Community leader Franklin Smalls dies
by The Press and Standard | December 13, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: December 12, 2018 at 8:42 am
Colleton County educator, coach and community leader Franklin Smalls died over the weekend.
More than 200 friends and family gathered on July 3, 2014 to honor Franklin Smalls on his 80th birthday in a celebration held at the Colleton County Middle School cafeteria.
Smalls, a Walterboro resident since 1962, served for over 20 years on City Council and was a former mayor pro-tem for the city. He worked for 43 years in the Colleton County School District, where he was an assistant principal, a coach, a teacher and even the district’s maintenance director.
During his 2011 City Council re-election campaign, Smalls said, “I want to continue to make a difference and to improve the quality of life for all the citizens. I especially want to assist everyone to feel that Walterboro is a safe place to live, to work, to visit, to dine out and to invite visitors to our beautiful city. I want to continue to be a part of promoting the city and to encourage all citizens to be aware of the many incredible attractions that we are fortunate to have in Walterboro and to speak positively, and not negatively, about our wonderful community.
“If you consider that being 76 makes me old, you might reconsider, because I consider my age an asset in terms of life experience and knowledge, not only in terms of municipal government, but of people and society as well,” he said.
Smalls graduated from Colleton Training School in Walterboro in the 1950s, and then went on to serve two years in the U.S. Army. Later he earned a bachelor’s degree in vocational agriculture from South Carolina State, then master’s degrees in physical education and administration from North Carolina A&T. He also studied various subjects at Howard University, Louisiana State and Claflin.
Smalls was born in Cottageville to the late Rev. and Mrs. Joe Nathan Smalls, the sixth of seven children. He was raised by his aunt and uncle, the Rev. and Mrs. James Miller. In 1962, Smalls married his wife, Lula, of Ruffin, who taught in the Colleton County School District for 30 years. They have two children, David and Gregg.
Services are being handled by Koger Mortuary Service 508 S. Jefferies Blvd., 843-782-8200. Visitation will be Friday Dec. 14 at a time to be announced. The memorial service will be held at the Colleton County High School Performing Arts Center on Saturday Dec. 15 at 11 a.m.