Rev. Harold W. Syfrett 1923-2020

Reverend Harold Walter Syfrett WALTERBORO – 

Reverend Harold Walter Syfrett, 96, of Walterboro, SC went to be with Jesus Monday, April 13, 2020, at Veterans Victory House. Although he resided in Walterboro in his last years, his heart was always in Charleston.

Rev. Syfrett was born November 2, 1923, in Orangeburg, SC, a son of the late George Andrew Syfrett and the late Letitia Rebecca Martha Dantzler. He was a 1940 graduate of Orangeburg High School. He graduated from North Greenville Junior College (A.A.) in June 1949, Wofford College (B.A.) in 1950 and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (B.D.) in June 1953. While in college he served as Faculty Assistant at North Greenville and while at Wofford was Associate Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Spartanburg. He was instrumental in helping to begin what became Cudd Memorial Baptist and Bethany Baptist Churches, Spartanburg, SC. On August 14, 1947, Rev. Syfrett was ordained to the Baptist Ministry by the Calvary Baptist Church and the North Spartanburg Baptist Association. In more than 30 years of service with the S.C. Baptist Convention, he served as Registrar and Instructor of English, Bible, and Greek (1953-1958) at North Greenville; Pastor of Abney Memorial, Greenwood (1958-1960);Abbeville Associational Missionary and Baptist Student Director at Lander and Erskine Colleges (1960-1964); Charleston Baptist Campus Minister at the Citadel, Medical University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, and The Baptist College of Charleston (1964-1981). 

In the US Navy, during World War II, Rev. Syfrett served on the USS Yorktown, and when the USS Yorktown came to Charleston in 1975, to anchor at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, he conducted the first on-board ceremony in Charleston, a Dedication-Memorial Ceremony. He also assisted in setting up Wardroom Displays and many other exhibits. Rev. Syfrett served as assistant chaplain on the Fighting Lady from 1943 to 1946 and served as the chaplain of the USS Yorktown Association for four decades. In January 2017, after extensive renovations aboard the Yorktown, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum designated part of the ship’s library as a chapel and officially named it in honor of Rev. Syfrett. 

Surviving are his daughter, Louise Syfrett Bohls of High Point, NC; daughter, Carol Syfrett Lohwater of Summerville, SC; son, Harold W. Syfrett, Jr. (Karen) of Ladson, SC; daughter, Kay Syfrett Callaway Travis Houghtaling (Gene) of Goose Creek, SC; and daughter, Marie Syfrett Berry of Lillington, NC. Also surviving are grandchildren, Tommy and Penny Bohls; Tiffany Lohwater Silver (Josh), Justin Lohwater (Lindsey), Tara and Jake Lohwater; Eric Syfrett (Adena), Alicia Syfrett Palmer (Dustin), Jason William Syfrett (Leslie); David Travis (Jennifer); Ruth Berry and Ben Berry (Stephanie). Great-grandchildren include Norah Silver; Peyton, Blake and Jackson Lohwater; Sarah Beth and Elena Syfrett; Christian, Lucas, and Payge Palmer; Daniel Syfrett: and Crystal, Kaylee, and Caitlynn Travis. Rev. Syfrett was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Evelyn Marie Taylor Syfrett. 

Memorials can be made to Tall Pines Baptist Church, 645 Treeland Drive, Ladson, SC 29456; to Veterans Victory House, 2461 Sidneys Road, Walterboro, SC 29488; or to USS Yorktown CV-10 Association, PO Box 1021, Mount Pleasant, SC 29465. 

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Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Apr. 19, 2020