Lexington, South Carolina – Lieutenant Colonel Albert “Al” Marzett Futrell, Jr., USAR, Ret., 84, died November 16, 2023, at his residence in Lexington, SC. The son of the late Albert Marzett Futrell and Fannie Mae Birdwell Futrell. He was born in Columbia, SC. After WWII his family moved to Virginia. He graduated from Andrew Lewis High School, Salem VA.
Upon graduation he enlisted in the Virginia National Guard, transferred to the Medical Service Corps, where he eventually served as a Medical Instructor at Ft. Jackson for three years. In 1966 he completed Officer Candidate School, OCS, graduating with honors. He served in Vietnam from October 1967 – November 1968 as a Signal Corps Officer, serving in the 39th Signal Battalion.
In 1972 he left active duty to attend college at the University of South Carolina. He received his BS in Business Administration in 1973, and his MBA in 1974, all while maintaining his Army active reserve status.
Upon graduation he was employed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, DHEC, and served as the first Director of Emergency Medical Services. He helped to design the EMS system for South Carolina. In 1994 he was promoted to Bureau Chief of EMS, Health Licensing, and Health Construction, from which he retired in 2002.
Albert Futrell received numerous accolades, awards, and honors, including a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service and The Order of the Silver Crescent. He retired as a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel. He held the record of the longest serving State Director in South Carolina.
After his retirement he remained active in the Woodmen of the World Insurance, EMS Association, and served on the Midlands EMS Board of Directors. He served as South Carolina EMS Education Foundation Chairman until his death.
Albert Futrell is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sarah Spearman Futrell; they had four children: Beth Peterson (Steve) of Jonesborough TN; Phillip Futrell (Lee Anne) of Prosperity SC; and Dawn Futrell of the home. He was preceded in death by infant son, Albert Marzett Futrell III. He loved and enjoyed his five grandchildren: William Peterson, Katie Peterson, Annabelle Futrell, Karissa Futrell, and Holly Futrell. He is survived by his sister, Barbara Boland (Jim) of Columbia SC; niece, Regina Boland of Columbia SC, and nephew, William Boland of Columbia SC. He was preceded in death by his nephew, Jimmy Boland.
The graveside service for Lt. Colonel Futrell will be held at 1 o'clock Friday, November 24th, at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, 4170 Percival Road, Columbia, SC.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to EMS Education Foundation, 3201 Leaphart Road, West Columbia, SC 29169