NEESES -- The funeral service for Deacon Matthew Hartwell, 79, of Neeses, will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at Hickory Hill Baptist Church, 4623 Neeses Highway, Neeses. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Deacon Hartwell will be placed in the church an hour prior to service for viewing.

Deacon Matthew Hartwell, son of the late David and Blonnie Jamison Hartwell, was born in Neeses on Dec. 10, 1938, and departed this earthly life on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018.

He was married for 49 years to Janet C. Hartwell, whom he loved and cherished. He was a devoted husband, father, brother, educator and church deacon.

Deacon Hartwell dedicated his life to Christ and was a member of Hickory Hill Baptist Church in Neeses. He loved Hickory Hill and could be found in service of the church and its members on a daily basis. He was instrumental in overseeing the renovations of the current sanctuary, as well as the fellowship hall and Sunday school wing expansions. Throughout his life, he served in various capacities in the church, including chairman of the Deacon Board, Sunday school teacheren's Bible Class, Male Chorus, Anniversary Committee, Usher Board, church treasurer, and Bible study teacher.

He attended Hickory Hill Elementary School, Norway School and Dover High School. After graduation, Deacon Hartwell continued to improve himself through academic and trade professional development. He earned an associate degree in human services from Denmark Technical College in 1987, and a bachelor of science in sociology, with a minor in human services, from Voorhees College in 1989. He also completed additional studies at Clemson University, South Carolina State University and Regent University. He was an avid gardener of fruits, vegetables and flowering plants, and also raised hogs and other livestock.

Deacon Hartwell believed in education and taught both high school and adult education students. Deacon Hartwell developed the curriculum and taught plumbing and pipefitting at North High School for six years and revised the plumbing course curriculum guide at the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Kirkland facility, where he taught inmates for 10 years. He also served on the committee that developed the plumbing examination for the state of South Carolina. While a student at Dover High School, Deacon Hartwell also impacted the lives of young people when he served as school bus driver and was commended for his service by the district's administration.

Deacon Hartwell was a licensed master plumber with both residential and commercial certifications, including plumbing, pipefitting, wateraste treatment and environmental systems. Throughout his career as a master plumber, he never hesitated to help anyone and would often answer the call of families in need no matter the time or day. He was employed by Applied Engineering Company, Livingston Gas and Electric Company, Orangeburg Plumbing Company and Kemmerlin Meat Packing Company.

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Deacon Hartwell was also committed to and active in the community. He was chairman of the Neeses-Livingston Concerned Citizens Club and was honored by the District 96 Concerned Citizens Club of Orangeburg County as Man of the Year. He was president of the Benedict College Parent Council, served on the Orangeburg County Disability Board and was a member of Bushy Pond Lodge #16. He was also involved in the Orangeburg County Democratic Party and was recognized as an Unsung Hero in 2008.

He leaves to cherish precious memories a devoted wife, Janet C. Hartwell, and a devoted son, Lee Matthew Hartwell, both of Neeses; mother-in-law Louise Caldwell of North; loving in-laws Robert (Pauline) Caldwell and Thelma Romeo of North; special nieces Dr. Julie Anna Hartwell and Von James; special nephews Brandon and Teldrin James; and devoted friends Timothy and Marion Whetstone of Blackville. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Samuel Hartwell Sr., and Jack Jamison; sisters Joan Hartwell and Ann Gordon; and special nephew Samuel Hartwell II. A host of cousins, nephews, nieces, friends and community members join with us as we remember our family patriarch.

Viewing will be from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at W.B. Crumel Funeral Home of North.

Friends may call at the residence and the funeral home.

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