Deacon Jacob departed this life on Thursday, July 29 in the Georgiana Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents, two daughters, eight brothers, and three sisters.
Deacon Jacob Bedgood was born Feb. 16, 1916 to the late John Bedgood and late Elizabeth Freeman Bedgood in Greenville. He was the youngest of 12 children. Deacon Jacob committed his life to Jesus Christ at an early age, and joined the Bethlehem Baptist Church, where he remained faithful until his death.
Deacon Jacob was united to Holy Matrimony to the love of his life, Bernice Cook Bedgood, on Dec. 14, 1946. To this union three children were born. Two daughters, Ruby Jewel Bedgood and Elizabeth Bedgood, preceded him in death. They also had one son, Timothy Bedgood
Deacon Jacob received his formal education at the Bethlehem Training School in Greenville, Alabama. Later he served in the United States Army during World War II in 1942. His bravery earned him several medals, including the WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal with a Bronze Star Good Conduct Medal. He was stationed abroad in Australia, China, India and throughout the United States from California to New York. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him.
Deacon Jacob retired from Rheem after 24 years of dutiful service. He held several jobs over the years, including working at ore mines in Butler and Barbour Counties, as a substitute school bus driver, and a stint at the Alabama State Docks in Mobile. He was a farmer, businessman, and enjoyed hunting.
Deacon Jacob was elected as a Board of Trustee and served for many years as Chairman of the Deacon Board of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoyed singing and praising God in a quartet with his twin brother, Esau, throughout the southeast district of Alabama. He was affiliated with professional, civic and religious organizations, which included serving as a Boy Scout Master, Usher, and in the Pine Belt No. 404 Masonic Lodge for years. He was a kind-hearted, humble and patient man who believed in helping others throughout the community and campaigning for the rights of others. He was very close to his family.
Deacon Jacob lived through what most of us read in the history books, including the Great Depression, World War I and World War II. He had a keen recall for remembering details, when most of us cannot recall what happened to us last week. He continued to take his age in stride and felt forever young.
He leaves to cherish his memories a loving and devoted wife, Bernice Cook Bedgood; three children, Earnest (Wilda) Johnson of Simi-Valley, Ca., Georgia Mae Perkins of Jamaica, New York, and a loving and dedicated son, Timothy Bedgood of Decatur, Ga.; seven sisters-in-law, Minnie Bell Bedgood of Greenville, Lurlean Bedgood of Bronx, New York, Rosie Mae Bedgood of Luverne, Rubie Hicks of Vallejo, Ca., Voncile Cook, Lurlean Hawkins, and Thelma (Claude) Williams, all of Greenville; eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a special God-daughter, Sandra Denise Bedgood; a devoted family friend, Francine Simmons; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.