Former solicitor McBride, 87, dies
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
Former 4th Circuit solicitor Gordon McBride of Hartsville, who launched a program to provide free legal aid to low-income Pee Dee residents, has died at age 87. McBride died Dec. 14. His funeral services are set for Jan. 15. He served two terms as 4th Circuit solicitor, serving as head prosecutor on criminal cases in Darlington, Dillon, Chesterfield and Marlboro counties. He was elected to his first term as solicitor in 1988. Hartsville attorney Jim Cox remembers McBride as “very outgoing” personally and “very thorough” professionally. “I had great, great confidence in his ability.” McBride’s son Cliff, an attorney based in Florence, said: “He was always helping people. He was always involved in stuff that was helping people. He set an example” for his sons. “That’s just the way he was,” Cliff McBride said. Though involved in many groups and organizations, the elder McBride always made time for his family, Cliff McBride said. “He wasn’t too busy for his kids or anybody who needed help.” McBride served as president of the Darlington County Bar Association, president of the S.C. Solicitors’ Association, president of the Hartsville Rotary Club, and was named Citizen of the Year by the Rotary Club in 2009. He also served as Darlington County Economic Development Director; then-Gov. Mark Sanford named him S.C. Ambassador for Economic Development in 2006. McBride was attorney for Darlington County, a public defender, and an administrative law judge for the S.C. Public Service Commission. He started a program to offer free legal aid to low-income residents of the 4th Judicial Circuit and was its first director. His son Cliff is an attorney for S.C. Legal Services, a successor to that program. Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home is handling funeral services. One friend posted on BPA’s tribute page for McBride: “I wish the world had more Gordon and Bernice (his late wife) McBrides. I only hope that one day I am as consistently nice and kind as they were every day to everyone … and I mean EVERYONE. Gordon, especially, was a great example to me of what a Christian acts like when the church service is over.” A member of First Presbyterian Church in Hartsville, McBride served the church as a deacon, elder and trustee.