By HEATHER RUPPE
A longtime Colleton County building inspector has spent his last Labor Day as an employed man, as he plans to retire from his roles with the county on Friday.
After working for “most of his life,” Doug Mixson says he will leave his careers behind in Colleton County and spend most of his time on his rural property. The Colleton County native only left his hometown once, in 1964, when he was 10 years old. The then young Colletonian didn’t go far – he moved to nearby Hampton County, where he attended school and worked with his family on their farm. “My dad managed a plantation, and they did a lot of farming. I was driving a tractor and working at 13 years old,” he said.
Mixson then returned to Colleton, and married Ruthie Pinckney, from Walterboro. In 1987, he and his bride moved to Ashton and started their lives together. The couple still reside in this community.
His career as a building inspector began in 1997 in Hampton County. He then took a career in Colleton County in 2005 as the county’s top building inspector, and he has stayed there until this Friday, Sept. 10th, when he will officially retire.
“It is time to retire. I’m going to do things for myself, around the house, and volunteer,” he said, on Tuesday. Mixson laughed when he said he and his wife both had a long list of “to do’s” at his Ashton property. But, the longtime inspector said he may still work part-time, depending on what the county needs him to do.
While serving as the county’s building inspector, Mixson was also a Code Enforcement Officer for Colleton County: he has also served in this dual role until this Friday, when he will retire from that job, as well.
When asked what he was most proud of in his careers in Colleton County public service, Mixson was quick to answer about a program that helped poor or homeless Colleton County residents. In this unnamed program, Mixson and other county employees and leaders would take donated mobile homes and gave them to homeless residents or people in need. In all, about five mobile homes were donated to people in need.
“This was the best accomplishment we had,” said Mixson, crediting former Colleton County Planning and Development Director Phillip Slayter with helping to start this program. “We would get someone living in a camper or a dilapidated mobile home and we would give them something better than they had. We would put the title in their name, and it was theirs,” said Mixson. “It wasn’t perfect, but it helped a lot of people.”
As for retired life, Mixson’s plans include a lot more … work. “My intentions are to do some work, and to work at my church and help with anything that needs repairing,” he said, adding that he will also be helping his family with what they need.
Mixson attends Community Baptist Church in Lodge, where he says he hopes to cut grass and help repair the church with anything it needs. “I don’t want anything else to do besides these things, “he said, laughing. “I’m going to be retired.”
Mixson’s son, Doug Mixson, Jr., went to social media to tell his father “Thank you” for serving his Colleton community for so long. Mixson, Jr. is one of Mixson’s two children: he and his wife also have a daughter, Caroline Proctor, who lives in Georgia.
Mixson called his father a “man of integrity” who “cares about helping others.”
I’m “so thankful I get to call him Daddy. Even if he didn’t do what made you happy at the moment, I promise you, he tried to do what he perceived as right, fair and equitable and at the end of the day he would give the shirt off his back to help anyone,” Mixson said, in a social media post about his father’s retirement.