U.S. Army, WW II.
William Francis Bagwell, Jr., 83, husband of Norma Karlen Landon Bagwell, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 21, 2006 at the Self Regional Health Center. Born near Donalds, SC in 1923, he was the son of the late William F. and Eula Dodson Bagwell. An honor graduate of Parker High School and Furman University in Greenville, SC, he held graduate degrees from Columbia University and New York University. He also studied at Emory University, Carnegie-Mellon University, St. Andrews University (Scotland), and Union Theological Seminary (New York City).
He had a long and varied career as a writer, educator and human rights advocate. He was a public relations writer and editor of several newsletters and other publications for 10 years. For three years in the mid-1960s, he served as non-governmental representative (NSO) at the United Nations in New York City, for the Society of Friends. For nearly a decade, he worked as a human rights advocate and mediator in many of the south's critical racial situations during the 1950s and 60s, under the auspices of the Society of Friends. He taught or served in administrative capacities of several colleges; Cheney University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland (European Division), University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Lander University, Furman University, and George Washington University. He was the author of several books and numerous articles dealing with Southern History, race relations and human rights. His poems appeared in several publications and one book of poems was published.
In later years he returned to his old family homestead near Donalds, where he and his first wife (Maude Magill Bagwell, who predeceased him in 1991) restored the century-old farmhouse. Together they put the old farm back into production. He was active in several organizations, including the United Nations Association, The Southern Regional Council, American Civil Liberties Union, National Associations of Human Rights Workers, Sigma Chi journalism fraternity, NAACP, Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, Adult Education Association, Caroliniana Society, ad the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker).
He was one of the founders and first president of the Greenville County Human Relations Council in the 1950s. He was a former officer or Board Member of the South Carolina Human Relations Council, South Carolina Cerebral Palsy Association, Greenville Mental Health Association, Abbeville County Development Council, Upper Savannah Governmental Committee of Aging, and the Abbeville County Library Council. During World War II, he served three years as a medical corpsman in the U.S. Army.
Surviving in addition to his wife of the home, are his sister, Katherine (Mrs. M. Lewis Coleman) of Lakeland, FL, stepdaughter, Karen Landon Doyle of Sherman Oaks, CA, and a host of friends and relatives. He and his first wife were also "parents" to at least a dozen homeless children over the years, som Black, some White, some Native-American, all of whom are now adults and living in various parts of the nation and abroad.
Memorial services were held Saturday, September 30, at the Due West Retirement Center. Reverend Calvin Draffin (Pastor of Due West ARP Church) and Reverend Jim Daughtry (former Pastor of the First Christian Church of Greenville) conducted the services. Memorials may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102, to the First Christian Church of Greenville, or to the Charity of one's choice.
The Pruitt Funeral Home, Honea Path, SC, was in charge of the arrangements.
Bio by: Buddy
Maude Ellis Magill Bagwell
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