School 12

Melba Banton

November 2, 2022
Read more about the life story of Melba and share your memory.    


Melba Lorene Grayson Banton, 92, passed away on Wednesday, November 02, 2022. Born in Forest City, NC, she was the daughter of the late William Clarence and Pearl Smalley Grayson and the wife of the late Marvin B. Banton of forty-eight years. She was a member of Poplar Springs Baptist Church in Moore. Melba served on Spartanburg District 5 School Board from 1989 until 2009 and Anderson University Board of Trustees from 2008 until 2013. She taught at Ridgeland High School, Ridgeland, SC, Kennedy Jr. High School in Aiken, SC, Pendleton High School in Pendleton, SC, and James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, where she taught senior math classes from 1968 until 1988.

Survivors include a son, Bill Banton and wife, June of Easley; a daughter, Elizabeth "Beth" Nantkes and husband, Michael of Patuxent River, MD; and a grandson, Jason Powell of Los Angeles, California.

She was predeceased by three sisters, Katy Ruth Dixon of Boiling Springs, NC, Martha Hipps of Charlotte, NC, and Evangeline Jowers of Winter Haven, Florida.

Melba enjoyed a very active life for most of her 92 years. Paramount to her were her faith, her family, the importance of education, and, as most who knew here were aware, her support, since the late 1950s of the Clemson athletic program, and, in particular, Clemson football games, where she and her husband enjoyed watching games from the same seats they'd had since 1960. Melba enjoyed selling tickets for the Byrnes football games before watching the second half of each game. Melba also coached girls’ basketball at Pendleton High School for two years.

Melba and her husband taught Training Union high schoolers at Clemson Baptist Church in Clemson and enjoyed providing all sorts of extra activities for the students, including camping trips. She and her husband also regularly took their children camping from the early 1960s through the early 1970s, including a three week trip to Canada along with another family. Melba and her husband supported and enjoyed watching their son playing baseball for five years while they lived in Clemson and fostered a lifetime love of reading for their daughter through weekly trips to the Clemson library.  

Funeral services will be held at 11AM on Saturday, November 05, 2022, at Poplar Springs Baptist Church in Moore, South Carolina with the Reverend Joey Burnett officiating.

The family will receive friends from 10AM until 10:45AM prior to the service at the church. Interment will be held at Cool Springs Cemetery in Forest City, NC.

Memorials may be made to:

The ALS Association
1300 Wilson Blvd Suite 600
Arlington VA 22209


The D5 Teacher Forum Scholarship Fund

Byrnes High School

P.O. Box 187

Duncan, SC  29334

Scholarships are awarded to students wanting to go into education.



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In Loving Memory Of

Melba Banton

December 31, 1969-November 2, 2022

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