William "Bill" Gordon BodieJanuary 20, 1927 ~ October 27, 2017 (age 90)
Mr. William “Bill” Gordon Bodie of Wagener, SC died Friday, October 27, 2017 at the age of 90. He is the son of the late Dr. William Gordon Bodie and Virginia Mae Cook Bodie Faris.
Bill graduated from Wagener High School and attended The Citadel for one semester. He graduated from Clemson University in 1949, completing his degree after service in the U. S. Army during WWII. He was stationed in Regenstein, Germany, as part of the Army of Occupation.
Bill married his sweetheart, Cora Eva Gunter in June 1950. He worked as an electrician in Augusta, GA for a short while before moving to Savannah, GA and employment with the Army Corps of Engineers.
In February 1955 Bill moved to Tripoli, Libya with the Corps of Engineers. The unit was charged with building dams in Eritrea. Bill returned to the district office in Savannah for one year.
In 1958 the family moved to Huntsville, AL where Bill became an engineer for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center. In his 25 year career with NASA, Bill received a Special Achievement Award for his contributions to the Apollo Moon landing on July 20, 1969. He also received the Group Achievement Award twice – once for the HEAO-1 Scanning Modulation Collimator and another for the HEAO-2 X-ray Telescope. Mr. Bodie also wrote and presented “Techniques of Implementing Launch Automation Programs.” The article was published in 1965.
In the 1970’s Bill satisfied a personal goal by becoming an instrument rated pilot. He and a friend started a business in aerial photography. Bill was an innovator and inventor. He was granted a patent for an early auto dial telephone. The patent was bought by AT&T.
After retirement Bill and Cora moved back to Wagener, SC to be near their parents. Bill immediately became involved with Wagons to Wagener. This eventually led to a position on the Board of the fledgling Wagener Museum. He was an active member of Wagener First Baptist Church as a deacon and Sunday School teacher.
Mr. Bodie served as Mayor of Wagener from 1995 through 1997. During his time as Mayor, he was instrumental in securing a new U.S. Post Office Building for the town. He also saw to improvements to the town’s water system.
Mr. Bodie is survived by Cora, his wife of 67 years, his daughters Lynne Bryant (Henry) and Jamie Hartzog (Richard). His daughter Melanie Pitts died in 2016. His four grandchildren are Courtney Bryant (Val), William Bryant (Sarah), Justin Pitts and Danielle Kitchens (Brandon). There are also four great grandchildren; William Pitts, Owen Bryant-Molyneaux, Alice Bryant-Molyneaux, and James Bryant.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:30 pm in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church, Wagener, SC. A service celebrating the life of Mr. Bill will be held at 3:00 pm Wednesday in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Wagener. Reverend Kenneth McDonald will be officiating. Burial will follow in the Wagener Cemetery with military honors presented by the U.S. Army.
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