Melvin E. Bessinger

  • Born: August 16, 1923
  • Died: October 22, 2012
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Downtown Chapel

232 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Tel. (843) 723.2524

Tribute & Message From The Family


Maurice Bessinger, Melvin Bessinger and Betty Bessinger. I had the great honor to have been able to take this photo of the Bessingers during a visit there in 2010. What a beautiful day that was.

Melvin E. Bessinger, 89, of Charleston, South Carolina, husband of Betty Prine Bessinger entered into eternal rest Monday, October 22, 2012. His Funeral Service will be held Thursday, October 25, 2012 in The Summerall Chapel, The Citadel at 2:00 p.m. Interment, Live Oak Memorial Gardens . The family will receive friends Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in J. HENRY STUHR, INC., DOWNTOWN CHAPEL.

Melvin was born August 16, 1923 in Orangeburg, South Carolina, son of Joe Jacob Bessinger and Genora Thomas Bessinger. He was the co-founder of Joe's Diner in Holly Hill, co-founder of Piggy Park Drive-Ins, co-founder of Bessingers Bar-B-Q and Founder and CEO of Melvin's Legendary Bar-B-Q. Melvin was a WWII Veteran who served in the U.S. Army during the Invasion of Normandy, D-Day 2 where he was a part of the Battle of Saint Lo. He was a POW and successfully escaped captivity and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Melvin graduated from the Citadel in 1951 and was a member of East Cooper Baptist Church and a member of the Exchange Club of Charleston.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years; son: Melvin David Bessinger of Mount Pleasant, SC; daughter: Stephanie B.Williams and her husband Terry of Gainesville, GA; six grandchildren: Graham, Nathan, Reagan, Leita, Hannah Williams, and Brice Bessinger; sister: Betty B. Roberts of North Charleston, SC; three brothers: Maurice Bessinger of Columbia, SC, Thomas E. Bessinger of Charleston, SC and Robert Bessinger of Hanahan, SC. He was predeceased by four brothers:Burness, Woodrow, Joe David and Hoyt Bessinger; two sisters: Delene B. Barnes and Louise B. Boals.

Memorials may be made to The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, Inc., 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC 29409.