Dr. Reamer Lorenzo (“R. L.”) Cockfield passed away peacefully at his home March 22, 2020. Dr. Cockfield, son of the late Dr. Reamer & Lizzie Cockfield, was born in Johnsonville, SC, Dec. 2, 1924. He moved to Lake City, SC when he was 1 year old, and lived in Lake City for the remainder of his life. He graduated from Lake City High School in 1941. He entered the Citadel in the fall of 1941, but left the Citadel to join the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He served as a drill instructor on Parris Island, and later served in the 3rd division in the Pacific Theater, including the battle of Iwo Jima. After the war ended, he returned to The Citadel & graduated in 1947 with a B.S. Degree in Pre-Med. He also received Masters & Doctorate degrees in Education from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Cockfield spent his life educating young people in the Pee Dee area. He began his career as a teacher & coached football, baseball & basketball. He was principal of Lake City Junior High, Lake City Elementary & Lake City High for many years before being promoted to Superintendent of Florence County School District #3. After retiring from public education, he served as mayor of Lake City from 1986-1990.
Dr. Cockfield was a faithful member of the Lake City First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon for 45 years & Deacon Chairman from 1962-1964. He was superintendent of the Young People’s Department for 20 years & was a member of the church choir for over 80 years. He served as Chairman of the Lake City First Baptist Church Family Life Center Building Committee from 2001-2003, the years in which plans for the family life center were initiated & the building was completed. He was also a member of the Executive Board of the SC Baptist Convention from 1995-1998.
Dr. Cockfield served as a member of the Board of Directors of The Citadel’s Brigadier Club, Florence Airport Commission, Executive Board of the Pee Dee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America & Permanent Advisory Council of the SC State Development Board. He served as President of the Lake City Lions Club, Lake City United Fund, Florence County Education Association & Pee Dee TB Association.
Dr. Cockfield received numerous awards throughout his lifetime including 2 from the Boy Scouts of America, the Silver Beaver Award & the Good Shepherd Award. He received Lake City’s “Young Man of the Year” Award (1958), Order of the Palmetto (1990), Lake City Chamber of Commerce Contributor of the Year (1992), Lake City High School Hall of Fame (1995), Melvin Jones Fellow - Lions International (1996),
Lake City Lions Club Lion of the Year (1997), Lake City Rotary Club Award - Paul Harris Fellow (2005) & Lake City Veteran of the Year (2018).
Dr. Cockfield founded & directed the Western Tour for Boys and Girls. He and his wife Dorothy, along with lifelong friends Randy & Ernestine Gravely, planned & chaperoned groups of 88 teenagers as they traveled throughout the United States every summer for many years.
Dr. Cockfield loved God, his church, his family, his friends, his country, The Citadel, the Boy Scouts of America & the United States Marine Corps. He loved Lake City & he loved Lake Moultrie where he built a log cabin which he enjoyed for many years. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt & fish. He loved playing his harmonica, singing in his church choir & being a part of a quartet for many years along with Harry Whitlock, Jeff Jeffords & Olin Powell. He enjoyed working in his workshop in his back yard. He loved working with young people & spent his entire life trying to be a positive influence on everyone he met. He was committed to making the Lake City community a better place.
Dr. Cockfield is survived by his high school sweetheart & wife of 73 years, Dorothy Mapp Cockfield; 2 daughters, Elizabeth C. Bushardt (Dan), and Jenny C. Johnson (Henry); 4 grandsons, Joe Bushardt, Dr. Reamer Bushardt (Christin), Will Johnson & James Johnson (Erin); 7 great grandchildren, Isabella Bushardt, Madeline Bushardt, Sophie Bushardt, Henry Johnson, Eliza Johnson, Katherine Johnson & Mary Rutledge Johnson.
The family would like to thank the wonderful folks from Comfort Keepers and Pruitt Hospice who helped make his life the best it could be over the past 7 years in the home he loved, the home where he spent 94 of his 95 years.
Due to the Coronavirus threat, only a private burial for the immediate family will be held & the family is not accepting any visitors at this time. The family respectfully asks for its wishes to be honored, particularly to protect the health of Mrs. Cockfield. In lieu of flowers or food, donations may be made to the Lake City First Baptist Church, PO Box 820, Lake City, SC 29560, (https://abundant.co/lcfbc/give) or The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, 171 Moultrie St, Charleston, SC 29409. (http://brigadierfoundation.com)
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