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Memory Hold The Door, Volume VII: 2018–2027

Memory Hold The Door Honorees from 2018 to 2027.

The Honorable Edward B. Cottingham, Sr. (1928-2021)

The Honorable Edward B. Cottingham, Sr.Hon. Edward B. Cottingham, Sr. was born June 27, 1928, in Bennettsville, to parents Margaret Waggoman and Vance C. Cottingham. In 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served for two years aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS LEYTE CV 32 in the European Middle Eastern Mediterranean Theater of Operations. After an honorable discharge from the Navy in April 1948, he attended the University of Virginia and later transferred to the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he received a law degree in 1953. He was inducted into the USC Debate Team Hall of Fame. While at Carolina, he joined the Air Force ROTC and received a commission as Second Lieutenant in 1951.

Upon graduating from law school, he returned to Bennettsville and entered the practice of law with Russell Miller. In 1954, he and William Goldberg formed the law firm of Goldberg and Cottingham, which later became Goldberg, Cotting- ham, Easterling, and Napier. He spent 32 years as an attorney in Bennettsville. He was a member of the local, state, and national bar associations.

Judge Cottingham was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives, serving from 1954-1958 as the youngest member. He served again from 1966-1972, when he was elected to the S.C. Highway Commission. During this four-year period, he served as vice chairman and chairman. Cottingham Boulevard in Bennettsville was named in his honor in recognition of his service. In 1960, he became a member of the board of trustees of the University of South Carolina. He also served as a member of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce. In 1984, he was elected Resident Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit and served until his retirement in 2000. He continued in the capacity of Active Retired Circuit Judge until 2014. During his tenure, he served as vice president and president of the Circuit Judges Association. He served on the Circuit Judges’ Advisory Committee, and the Judicial Standards Committee.

He is a 1984 graduate of the National Judicial College and served as faculty advisor in 1993. As a judge, he was respected by court personnel throughout the state. The Myrtle Beach Sun News referred to him as the “Lion of the Court”, and he earned praise for his wisdom, humor, and commonsense approach to issues. He served 30 years on the bench, mentoring many young judges and lawyers. He had high regard for his judiciary colleagues and cherished those relationships both personally and professionally.

He served as chairman of the Marlboro County Development Board and was instrumental in industrial development. He was chairman of both the Bennettsville Great Town Committee and the Marlboro Civic Center Restoration. He was a trustee of the Bennettsville School Board and a Rotary Club member. He was a lifetime member of First United Methodist Church.

A lifelong sports and loyal Gamecock fan, an avid reader, gifted storyteller, history buff, animal lover, and fan of western movies. He enjoyed meeting people, was interested in others, and in learning new things.

The Honorable Edward B. Cottingham, Sr. died on March 24, 2021. He was pre- deceased by his beloved spouse of 55 years, Iris Evans Cottingham. He is survived by his daughter, Jean C. Clifton (Paul); son, Edward B. Cottingham, Jr. (Lisa); grandchildren, Stephen B. Clifton (Jennifer), Evan C. Powers (Cameron), Brett C. Clifton, Caroline C. Buse (Matt), Haley Cottingham, and Edward B. Cottingham III; great-granddaughter, Charlotte E. Clifton; and his sister, June C. Hucks.