Michael Elliott Saxton, affectionately known as “Rusty”, transitioned to be with his heavenly father on May 1, 2020 at Dorn V.A. Hospital in Columbia, SC. He was the son of Willie Dell Riley and the late William Elmore of Blackville, SC.
Michael attended the public schools of Barnwell County and was a 1980 graduate of Blackville-Hilda High School. Michael was a member of the Blackville-Hilda Football Team (# 60) and the mile-relay team. Upon graduating, he enlisted in the United States Navy serving a total of twenty-three years which included active and reserve duty. While in the Navy, he served on the following ships: the USS Proteus, the USS Arkansas and the USS Pratt. Michael was a faithful and dedicated employee at Fairmont Tamper (now known as Harsco Rail) for twenty-nine years as a welder until his health declined. Michael enjoyed fishing and working out. Although he was very quiet, if he met you, he instantly became a dear friend.
Michael joined Bethlehem Baptist Church College Place and was baptized in 1996 under the leadership of Dr. Charles Allen Faulk.
Those who will cherish his memories are his loving daughter, Michaeli Saxton whom he referred to as “Rock” and her mother, Karen Goodwin, a former spouse of 16 years and caregiver of Columbia, SC; two sons, Michael (Tamika) Williams, Sr., of Graniteville, SC and William Wilson of Columbia, SC; one grandson, Michael Williams Jr.; mother, Willie Dell Riley of Blackville, SC; three sisters, Linda (James) Roberts and Rose (Albert) Raysor of Blackville, SC and Tracy Seymour of Trenton, SC; five brothers, Billy Johnson, Anthony Felder and Joshua Saxton of Blackville, SC, Dennis Saxton, Sr. and Rodney (Sherae) Saxton of Columbia, SC; his best friend, Mr. Ronnie Woods of Blackville, SC; two of his workout spotters, Mr. Lennox McDonald and Mr. James McCallum; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends all of who join the family in sharing the grief caused by his departure, but are rejoicing in his homegoing.
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