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Johnny Morant, former Georgetown County chairman, passes away

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Johnny Morant has passed away shocking family and friends alike.

Georgetown County officials made this statement Monday regarding the news of Morant's passing:

"It is with the utmost sadness that we inform you of the passing of Johnny Morant, former longtime chairman of Georgetown County Council. Mr. Morant passed away on Sunday, July 12, 2020. He was 69.

He is dearly missed by his family, including his wife, Janice and their two children; countless friends and colleagues; and staff and elected leaders across all of Georgetown County Government.

Mr. Morant was a true public servant who cared deeply about his community and those who call it home. He served on Georgetown County Council for 25 years before retiring at the end of 2018. A retirement party at Choppee Recreation Center, one of the facilities constructed under his tenure, drew a packed house, and a plaque in the facility is dedicated to his leadership."

A Plantersville resident, Morant along with his brother Louis was a partner in the law firm of Morant and Morant, LLC, in the city of Georgetown. He was a graduate of Savannah State University and the University of Illinois’ law school. He was also a member of Mt. Carmel United Baptist Church and the historical Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Johnny morant county council final meeting

Georgetown County Councilman Johnny Morant, center, was honored by council during his final meeting Dec. 11.

Morant was first elected to Georgetown County Council in 1993 and served as  chairman from 2008 until his retirement in 2018. In his time on council, they said he "offered quiet, yet thoughtful leadership which helped Georgetown County navigate periods of intense growth and rapid change."

“There have been moments, I think, when people considered quietness to be a weakness. But Johnny, in his quiet way, let you know in no uncertain terms the route that we should take,” Austin Beard, a friend who served on Council with Morant, recalled.

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He added that Morant’s leadership was invaluable to the county and improving the quality of life for its residents in the last decades.

“It’s a true testament to his leadership that we were able to accomplish the kind of significant projects we did,” Sel Hemingway, former County Administrator and a longtime friend of Morant, said. They served on Council together before Hemingway was hired as administrator.

“I’ve admired his leadership and ability to remain calm in heated circumstances, even to the degree of calming me in some cases,” he said.

The loss of Morant is a blow to the entire Georgetown County Community as  those who knew him say he will surely go down in history as one of the county’s greatest leaders.

Upon his retirement, Morant's proudest accomplishments included improving the quality of life for communities with the county’s rural communities.

He helped bring sewer access to communities in Browns Ferry, Choppee, Annie Village and Plantersville as well as those that brought much needed parks and recreational opportunities to communities across the county, from the Waccamaw Neck to Choppee and Andrews.

Doing it in own style, he brought the focus from himself back to the community in a speech during his retirement party.

“The community has done a lot for me, has helped me throughout,” he told the crowd gathered to celebrate him at that time. “It isn’t about me or the council. We’re trying to do things that unite all of us. It’s about the community.”

Georgetown County said they offer their sincerest condolences to Mr. Morant’s family and ask that you keep them in your thoughts during this time of grief and mourning.

Reporter

Kareem Wilson covers health for the Georgetown and Myrtle Beach area for the Georgetown Times. He previously covered entertainment and community news for the Charlotte Post in Charlotte, NC.

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