Cover photo for William Roy Gelwicks's Obituary
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1950 William 2021

William Roy Gelwicks

April 22, 1950 — October 21, 2021

William Roy Gelwicks, 71, of Charleston, SC, passed away on October 21, 2021, at Roper Hospice Cottage in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Visitation will be held Oct. 26 at 10:00 am at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 347 Folly Rd. Services will be at 11:00. Burial will immediately follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Roy was born on April 22, 1950, in Charleston, SC, to Thomas D. Gelwicks, Sr. and Claire Redell Gelwicks. He grew up in Charleston, SC, - in Parkwood Estates Subdivision, West of the Ashley and downtown Charleston, South of Broad.

Roy attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary, St. Andrews Elementary and Junior High, and graduated from College Preparatory School in 1968. Following high school he attended The Citadel for two years, after which he joined the US Navy (1971-1975) serving on "Tin Can" destroyers as his father had done in WWII.

After completing his term with the Navy, Roy attended at the Baptist College in North Charleston where he graduated in 1979 receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice summa cum laude.

Roy was employed with the SC State Ports Authority Police and then the US Federal Bureau of Prisons (Dept. of Justice) in Atlanta. He returned to Charleston as an apprentice at the Charleston Naval Shipyard (Dept. of Defense) where he met his wife. He joined US Customs (Dept. of Treasury) in 1989 as an Inspector eventually becoming their Firearms Instructor. By the time he retired in 2010 it was from Dept of Homeland Security.

Roy loved the outdoors. Many will remember that as a boy he would hike, hunt, and go frog gigging in places that have now become subdivisions. He went offshore fishing and marsh hen hunting. Some will recall the Monument jon boat he used for fishing and shrimping. One of his passions that lasted throughout his lifetime was shooting. He won several trophies in competitions and loved to research, practice and network with likeminded friends.

Roy also loved to make people laugh. His stories around the campfire or pool table made him the life of the party. He could find a common ground with most people such as music or history. For several years, he and Anne were WBTS reenactors, educating the public with recreated battles and camp life. Roy also helped Anne with her genealogy research by visiting and locating many cemeteries in the Lowcountry.

Roy had always wanted a country place of his own. He and Anne spent many road trips until they found just the right place. Over the years, he made improvements, bought an adjacent house, and finally got the big tractor that made him feel like the farmer he knew he should have been.

Roy is a member of the American Legion and Sons of Confederate Veterans, and a life member of that National Rifle Association and CCRKA.

Roy married LeAnne (Anne) Berry in 1993 in Charleston, SC. They were happily married for 27 years.

Roy was preceded in death by his mother, Claire Redell Gelwicks.

Roy is survived by his wife, Anne; his father, Thomas Daniel Gelwicks, Sr.; his brother, Thomas D. Gelwicks, Jr. (Donna); and his niece, Elizabeth Gelwicks Fallaw (Jeremy).


Memorial donations may be made to Prostate Cancer Foundation (cure.pcf.org)







To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Roy Gelwicks, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

08 Gelwicks visi

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

James Island Chapel McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation

347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

08 Gelwicks service

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

James Island Chapel McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation

347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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