He was the son of the late James Mandoza and Dorcus Moore Gantt. He was a member of the Liberty Lion's Club, a charter member of the Pickens Jaycee's, a scoutmaster for 45 years and had served Troop 51 Boy Scouts of America for over fifty years. He is one of only three recipients to receive the "Good Shepherd Award," the highest honor in scouting. He was the "voice" of the Pickens High School Blue Flame football team for 37 years, and was inducted into the Pickens High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He was an avid photographer, gardener, and wood worker. He was the author of three books, including a history of Grace United Methodist Church as well as two books on scouting in action. He was a member of the Keowee Bowman Archery Club of Clemson and inventor of a trigger release used in archery. He retired from the United States Air Force following 32 years of service, five of which were active duty. He received both the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal while serving in the United States Air Force during WWII. He retired as an industrial engineer from Singer Company after 38 years of dedicated service.
Surviving in addition to his wife of 63 years, include a son, Norman "Russ" Gantt of Pickens; a daughter, Mary Jo Edens and her husband, Randall of Easley; three grandchildren, Lyndsey Jo Edens Sullivan and her husband, Greg of Pendleton; Benjamin Russell Edens and Erin Jena Edens, both of Easley. He was a loving father and loved mankind, his country and most especially his three grandchildren. He was the last survivor of his immediate family.
Visitation was at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, 2007 at Grace United Methodist Church in Pickens. Funeral services began at 3:30 p.m. with Rev. Joe Farry and Dr. Steve Holler officiating. Burial followed in the Hillcrest Memorial Park and Gardens.
Active pallbearers will be friends and former scouts. The honorary escorts were active scouts and the "Hawley Lynn Sunday School Class" of Grace United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to "Friends of Troop 51" c/o Perry Gravely, 105 West Cedar Rock St., Pickens, SC 29671.
The family was at the home the daughter, Mary Jo Edens, 108 Woody Lane, Easley, SC 29640.
Online condolences may be made at www.dillardfunerals.com.