Clayton Lowder Jr.

November 29, 1936 ~ July 27, 2020 (age 83)


Sumter, SC…Clayton Lowder, Jr., age 83, Died on Monday, July 27, 2020.

Born in Sumter, he was a son of the late Clayton Ralph Lowder, Sr. and Jho Eleanor Player Lowder.  Clayton graduated from Edmunds High School and attended Clemson University on a baseball scholarship.  He was also offered a football scholarship, but when Coach Frank Howard met him he said he was too small, and he should have offered him a position as the water boy.  Clayton made the decision to play baseball and was a member of the 1958 and 1959 College World Series teams where he caught the first pitch of the World Series.  While attending Clemson, he achieved Academic All-ACC in both 1958 and 1959 and was a member of the Numeral Society.  After graduation, Clayton served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.

Clayton was a long time member of Trinity UMC and was a dedicated member of the Boyle Bible Class. He also served as a Sunday School teacher.  Clayton was a member of the Wilson Hall Board of Trustees and served as a baseball coach for several years, winning the State Championship in 1989.  He was a past president of The Sumter Diabetes Association, Chairman of the Sumter County Planning Commission and was co-founder of Lowder Brothers Gin Co.  Clayton was an entrepreneur in farming and owned a seed store and cotton gin.  His name was synonymous with cotton farming, not only in the Southeast, but nationwide.  He was a pioneer and led the charge to eradicate the boll weevil population in SC. He was two time Southeast Ginner of the Year, a member of the National Cotton Council and past Chairman of the Board of the South Carolina Cotton Board.  

His children remember him making them pull weeds in a hot cotton field.  This became their right of passage, and they are grateful for the work ethic that their father instilled in them.  He was proud to call Sumter home and wanted his children to grow up in the community that he loved.  He was a member of The Progressive Club in Sumter and was an avid outdoorsman.  He enjoyed wade fishing for big bass in Russellville and loved to hunt.  His opening day dove hunts were legendary, and people would travel from all parts of the state to take part in them.  He passed his love of hunting and fishing to his children, and they have continued to carry on the tradition of the opening day dove hunts.  He was known for his sense of humor and smile, and he loved to play practical jokes, especially with his famous mongoose trap.

Clayton was a man of strong faith, with strong hands and a strong work ethic. He was determined, he was tough, he was a man’s man.  Clayton was an encourager, an excellent provider and a dedicated father to his four children; He never missed a game.  He lives on through his children!

He is survived by; three sons, Dr. Clay Lowder and his wife Kelliegh of Mayesville, Dr. Milt Lowder and his wife Caroline of Greenville and Jim Lowder and his wife Amber of Sumter; one daughter, Candler Lowder of Charleston; one brother, Steve Lowder of Rembert; One sister-in-law, Kathy Lowder of Sumter and ten grandchildren, Clayton Lowder IV, Coker Lowder, Liza Lowder, Jay Lowder, McKee Lowder, Emerson Lowder, Ariail Lowder, James Lowder, Whitt Kelly and Charlie Bhat.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by; two brothers, Jimmy Lowder and Mike Lowder and two sisters, Alice Lowder Robertson and Betty Jho Lowder.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 11:00 am at Bullock Funeral Home.  The interment will follow the service in the Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Bullock Funeral Home.

You view the service via live stream at and clicking on the obituary of Clayton Lowder.

Due to Covid-19, we ask that all who attend practice social distancing and follow all Covid-19 guidelines and wear a face mask.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 107 West Park Blvd., Suite 220, Columbia, SC 29210 

You may go to and sign the family’s guest book online.

The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home of Sumter for the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Clayton Lowder Jr., please visit our floral store.


July 29, 2020

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bullock Funeral Home
1190 Wilson Hall Road
Sumter, SC 29150

Funeral Service
July 30, 2020

11:00 AM
Bullock Funeral Home
1190 Wilson Hall Road
Sumter, SC 29150

Interment following funeral service
July 30, 2020

Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery
802 N Guignard Drive
Sumter, SC 29150

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