Risher Rainey Fairey was born on June 27, 1953 in Rock Hill, S.C. to Martha Buice Fairey and Frank Strait Fairey, MD. He was the survivor of premature twins, the first infant to be assisted by an incubator in York County. Risher attended Winthrop Training School and Rock Hill High School where he graduated in 1972. He received his B.A. degree from Wofford College in 1976 and his Masters in History from Winthrop University. Mr. Fairey served as the Executive Director of the Camden Archives and Museum, which he developed into a remarkable statewide facility. He worked at the Berkeley County Museum and later became an Adjunct Professor of History at Midlands Technical College in Columbia,where he worked to enhance the appreciation of Southern history and enlightened students to its importance. He also had a thriving consulting business conducting professional history and genealogical research services with special interest related to the history of polo in Camden while also helping individuals from across the nation with familyresearch.
Mr. Fairey was an outstanding scholar of family and Southern history and amazed all who knew him with the depth of his knowledge and his ability to bring history to life. Risher made the listener feel that he was present during the events he described. He servedfor years as the official Historian of the Fairey Family. He was a prolific writer and book editor. Risher was a devout Christian and devoted member of Spring Valley Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, was active in his Sunday School class, and served on the Building and Grounds committees.
He enjoyed and cherished vacationing with family in both the North Carolina mountains and at Edisto Island where he entertained his family with wonderfully detailed stories.
Mr. Fairey is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Elaine Jones Fairey; his siblings: Frank Strait Fairey, Jr. of Charleston, S.C., Wade B. Fairey of Rock Hill, S.C., and Moyer F. Albergotti of Anderson, S.C. and Elaine’s siblings: Nancy J. Hoffmann of Greensboro, N.C. and John Ronald Jones of Sanford, N.C. He is also survived by numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Spring Valley Baptist Church Building Fund, 91 Polo Road, Columbia, SC 29223, Camden Archives and Museum, 1314 Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020, or the Fairey-Strait Medical Heritage Scholarship, MUSC, 18 Bee Street, MSC 450, Charleston, SC 29425.