Arthur Guest

Berkeley County, South Carolina

Arthur Guest was born in Berkeley County, South Carolina, in a place so small it didn’t have a name. His father rented a 10-acre farm called Smithfield to keep the family fed and clothed, though sometimes it did neither. They grew corn, potatoes and cotton, which was useful in the winter for plugging holes in drafty floorboards.The hogs they raised were sold, never consumed. Arthur wouldn’t taste his first pork chop until he moved to Charleston at age 21. He was the fifth of eight children, one of three boys who shared a bed. Little Arthur, called Raggy, was always in the middle. On a bad year, the corn ran out by March and with nothing left for even grits. “We were just above the slavery line,” Guest said. “I wonder how we survived.” Guest landed with the 320th on Utah Beach on D-Day. He wasn't scared, even as the bombs fell "like raindrops," he said. "I thought I would be better off living in the Promised Land." Guest died at age 96 on Feb. 16, 2017. An avid poet and writer, he had an amazing recall of scripture, which he never missed an opportunity to quote, always with a bright smile. He was still teaching his regular Wednesday night Bible study class at age 95. 

Arthur Guest holds his wartime portrait. Photo: Linda Hervieux

Arthur Guest holds his wartime portrait.
Photo: Linda Hervieux

Arthur Guest shares a laugh with his wife, Marthena, at their home in North Charleston, S.C. They were married 67 years when this photo was taken in 2012. Photo: Linda Hervieux

Arthur Guest shares a laugh with his wife, Marthena, at their home in North Charleston, S.C. They were married 67 years when this photo was taken in 2012.
Photo: Linda Hervieux

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