COLUMBIA, SC- Luther Franklin Fant (“Luke”) crossed over to glory on April 11, 2020. He was born in Fayetteville, NC on May 30, 1934 to the late Paul Lee and Macie Height Fant. After his mother’s death when he was 2, he was raised by his uncle and aunt, Samuel and Florence Williams. When he was nine, they moved to Clemson, which he ever after called “home.”
A Tiger to his bones, Luke was a member of the Clemson University Class of 1955 and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. Afterward, he moved to Columbia to work as a traffic engineer for the South Carolina Department of Transportation (then called the “Highway Department”). There he spent an entire career in service to the citizens of South Carolina, working to ensure safe and efficient highways for the state. This included responsibility for the initial engineering and design for signing on the state’s interstate highway system. Luke also advised numerous city and town officials across the state in traffic engineering matters. After retirement, he continued to perform traffic engineering work as a consultant for many years.
He was a Registered Professional Engineer and held a Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of South Carolina. He served in leadership positions in professional organizations that promoted traffic design, and in 1987 received the South Carolina Transportation Engineer of the Year award from the South Carolina Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The Luther F. Fant Student Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers at Clemson University is named in his honor.
Luke was an active and devoted member of Shandon Presbyterian Church, where he sang in the choir. Ordained a Presbyterian Elder, he served multiple terms on the church’s Session and on a variety of committees. Diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma just a few weeks before passing away, he faced death with full confidence in the Lord and with his chin up the entire way, leaving an indelible impression of faith and hope on his family.
Luke delighted in his family, who delighted in him. He is survived by his wife (and “girl of his dreams”) of 58 years, Mary Bernard Fant, as well as by his son and beloved daughter-in-law, Luther Franklin, Jr. and Christine Harley Fant, grandchildren Mary Harley, Luther Franklin, III and George Tate Fant, and a great-grandson, James Allen Fant. Luke was predeceased by his son Andrew Bernard Fant.