Jacob Asbury Bedenbaugh, 84, formerly of Prosperity, died Tuesday, January 8, 2002 at Springfield Place in Newberry.
Mr. Bedenbaugh was born in Newberry, a son of the late J. Moody and Sparta harmon Bedenbaugh. He was a 1938 graduate of Newberry College and received an engineering degree from the University of Kentucky during his military service. He served four years and three months in the U.S. Army during World War II. He taught at Prosperity High School in Prosperity for three years following his college graduation. He worked at the S.C. Pardon and Parole Board office in Columbia for five years and then served as a salesman for the Prosperity Furniture Company for 48 years. In all three capacities, he distinguished himself as a role model, as a person of unusual abilities and as a friend of mankind. As one of Newberry County's most respected and revered citizens among people of all ages, races and political bent, he was truly an old-time Southern Christian Gentleman - steeped in all the ancient verities of mankind.
He was instrumental in establishing the George B. Cromer Citizenship Award when he was the class President at Newberry College in 1938. The Class of 1938 honored him for his continuing and untiring efforts in keeping the class reunions and contacts vibrant and memorable. He was a generous and long-time supporter of Newberry College financially, in day-to-day testimony and through attendance at College-sponsored events. His financial contributions have been substantial. In 1999 he received the Thomas E. Epting distinguished Alumni Award and he was a member of the Newberry College Indian Club. He was editor of the yearbook in 1938.
He was a member of Wightman United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday school for 58 years. The church recently re-named the fellowship class the "J. Asbury Bedenbaugh Sunday School Class" in his honor.
For many years he was a chief dynamo and at one time President of the Prosperity Civitan Club and for many years served as secretary of the club. The Old Civitan Building, which is used by various groups, was renamed in his honor.
He served a term as chairman of the Newberry County Planning Commission and it was during his term that the first in-depth study and compilation of economic data, demographics and other pertinent data for Newberry County was established. For years he served as a director of the Newberry county Development Board/Chamber of Commerce.
During its existence, he served as secretary for many years for the Prosperity Community Chamber of Commerce. He edited the first brochure produced by the chamber, which was to be given to interested prospects considering the Prosperity area.
He was named Newberry County Forester a few years back for his work with forestry on his farm at Lake Murray. He received the Little Red Schoolhouse Award from the Newberry County Board of Education in 1996 in recognition of his raising $5,000 for the Mid-Carolina Middle School Library.
Mr. Bedenbaugh is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Joseph M. and Edna Bedenbaugh of Lexington; a sister-in-law Dorothy C. Bedenbaugh of Prosperity; two nieces, Linda B. Puckett of Graniteville and Sally B Sease of Alta Vista Va; two nephews, Mackie Bedenbaugh of Lexington and Rodney Bedenbaugh of Prosperity; and a number of grand nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Cornell Bedenbaugh.
Christian funeral services for J. Asbury Bedenbaugh were conducted at 3:00 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2002, at Wightman United Methodist Church by the Rev. Eddie Taylor. Interment will be in Prosperity Cemetery.
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