Cynthia Fay Stark Bagley age 101, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at her home in Dallas, Texas. Born in Monmouth Illinois, on August 8, 1911, she spent her early years in Dubuque, Iowa and Detroit, Michigan.
She always said that she wanted to live to be 100 years old, which can now be added to her list of accomplishments. She was a 1935 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan where she majored in art and was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She did post-graduate studies at Wayne State University and was three credit hours short of her master’s degree when she married Samuel Stevens Bagley and moved to Fayetteville, Tennessee in 1941. A born and bread “Yankee”, she fell in love with Tennessee and the people there. Sam and Cynthia spent most of their 50 years in Fayetteville on the family farm that is now the site of the Motlow State Community College, on Winchester Highway.
Mrs. Bagley was an active member of the Fayetteville community as a teacher and civic participant. She was Lincoln County’s first Home Bound Teacher from 1952-1962. She worked tirelessly helping the homebound children she taught stay socially active and involved with other children in addition to making sure they kept up with their classmates in school. She later taught English and Art at the old Central High School. In 1991, she and her husband, Sam, moved to Dallas, Texas to be near their daughter, Frances.
An exceptional artist, she stayed active with her art throughout her life. She enjoyed painting and creating small sculptures some of which are in significant art collections. One of her passions was writing letters to the editor in a variety of newspapers. She was adept in expressing her opinions often using humorous antidotes to elaborate a point. In 2000 The Dallas Morning News included Cynthia Bagley in an article about people with exceptional ability to remember. Until her very last months of life she could recite countless poems from great literature.
The ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920, giving women the right to vote in national elections, made a strong impression on Cynthia at the age of 9 years old. Consequently she was proud of the fact that she never missed voting in a national election from the time she was of age through the presidential election of 2012.
Mrs. Bagley was the daughter of Claude Stark and Frances Hay Stark of Detroit, Michigan. Her husband Samuel Stevens Bagley preceded her in death in 1993. Cynthia was a wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Always setting high standards and expectations, she adored her family above all else. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Frances Bagley and Tom Orr; her son and daughter-in-law, James and Ann Bagley; two grandsons and their wives, Matthew and Sharon Bagley, and Steven and Lisa Bagley; and four great grandchildren, David, Arabella, Paul, and Daniel Bagley.
She was buried privately in Rose Hill Cemetery in Fayetteville. Her life will be celebrated with a memorial service March 13, 2013 at 2PM at Gunter Hollow Lodge 149 Gunter Hollow Rd, Fayetteville, TN. Remembrances may be made to the Humane Society or the SPCA.
Higgins Funeral Home assisted the family of Cynthia Fay Stark Bagley
Francie and Jimmy,
We are so sorry to hear of your mother’s death. She was my art teacher at Central and I dearly loved her and her beautiful, fighting spirit. She never did anything by half measures and I know that you all must have many wonderful stories and memories to tell.
May God Bless and Comfort You.
Francie and Jimmy, How blessed you have been to have had your wonderful mother with you all these years. I love the picture on this obituary and could not help but smile at her beautiful eyes. They had such sparkle and I am sure that was just a glimpse into her whole life. Prayers for all the family during this time.
Francie and Jimmy,
I am very sorry for you loss. Your mom led a very full and interesting life–we should all be so fortunante. My condolences to you, your spouses and children.