William Brown Barron, 88, a native of Rock Hill, S.C,. died peacefully in his sleep on April 25, 2014. A resident of Columbia, S.C., Bill lived life to the fullest, always displaying a positive attitude. He loved his family, the beach, singing, his birthday (May 21!), swimming, friends and fellowship. The holidays were especially important to him–on Valentine’s Day, he faithfully sent cards to all his “sweethearts,” and on Christmas, “Santa Bill” brightened the lives of many children.
Bill is survived by his wife of 30 years, Keller Bumgardner Barron. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ann Carothers Barron. Other survivors include his three children, Erwin Barron ’75 (Coy) of San Francisco, Calif., Anna Barron Billingsley (Rob) of Fredericksburg, Va., and Cynthia Barron ’81 (Jim) of Mt. Rainer, Md.; and Keller’s four children, Lewis Bumgardner (Ruth) of Mons, Belgium, George Bumgardner (Margaret Sue) of Columbia, S.C., Margaret Anne DuBose ’80 (Theodore) of Columbia, S.C., and Charles Bumgardner (Leslie) of Lexington, S.C. His grandchildren are Carol and Leslie Billingsley, Billy Bumgardner, Adam and Maggie Bumgardner, Theo and Katie DuBose and John and Keller Anne Bumgardner. Bill also leaves behind his dog, Shorty. All were beloved.
A graduate of Winthrop Training School, Bill attended The Citadel until he volunteered for the Army Air Corps in 1943. While in Hawaii preparing for the invasion of Japan, he made lifelong friends, “Six Hits and a Miss.” After World War II, Bill graduated from Davidson College and always remained an ardent fan of the Wildcats. After 35 years with Rock Hill-based Standard Life & Casualty Insurance Company, Bill retired as group regional vice president.
He was a member of the YMCA board, an Exalted Ruler of the Elks and a founder of York County Hospice. Bill was chair of the Mayor’s Committee on Human Relations and served on the Zoning Board of Appeals. A strong supporter of democratic causes, he was appointed by Governor Richard Riley to the State Development Board. Bill worked as a poll manager for many years.
He was an elder and active member of Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church and Eastminster Presbyterian Church. He also was a member of the Golden K Kiwanis, the League of Women Voters and the Columbia Literary and Jocular Society. He participated in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Senior Mentor Program. In addition, he regularly donated blood for the American Red Cross.
A Celebration of Life for Bill will be at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, 2014, at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3200 Trenholm Road, Columbia, S.C., with visitation following the service in the Adult Reception Hall. Interment will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Laurelwood Cemetery, 143 Laurel Street, Rock Hill, S.C. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.
Memorials may be made to One Great Hour of Sharing, Trinity Presbytery, 554 DaVega Dr., Lexington, SC 29073 or the charity of one’s choice. Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.