E. LeRoy Nettles, Sr. was born September 15, 1929, in Lake City, SC to parents Marian Rutland Nettles and Leo Clayton Nettles. He graduated from Carlisle Military Academy in 1945 and entered The Citadel but volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1947. He continued his military service as a member in the 3rd Infantry Division while serving in the Korean Conflict through July 1949. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his combat duty in Korea. In 1953, he received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of the Wig & Robe Society and Phi Delta Phi.
In 1953, he began his legal career at Nettles, Turbeville and Reddeck, where he practiced law for 67 years. His practice of law led to a life of public service including the South Carolina House of Representatives, Juvenile Placement and Aftercare Commission, and the South Carolina Highway Commission, where he served as chair in 1969.
He was a member of the SC Bar, American Bar Association and Florence County Bar Association, where he served as president in 1975.
Roy was active in his community and was a member of the Lake City Rotary Club, where he served as president; the Lions Club, Jaycees, and the Lake City First Baptist Church, where he served as chair of the board of deacons.
In 1982, he was appointed Kentucky Colonel by Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. He received the Order of the Palmetto in 1983, the Platinum Compleat Lawyer Award from the USC School of Law in 2001, and the Ralph King Anderson Award for his lifelong contributions to the Florence County Bar Association in 2003.
E. LeRoy Nettles, Sr. died on April 25, 2020. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Beverly Herlong Nettles and his son, E. LeRoy “Toy” Nettles, Jr. He is survived by his children, Marian N. Jay and the Hon. Michael G. Nettles; six grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.