Funeral services for St. Matthews Chief of Police Capers Wannamaker Jr., 60, of 111 Tucker Mill Court, St. Matthews, will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 24, 2011, at Calhoun County High School Gymnasium. Burial will be in Bethlehem United Methodist Church Cemetery.
The body will be placed in the school gymnasium at noon.
Capers was born July 7, 1950, in Calhoun County, a son of the late Capers Wannamaker Sr. and Rosa Noble Wannamaker. As a result of a car accident, he died March 19.
Chief Wannamaker attended the Calhoun County public schools and was a St. Matthews High School Class of 1971 graduate. Drafted in the U.S. Army, he was honorably discharged after serving two years. Having enlisted in the S.C. National Guard, he served many years as a medic, while also being employed by Carolina Eastman for a period of 11 years.
He was a graduate of Orangeburg Technical College, where he received an associate of arts degree in criminal justice. For three years, he was employed by the South Carolina Department of Corrections, before joining the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department (1989). In 1997, he was hired as assistant police chief of the St. Matthews Police Department. History was made when he was promoted to the position of chief of police of St. Matthews, as he was the first African-American to be named to this post in St. Matthews. Over the years, he received numerous awards, honorable mentions and distinguished citations as chief of police. To mention a few: S.C. Department of Corrections (certificate 1988), S.C. Law Enforcement Academy (graduate 1989), Civil Process Training (1992), Certificate in Homicide Investigation (1992), Level 1 Drug Enforcement Training (1997), Supervision and Leadership Training (1997), Dedication Award (VFW Post 10729-1999 and 2002), 1st Chief's School and Technical Surveillance (2001), Certificate of Appreciation (Guinyard Elementary School and F-16 Familiarization Training at Shaw AFB (2003), S.C. Senate Hard Work and Dedication, and recognition by Victims 1st Judicial Task Force for Crimes Against Vulnerable Adults (2004), Employee of the Year (Town of St. Matthews) and S.C. Methamphetamine Training (2005), 2nd Chief's School and Appreciation (John Ford School) (2006), Victims 1st Judicial Task Force Methamphetamine Award, Notary Public (State of S.C.) (2007), Excellence Award (Calhoun County Clerk of Court), Hardwork and Dedication Award (SC) House of Representatives, Calhoun County Alternative School (volunteer), Taser Training, and also recognized by Sheriff Thomas Summers for dedicated service and the first African-American named chief of police of St. Matthews (2008), Victims Services Task Force Training, and award (Calhoun County Mental Health) (2009), and Recognition - 1st Judicial Law Enforcement Network for Police Chiefs (Hard work and Dedication) (2008, 2009 and 2010).
Chief Wannamaker was a dedicated member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church, where he served in many capacities.
Very community-oriented, he was a member of the 12 Men Social Club.
Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Willie Dean Fredrick Wannamaker of the home; one son, Jarrod (Latoya Stevenson) Wannamaker; one daughter, Deanna (Kevin Johnson) Wannamaker of St. Matthews; a daughter by love, Adrian Warren; grands, Mharquis Wannamaker, Dazha Joyner, Keyan Wannamaker and Kelvon Johnson; sisters, Mamie Melton and Mildred (Earnest Hart), both of Orangeburg, and Rosa Johnson of St. Matthews; brothers, Willie Noble and Marvin Noble of Columbia, James Wannamaker and Johnny Wannamaker of St. Matthews; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Tom (Ida) Fredrick; brothers-in-law, Tom (Kayren) Fredrick, Zambolist (Debra) Fredrick, Maurice (Eartha) Fredrick and Tracey Fredrick, all of St. Matthews, and Dwight Fredrick of Irmo; sisters-in-law, Annette Miller and Jennifer Williford of St. Matthews, and Karen Fredrick of Columbia; a special cousin, Thomas (Debra) Fredrick; special friends, Nathaniel "Bo Jack" Jackson; Sheriff Thomas Summers and Clerk of Court Kenneth Hasty; and goddaughter, Tanesha Coleman.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at Carson Funeral Home. The public viewing will begin at 3 p.m. Friends may call at the residence and the funeral home.