please send messages to the family at the obit section of www.stoudenmiredowling.com
Published by SCNow on Sep. 17, 2021.