SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The Summerville community came together Monday to pay their last respects to longtime Mayor Berlin G. Meyers.
Family, friends and community members attended his funeral services at Summerville Baptist Church for the man who served the people of Summerville for nearly 50 years and served the longest term as mayor in the town's 167 year history.
Myers passed away at his home Wednesday at age 98.
In remembrance of him, all flags on Summerville town buildings were being flown at half-staff through Monday afternoon, according to Town of Summerville spokesperson Tiffany Norton.
"He was just the pillar of the community and he did what was right by everyone here," Margie Muckenfuss said at the viewing Sunday.
"He ran the town just like he ran his business," says family friend Ed Muckenfuss. "He wanted to make sure it was stable in every way and whatever he did, and whatever the council did was always the best for Summerville. I think of him as a southern gentlemen to the hilt, always a kind word for everyone, and an open office."
Myers was a World War II Veteran and a lifelong lumberman. In 2014 he celebrated 75 years of his lumber corporation.
"I always went down to the lumberyard saw him and stuff, I really loved him," Camp Gary, Myers' great great nephew, said.
Many waited hours Sunday at the viewing to pay their respects to Myers who served as Life Deacon and other positions at Summerville Baptist Church.
Summerville's current mayor paid tribute to Myers at last Wednesday night's town council meeting.
"I can tell you how difficult it is to fill his mighty big shoes as mayor," Mayor Bill Collins said at the start of the meeting. Collins succeeded Myers in 2011.
Myers began his political career in Summerville as a town councilman in 1965. He first took office as mayor when Mayor Allan Luke died in office. Myers then won the position in 1972. Myers served for ten terms.
"I just thought it was time to step down, let somebody else take the ropes and run," he said in 2011.
Recalling the first year he was elected mayor, 1972, Myers said Summerville had a budget of $127,000, 13 employees, no town hall and no fire department.
"Just a truck, had a truck," he said.
By the time he left office, Summerville's population was 15 times what it had been when he started, the town's budget had grown to $22 million and it employed 300 people.
"That's a lot to be thankful for," he said. "A lot."
Myers struggled to pinpoint his greatest accomplishment as mayor.
"How do you pick any one particular one?" he said. "I guess the parkway and the town hall would come one and two."
Mayor Collins said he will work to see the completion of the Berlin G. Myers Parkway. According to the Dorchester County Penny Sales Tax Transportation Authority, the final design and right-of-way acquisition will progress pending "permit issues."