Riley Leon Maxwell -- Bamberg
Coach Maxwell lived a life of loving service to his family, friends and the students he taught and coached.
Leon was born on Aug. 29, 1930, in Athens, Ga., and grew up in North Charleston. He attended Newberry College on an athletic scholarship where he played basketball and baseball. The 1952 Newberry baseball team went undefeated, defeating teams such as Furman, Duke, Georgia, the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Prior to beginning his coaching career, he played in the Pittsburgh Pirates Farm System. Leon coached high school football at Latta High School (1952 to 1960), St. Stephen High School (1960 to 1970) and Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School (1970 to 1992). Over his 40-year head-coaching career, he won two state championships, eight lower state championships, nine state quarter finals and 27 conference or region championships. He was inducted into the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995 with a compiled record of 297-121-4. He was selected to coach as an assistant and head coach for the Pee Dee Tobacco Bowl, the SCHSL North-South All-Star Game and the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. His individual honors include National Coach of the Year, third place; S.C. Coach of the Year; and numerous region coach of the year awards. He won state championships in football, baseball and golf. He also coached track and basketball teams to state runner-up finishes. He was a lifetime member, deacon and Sunday school teacher at the Baptist churches in Latta, St. Stephen and Bamberg.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Betty Lou Weatherly Maxwell of Bamberg; three sons and a daughter, Richard Lee Maxwell (Carol), Randall Leon Maxwell (Mary Jane), Cindy Maxwell Hall (Ray) and Quillian Ronald Maxwell (Kay); a brother, Daniel Joseph Maxwell (Charlotte) of Commerce, Ga.; eight grandchildren, Riley Johnson Maxwell, Richard Lee Maxwell Jr., Hank Morrell Maxwell (Sarah), Mary Bray Mehrzad (Alan), Henry Maxwell Hall, Sarah Lou Hall, Matthews Webster Maxwell and Cornelia Weatherly Maxwell; and a great-grandchild, Weatherly Marie Mehrzad.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at First Baptist Church of Bamberg.
Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, July 13, at First Baptist Church of Bamberg, with the Rev. Charlie Lucas officiating. Burial will follow in Bamberg County Memory Gardens.
Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 355, Bamberg, SC 29003.