October 12, 1927 - June 2, 2021
William “Bill” J. Wade, age 93, passed away on Wednesday, June 2 at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Bill was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on Oct 12, 1927 to Junius Samuel and Elizabeth Miller Wade. He grew up in Memphis, TN, graduated from Southwestern (now Rhodes) in 1949, and received his MA and PhD in American History from UNC-Chapel Hill. Bill’s love of history began on the first day of a freshman history class at Southwestern and continued throughout his life. In 1952 Bill began his career as a history professor at King College in Bristol, TN. A master storyteller, Bill enjoyed bringing history to life for his students during his 50+ years at King. He was also curator of the college archives, the Tadlock Collection, and delighted in sharing the school’s history from inception to present day. He served as Dean of Faculty, teaching part-time for a number of years, before eventually returning full time to his true passion, teaching. He retired in 1998, holding the longest teaching record in King’s history. Bill was a long-standing member and Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, teaching adult Sunday School classes for many years. Blessed with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life, Bill had many interests and was involved with a number of historical associations, including the Bristol Historical Association and the Presbyterian Heritage Center in Montreat, NC. He was always involved in researching and gave numerous presentations throughout the area. He traveled extensively with family, friends, and college students, developing detailed itineraries that had every minute scheduled. He had a gift with children and kept both his children and grandchildren enthralled with many stories and hours of play over the years. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Wade Ferris. Bill is survived by his wife of 68 years, Margaret Morrow Wade, daughters Elizabeth (Wayne) Riggs, Anne (Jack) Southerland, and son John (Brandi) Wade. Also surviving are grandchildren Emily Patton, Louisa (Jared) Cordon, Will Wade, Allston Wade, Rachel Wade, Cassidy Wolfe, and Avery Wolfe, and one great-grandchild, Amelia Cordon. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 12 at 10:00 AM at First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN with the Rev. Dr. Samuel Weddington, the Rev. Dr. Richard Ray, and the Rev. Dr. Dave Welch officiating. The family will receive friends from 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM, prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church, 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620 or King University c/o Advancement Office, 1350 King College Road, Bristol, TN 37620. Arrangements especially for Bill and his family have been made through Oakley-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory.
William “Bill” J. Wade, age 93, passed away on Wednesday, June 2 at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Bill was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on Oct 12, 1927 to Junius Samuel and Elizabeth Miller Wade. He grew up in Memphis, TN, graduated... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
William “Bill” J. Wade, age 93, passed away on Wednesday, June...View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Wade family.Send Flowers