Roland O. Rabon, Sr. was born on May 19, 1934 in a log cabin on Longtown Road in Lugoff, SC the third child and oldest son of the late Carl Rabon and Nellie Barfield Rabon.
He died May 18, 2020, a few hours short of his 86th birthday, in Camden, SC. He often said he had been crossing the river his whole life.
Predeceased by Gena Fant Rabon, his wife of 56 years, and 2 sisters.
He was survived by four children: Neil (Susan Williams) of Greenville, SC; Keith (Parrish), Ann Hough and Lynn Matthews (Dan) all of Camden. He was “Pa” to 13 grandchildren [Spencer Rabon (Jess), J.C. Hough (Katie), Pierce Rabon, Roland Matthews (Caitlin), Will Hough (Salem), Austin Rabon, Margaret Rabon, Ross Hough, Smith Williams, Granger Rabon, Jefferson Williams, Meg Matthews and Kathryn Rabon] and 2 great grandchildren, Sarah Ann Hough and Hollis O’Neil Hough. He is also survived by siblings Howard Rabon, Earline Rabon, Mary Nell Branham and Buddy Rabon.
Rabon worked on the farm and at JC Penny in Camden throughout his teenage years. He graduated from Camden High School in 1952 and Furman University in 1956 with a B.A. in business, the first in his family. After graduation he joined management at Milliken in Union, SC and then Kingstree, SC. He was later employed by Baxter Travenol, which moved him and his family to Marion, NC to initiate hiring for a new plant in North Cove. Three years later he returned to Kingstree to lead the transition and sale of a portion of that Baxter facility. The family moved to Camden in 1977. He assisted in reorganizing the Governor’s division when Dick Riley was elected and then served as Deputy Director. He ended his career as Director of Information Resource Management with the State Budget and Control Board.
Rabon was involved with various community matters his whole life. Optimist Club, Civitans, local United Way drives and regional technical education all benefitted from his leadership. He served as Board Chair of the Camden YMCA, was active in Masonic Lodge #29, a Master Gardner and a loyal supporter of the Camden HS Bulldogs. After retirement he was named the SC Lay Guardian of the Year for his work in the Family Court of Kershaw County. His primary involvement was always with the church, first at Springvale Baptist Church at Rabon Crossroads in the Pine Grove Community of Kershaw County. Singing on local radio in a youth choir from Springvale every Sunday was the beginning of a lifelong source of pleasure.
Rabon loved his family, and watching his children and grandchildren grow and develop as responsible adults and citizens was his most pleasing accomplishment. Patient and smiling, he set the example of how to accept people as they are; everybody is different, but within their individuality, everyone is capable and worth knowing.
The family wants to express their deep appreciation to the staff and residents of Morningside of Camden where Pa was loved and cared for during his last years. He relished his role as honorary Mayor of that community. Gratitude is also extended to MSA Hospice and ABC Caregivers.
In light of necessary precautions for community health, interment will be private and no visitation will be held. Those wishing to honor Rabon may make donations in his memory to the charity of your choice.
Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.