Farmers are often quiet men who spend their lives outdoors, working hard and savoring God's bounty. That's how many described James Gloster, 83, of Blackville, who died April 11 at Southern Palmetto Hospital.
Gloster was "quiet, easy going", said his daughter Lee Ethel Price. "He loved to farm. He loved to ride around and look at crops."
For the past 40 years Gloster worked as overseer of Cain Farm, a 2,597-acre property northeast of Blackville owned by William Morris III, of Augusta.
Faith and family were the seeds he sowed and quiet strength was the gift he gave back, according to family members. Price said her father led by example, showing kindness and love to everyone.
His former pastor, the Rev. Benny Wiggins, of Barnwell, said Gloster was a very quiet man but "was the kind of man who had the love of God in him. He would reach out to help you spiritually and physically."
Gloster joined Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church at an early age and served on the Trustee Board for 30 years.
Wiggins said Gloster had "a humble spirit" and was like a father to him even as Wiggins pastored to Gloster. "I don't think there will ever be anyone quite like him."
Gloster not only loved to farm but also was a first-rate mechanic, working on cars and trucks of all types. Wiggins said he spent many hours with Gloster, eating parched peanuts while Gloster worked on a car or truck.
And whatever he had, he shared. Gloster was known for having a large garden. "He had beans and peas and all kinds of vegetables," said Wiggins. "Often, after church, I'd have Sunday lunch with him and his family and there was always a spread."
Lee Ethel Price said her dad loved fried chicken and fresh vegetables washed down with a Pepsi-Cola. But that bounty was not just at his table. He shared his crops, often giving food to others who were needy or whom he cared about or allowing others to pick fresh vegetables from his garden.
Gloster was born Dec. 16, 1930, in Barnwell County to Ella Hunter Gloster and Elmore Gloster.
In 1949 he married Lee Anner Johnson and that marriage lasted 54 years until her death 10 years ago.
He lived and worked at Cain Farm where he "stood tall among men," said Morris forester Eddie Reddick. "He was a very dedicated and loyal employee who was a very, very knowledgeable manager. He was well respected in the Ag community. Mr. Gloster was a remarkable man who worked with his mind and his hands."
Gloster died at Southern Palmetto Hospital on Friday. "He was so calm and peaceful throughout this life even when he was in pain," said his daughter, "and that is the way he died."
Besides his wife, Gloster had also lost a son, Joseph Sims.
He is survived by a son, Willie James (Earnestine) Gloster of Blackville; five daughters, Lee Ethel (Ben) Price, Lou Ella Blake, Janice (Pearlstine) Dunbar, Beverly Gloster Woods and Rhonda (Andrew) Brown, all of Blackville; a special nephew, Larry (Velina) Gloster; a brother, Willie (Martha) Gloster of Blackville; two sisters, Lilly Bradley and Dorothy (Abraham) Heyward, of Blackville; a brother-in-law, Spigner Johnson of Virginia; 18 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
"He loved to watch his grandchildren play in the yard while he sat on his porch swing," said Price. "He loved his family."
The viewing was held at Lebby Funeral Home, Barnwell, and the family received friends and family from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 18.
The funeral was noon Saturday, April 19 with burial in Hope Memorial Park, Barnwell.
The People-Sentinel 04/23/14
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