Remembering Herbert Fielding, former S.C. Senator, leader of civil rights

Remembering Herbert Fielding, former S.C. Senator, leader of civil rights

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Saturday, former South Carolina State Senator Herbert Fielding was laid to rest at Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston. Family and friends reminisced about Fielding's contributions to the state of South Carolina.

"He was a true friend and we are going to miss this gentlemen, this giant of a man Herbert Fielding," says Joe Jefferson of the S.C. General Assembly.

Jefferson remembers Fielding as a great mentor.

"He was just so instrumental in guiding us as a person of color," says Jefferson. "He gave us good direction in life. He told us what to do, certain things to avoid in life."

Fielding was a leader in many ways. He was the first African American elected to the South Carolina House after Reconstruction and he went on to serve in the State Senate.

"You really get to test a relationship when you run against each other for the same office and our friendship survived that," says Congressmen Jim Clyburn.

Clyburn says he learned the art of compromising from his close friend, Fielding.

"I got the phone call about three weeks ago saying that he was asking for me and within 24 hours I was out of Florida here in his room and I'll always cherish that conversation," says Clyburn.

Fielding was also CEO of Fielding Funeral Home in downtown Charleston. Veteran John Dash reminisces about his sense of humor.

"Herbert was from the second World War, and I was from the Korean Conflict and he used to always tease us and say, 'You didn't fight a war, that was no war,'" says Dash.

Dash had lunch with Fielding and company every Thursday for more than 20 years, something he'll always cherish.

"It started about 7 or 8 of us and now we're down to four so we miss Herbert very much," says Dash.

Presiding Elder Joe Darby will always remember the legacy Fielding has left in South Carolina.

"He had a heart for the community a wonderful sense of humor, excellent determination," says Darby. "He knew how to get things done and get things done in a way that's not going to wrinkle too many foreheads. He was a good man, he was a model for a lot of people."

Fielding had a commitment to Civil Rights and he worked to improve race relations in Charleston.