Funeral arrangements for Senator Sheheen's father

Published: Jun. 6, 2016 at 9:11 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2016 at 11:05 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Scene of fatal wreck in Kershaw Co. (WIS)
Scene of fatal wreck in Kershaw Co. (WIS)

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - Funeral arrangements have been finalized for Fred Sheheen, father of Kershaw County Senator Vincent Sheheen.

The former executive director for SC's Commission on Higher Education died in a car wreck Monday, according to Kershaw County Coroner's Office.

His funeral is at noon Thursday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church on Lyttleton Street in Camden. There is no public visitation.

Kershaw County Deputy Coroner Phil McLeod confirmed to WIS that 79-year-old Fred Sheheen of Camden died Monday in the accident. McLeod says Sheheen was wearing his seat belt, but died from blunt force trauma after a two-vehicle collision. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the wreck near the intersection of John G. Richards Road and Sailing Club Road in Camden was reported at approximately 2:25 p.m. Monday. Trooper David Jones said Sheheen attempted to turn left onto Sailing Club Road when his vehicle was hit by a driver in a 2000 Lexus SUV. The Lexus driver was transported to the hospital with injuries, as well as Sheheen's 15-year-old grandson Anthony. Anthony suffered injuries, but is expected to recover well.

Sheheen was a well-respected South Carolinian, having served as commissioner and executive director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for a decade. In addition, Sheheen taught an honors course on South Carolina State Government for the University of South Carolina, worked previously as a journalist, and served as press secretary for former South Carolina Governor and Senator Donald Russell.

"You just remember him as always happy and cheerful and smiling," said Laurie Parks, a Camden City Council Member. "I never saw him angry, and I'm sure he was. I never saw him disgruntled or anything. He was just always smiling and happy, and that's what we're all going to miss. He didn't see people as a political party or specific gender or a color or an age. To him, everybody was the same, and he treated everybody equally. He was a very bright star, and he will be missed on so many levels."

The Sheheen family released the following statement through a spokesperson:

Our hearts are saddened by the death of Mr. Fred Sheheen, the Father of Senator Vincent and Amy Sheheen. Senator Sheheen's youngest son Anthony is being treated for injuries but is expected to fully recover. As details and arrangements are made, I will keep you informed. Again please keep Fred's wife Mrs. Rose Sheheen and the entire Sheheen family in your thoughts and Prayers.

Senator Vincent Sheheen took to Facebook Tuesday to express his gratitude for support shown to the family:

The University provided us with the following statement from Dr. Bob Oldendick, director of USC's Institute for Public Service and Policy Research:

The university and the State of South Carolina have suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Fred Sheheen. Fred's dedication to public service was unsurpassed. Whether it was working in the governor's office or in Washington with Senator Russell, his time as executive director of the Commission on Higher Education, or his work in the Institute for Public Service and Policy Research, he was dedicated to making South Carolina a better place today than it was yesterday. South Carolina is a lesser place without Fred Sheheen. His legion of friends will miss him deeply.

Many in South Carolina government expressed their sympathies for the Sheheen family as the news broke.

Copyright 2016, WIS TV. All Rights Reserved.