Ellis Michael O'Tuel, IIISeptember 22, 1944 ~ May 16, 2017 (age 72)
Ellis Michael O’Tuel III, age 72, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 16, at McLeod Regional Medical Center after sustaining brain trauma in a fall at his home.
Michael was born in Bennettsville, the son of the late E. M. O’Tuel, Jr. and Cecile Gentry O’Tuel. Educated in the Bennettsville Public Schools, Michael later received his B.A. degree from Wofford College in 19 67. He was a life-long member of First United Methodist Church where he served in many leadership capacities. He practiced his faith daily in his care and concern for others.
In 1966, Michael and Teresa “Terri” Alexander O’Tuel were married. Following his graduation from Wofford, they made their home in Bennettsville where Michael joined his father in the family businesses: E.M. O’Tuel Cotton Company, Inc., O’Tuel Gin, Marlboro Warehouse, Inc. and Southern Gin and Fertilizer Company in Gibson, NC. Additionally, he owned and operated Michael O’Tuel Farms.
As a cotton producer and ginner, Michael served as a director of Southern Cotton Growers and Southeastern Ginners Association. He was president of the Marlboro County Farm Bureau and served as a State Director of the South Carolina Farm Bureau for many years. In February 2017 he received an award for forty years of service as a Conservation Commissioner. He served as chairman of the Marlboro Conservation District for many years as well as secretary and treasurer. He was a former director of Beltwide Cotton Cooperative for the Southeast.
Community service was an integral part of Michael‘s life. For many years he juggled business and family time to serve as Captain for the Marlboro County Rescue Squad when it was an all-volunteer organization. During this time he became a licensed EMT-I. Michael was instrumental in implementing 911 Emergency Services in Marlboro County, making it the second county in the state to do so. Michael served as president of the Bennettsville Jaycees, the United Fund of Marlboro County, and the Bennettsville Rotary Club where he was also a Paul Harris Fellow.
Through the years, Michael remained a loyal supporter of Wofford College serving on both the Parents Advisory Council and the Alumni Executive Council. He also served as class agent of the Class of 1967 during major capital campaigns.
Michael‘s proudest accomplishment in life was his family. He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-one years and his four children, Ellis O’Tuel (Jan) of Pawleys Island, Darin O’Tuel (Heather) of Atlanta, Emily O’Tuel Haupt (Mark) of Raleigh, and Laura O’Tuel Wooldridge (Bill) of Atlanta. He was the proud PaPa to seven grandsons: John Michael O’Tuel and Jacob Ellis O’Tuel of Pawleys Island. Will Slaughter of Atlanta, Brady and Tanner O’Tuel of Atlanta, Matthew and Cameron Haupt of Raleigh and to three step-grandchildren: Rory, Brandon, and Kaylie Wooldridge of Atlanta.
Michael is survived by his brother Douglas O’Tuel (Lyn) of Bennettsville, his sister Marilyn O’Tuel Jordan (Art) of Seneca, his beloved aunt Doris Gentry of The Methodist Manor of the Pee Dee in Florence and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
To honor Michael’s life, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 456, Bennettsville, SC 29512, to the Marlboro Rescue Squad, P. O. Box 123, Bennettsville, SC 29512 or to a charity of one’s choice.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00pm Monday, May 22, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church, with burial to follow in Sunset Memorial Park. A visitation will be held from 6:00pm until 8:00pm on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Burroughs & Cooper Funeral Home of Bennettsville.
On-line condolences may be made @www.burroughscooperfh.com