We extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and teammates of the letterwinners we have recently lost.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
Bill Bradley- Tennis 1952-53
William Carl Bradley, Jr., 90, of Gatesville, passed away quietly on October 26, 2021, with his family at his side. Bill was born on October 13, 1931, in Temple, Texas, the only child of William Carl Bradley, Sr., and Frances Abernathy Bradley. He completed both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in education at Baylor University where he played basketball and lettered in tennis.
Bill participated in the Reserve Officer’s Training Corp (ROTC) at Baylor and after graduation, he received his 2-year commission as a second lieutenant at Parks Airforce Base in Hayward, California. He was a Crew Weapons Instructor, and later a captain in the Reserves. Before leaving for his post, he proposed to his sweetheart Shirley Anne Schaub and her family quickly planned a wedding that commenced on May 30, 1954. This marriage lasted until Anne’s untimely death in November 2000.
The Bradleys began their life of service to education with Bill teaching at the State School for Boys in Gatesville and then serving as Principal/Superintendent and Coach at Oglesby High School for four years. In 1962, he became the first superintendent of Robinson High School and also fulfilled the task of building the new high school. He remained at Robinson until 1975 when he became the High School Principal and Girl’s Coach at Gatesville until his retirement. Perhaps best known as Coach Bradley, he is considered a legendary Central Texas Girl’s Coach. Coach Bradley was instrumental in organizing girls track as an interscholastic sport in Texas and assisted with the planning and executing of the first state track meet for girls. He served as a director and president of the Texas High School Girls Track Association and served two terms on the board of directors of the Texas Girls Coaches Association. In 1990, he was named the Honorary Track Coach by the same TGCA and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. In his retirement, he continued to participate in the sport by officiating at Baylor and Gatesville Track events.
First and foremost, Billy Carl, as his mother affectionately called him, was a devoted Christian. Her influence was noted in his receiving a 13-year pin for perfect attendance in the Sunday School Program at First Presbyterian, Gatesville. As a young adult, he became a member of the Baptist Church and later became a Deacon at First Baptist Gatesville. His passion for service was further evident in his many volunteer efforts: the Gatesville Care Center and the annual Food for Families Drive, the Gatesville Booster Club, and Emergency Medical Technician.
He is survived by a son, William Paul Bradley and wife, Carolyn, of Gatesville, and daughters Debbie Bradley Mann and husband, Mark, of Henderson, and Beverly Bradley Blanchard and husband, Greg, of Lorena.
To read Bill’s full obituary, click here.
Greg Pipes- Football 1965-67
Gregory Mack Pipes, age 75, of Arlington, Texas passed away on Friday, October 15, 2021. Greg was born August 4, 1946.
Greg was a decorated All-American football defensive tackle at Baylor while achieving his bachelor’s in business administration. He was inducted to the Baylor Hall of Fame in 1986. Greg and his wife, Dallas, were married in 1967 while Greg was completing his bachelor’s degree. After graduation, Greg was drafted to the NFL by the Buffalo Bills but chose to play professional football for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League. Greg was a member of the 1970 All-Canadian, Western All-Star Team and played from 1968 – 1972. While playing professional ball in Canada, Greg also completed his law degree at Baylor. In 1974, Greg began a 35-year career with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, retiring as an assistant DA and having tried 12 capital murder cases.
Greg was full of dad jokes and had a great sense of humor. He was loving and humble in spite of his many achievements. He was never one to boast on himself, instead boasting about his wife and daughters. Greg enjoyed smoking and grilling meat and was a master outdoor chef. Greg was an avid golfer and achieved a hole-in-one in 2012 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. Greg was also a Ford Mustang enthusiast; his first car was a 1966 Mustang, then later in life he inherited his aunt’s 1964 ½ Mustang convertible.
Greg is survived by his wife Dallas Pipes, daughter Brittany Altimus and her husband Tim, his sister-in-law Kathy, his younger brother Gary Pipes and his wife Cindy. Greg was preceded in death by his daughter Summer Pipes, his older brother Bill Pipes and his parents Bill and Laverne Pipes.
To read Greg’s full obituary, click here.
Jim Thigpen- Track 1956
James William “Jim” Thigpen, aged 83, passed away peacefully at home Thursday morning, September 17, 2020, surrounded by his family in Fort Worth, Texas. Born in Gilmer on April 10, 1937, Jim was the son of Seth Ward and Ila Pratt Thigpen. He was one of the first Boy Scouts in Upshur County to earn the rank of Eagle Scout which was signed by President Harry Truman. He graduated from Gilmer High School in 1955 before attending Baylor University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from Baylor in 1959.
Jim had a lifetime passion for golf. He was a member of Colonial Country Club for 54 years where he served as president of the Board of Governors. He was also a member of Ridglea Country Club. Jim was fortunate to play many of the worlds’ greatest courses with family, good friends, and many golf legends. One of his proudest moments was qualifying for and playing in the National Senior Amateur Golf Championship, twice.
He was a longtime supporter of the Baylor Bear Foundation and enjoyed sharing his love of Baylor football with his children, grandchildren, and friends. He retired in 1997 as executive officer of National Foundation Life and Westbridge Capital Corporation after a 38-year career in the life and health insurance industry.
In addition to his wife of 46 years, Carolann Gray Thigpen, Jim is survived by his children, Ronald Thigpen and his wife, Kristen, Mark Thigpen and his wife, LaRae, and Lisa Heick and her husband, Doug; five grandchildren, Natalie, Seth, Abbey, Amy and Robert; and many longtime friends.
To read Jim’s full obituary, click here.
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