ORANGEBURG -- Funeral services for Deacon Edward "Sonny" Fersner, 94, of 516 Langley Road, Orangeburg, will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. at Bull Swamp Baptist Church, 112 Purity St., Orangeburg, Pastor Ephriam D. Stephens officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
The body wil be placed in the church one hour prior to the service.
Edward 'Sonny' Fersner was born on Dec. 23, 1924, in Orangeburg County to the late Deacon Henry Fersner and Mattie (Corley) Fersner, and transitioned from this life on the eve of Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, at Prisma Health Richland Hospital in Columbia.
As a child, he attended the public schools of Orangeburg County. Edward received an honorary doctorate degree from the Bible Institute in Columbia. He grew up to be a hard-working man, holding employment as a maintenance supervisor for Management and Investment Corporation for over 50 years and retired on May 15, 2006.
He also taught auto mechanics for 10 years at Wilkinson High School's evening classes. He was also a member of the United States Air Force in Scott Field, Illinois, from 1946-1948. For many years, he so generously shared his harvest with family and the community.
Deacon Fersner was a faithful member of the Bull Swamp Baptist Church. He was ordained as a deacon on May 19, 1963, under the Rev. J.J. Glover's administration at Bull Swamp Baptist Church, where he was the oldest deacon of the church. Deacon Fersner was an avid Bible scholar who studied daily and memorized numerous passages of scripture. Deacon Fersner served for many years as president of the gospel choir, church clerk, and bothe Sunday school teacher and Bible Study teacher. He also served as the secretary of the Orangeburg-Calhoun Baptist Missionary Union, President of the Bull Swamp Live-Working Ushers and Choirs Convention, and as the Chaplain of the Orangeburg County Young Farmers organization. He assumed the role of teaching shape notes to the choir which was previously led by his father, Deacon Henry Fersner Sr.
In 1982, he was the proud patriarch of the Regional South Carolina Family of the Year, South Carolina Family of the Year. His family was also the National Black Family of the Year for the 2002 University of South Carolina Black Family Summit.
He was one of eight children, and was preceded in death by his siblings, Kenneth Fersner Sr., Henry “Shug” Fersner, Meaner Mae “Shing” (Fersner) Brown, Rosa Lee “Sis” (Fersner) Jones, Mattie Bell “Dolly” (Fersner) Gilyard, and John Fersner.
Sonny leaves to cherish his loving memories his wife of 70 years, Wilhelmina Pimble Fersner of Orangeburg; one sister, Queen Ester Evans of Orangeburg; eight children, Wilma (Marion David) Green, the Rev. Joyce Colter of North, Anna Louise (the Rev. Lawrence) Corley of West Columbia, Yvonne (the Rev. Dr. Frank) Portee of Charleston, Edward Anthony (Dianne) Fersner of Orangeburg, Marilyn (Leonard) Burks of Cleveland, Ohio, Deacon Alvin Laverne (Anita) Fersner of Orangeburg, and LaKeisha (Troy) Lawrence of Orangeburg. Through these unions, Sonny was blessed with 19 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, from noon to 8 p.m.
Friends may call at the residence of his wife, Mrs. Wilhelmina Fersner, 516 Langley Road, Orangeburg, or Simmons Funeral Home and Crematory of Orangeburg.
Online condolences may be sent to www.simmonsfuneralhome.com