Memory Hold The Door
H. Fletcher Padget, Jr. (1922–1998)
Born on a Sunday morning in Saluda County on June 11, 1922, Henry Fletcher Padget, Jr. was the oldest of the three children of Olive Truluck Padget and Henry Fletcher Padget, Sr. He was affectionately known as “Brother” by his sisters Jean Caro and Nancy Anne. Fletcher’s oratorical skills were first recognized when he was declared the winner of the National American legion Oratorical Contest held in Springfield, Illinois. The sixteen year old was then asked to address the S.C. General Assembly where he was honored for bringing national distinction to his State. Fletcher used his American Legion scholarship to attend Wofford College where he held several class offices, commanded the R.O.T.C. Unit, was President of the Honor System, inducted into Kappa Sigma (social fraternity) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Fletcher served in World War Two as a 1st Lieutenant attached to the 3rd Armored Division as an Anti-Tank Platoon Leader and Armored Infantry Unit Commander. Wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Following, the War, Fletcher entered the USC School of Law, graduating in 1948. He was a member of the Order of Wig and Robe and won the Sapp-Funderburke Award. The young attorney entered private practice with N.A. Turner, Esquire while simultaneously teaching several courses at the Law School from 1948 to 1950. The three man law firm, under his wise guidance, grew to a firm of almost 50 lawyers. He served as senior partner until his retirement in 1984, a period of 36 years.
Married to the former Esther Hunt, Fletcher and Esther had three children, Avice Lynn, H.F. Padget III (Hank) and Mark Hunt Padget. He is survived by three grandchildren.
Fletcher was a member of the American Judicature Society, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, S.C. Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association and the Richland County and American Bar Associations. He was also a senior active member of the Columbia Rotary and attended St. Mark United Methodist Church.
Fletcher Padget will be remembered as a consummate gentleman and skilled litigator who earned the respect of all those with whom he came in contact. He will be especially remembered by those attorneys who had the unique opportunity of studying and learning under his tutelage. His passion for the law was infectious and his career as an attorney set a high standard for those who followed him. His wit and wisdom will be long remembered.