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In Memory Of Our Poets

Mrs. Helen Marie Smith Bagley McGough (English And Guidance Counselor 1964 -1982)

McGOUGH, Helen Marie Smith Bagley, of Montgomery, Alabama went to Heaven on January 19, 2010, at the age of 88.  Visitation will be at Leak Memory Funeral Home in Montgomery on Friday, January 21, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, with a service celebrating her life on Saturday, January 23, 2010, at 10:00 am, at First Baptist Church, 305 South Perry Street, Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Jay Wolf officiating. She will lie in state one hour before the service for viewing.  Helen was born on April 15, 1921, in Atlanta, Georgia. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, George E. Bagley of Montgomery, Alabama, parents Bessie Gertrude Lee Smith and Charles Franklin Smith, brothers Charles Franklin “Buddy” Smith, Jr. and David Calvin Smith, sister Doris Jeanne Smith Carter Crawford, all of Atlanta, Georgia, and Marjorie Smith Davis of Keystone Heights, Florida.  She is survived by her children Annelle Bagley Reed and husband Stretch of Tuscaloosa and their children Nathan (Grayson, GA), Shannon and Gavin (both of Birmingham) and Kendyll An Reed (Tuscaloosa); James Carter Bagley and wife Faye of Montgomery and their children Jennifer Bagley McCracken (Kyle), Tuscaloosa, AL, and Stephanie (Montgomery); and Edwin Bagley and wife Cheryl of Monroe, North Carolina and their children Marjorie Bagley (Greensboro, NC) and Elizabeth Zimmer (Todd), Berkeley, CA; and her sisters Claudene Smith Farrar and husband Gene of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Earlene Smith Edgens and husband George Snellville, Georgia, and 39 nieces and nephews, their spouses, children and grandchildren.  She is also survived by her husband of 10 years, Homer E. McGough, his children Elton McGough (Sue) of Elkton, Kentucky, Albert McGough (Linda), and their children and grandchildren.  Helen worked at numerous jobs growing up in a large family during the depression, including the US Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson.  With the promise of a job at a church in Athens, Georgia, she left to attend Woman’s Missionary Union Training School, Louisville, Kentucky.  There she met and later married George Bagley,and they moved to Avoca, Indiana, where he pastored a small Baptist church while he finished school at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. They moved to Montgomery,Alabama in 1945, where he began his 38 years of ministry with the Alabama Baptist Convention.  Helen and George joined Cloverdale Baptist Church, where they raised their children and served faithfully for many years. She went back to school while raising their three children, receiving a BA from Huntingdon College, an MA from Auburn University, and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Judson College in recognition of her many years of leadership in education, church, and denominational service across Alabama and the Southern Baptist Convention.  Helen began teaching English at Lanier High School in 1964, helped develop the first Honors English program in Montgomery Public Schools, and later became a Guidance Counselor at Lanier, retiring after 18 years. During these years, George and Helen became close friends and traveling companions with Homer and Margaret McGough. Helen and Margaret both taught English and were Guidance Counselors at Lanier High School.  Following George’s and Margaret’s going to Heaven in 1998,  Helen married her “bestfriend” and neighbor Homer McGough, and she joined him and James’ family as members of First Baptist Church of Montgomery.  Helen had a passion for her Lord, His church, her family, students and friends.  We will all look forward to seeing her again, when she is healthy and happy with our Lord Jesus Christ. Leak-Memory Chapel Directing. www.leak-mc.com
Funeral Home: LEAK MEMORY
Publication Date: 01/22/2010

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07/21/10 04:42 PM #1    

Julianne Driver (Eaker) (1967)

 Mrs. Bagley was my favorite english teacher. I had her as a teacher in 12th grade 66-67

She was an excellent teacher with a winning smile and personality. I have never forgotten her

or my 3 wonderful years at Lanier.


Julianne Driver Eaker


07/30/10 10:08 AM #2    

Jane Little (1967)

Mrs. Bagley was one of my most favorite teachers at Lanier.  She was kind, friendly and took a special interest in each of her students.  I had her in 1965 and 1967 classes.  She later joined my church, First Baptist of Montgomery where I got to see her regularly.  She always mentioned the "two minute" speech we were suppose to give in English where I got tickled and could do nothing but laugh and every now and then say a few of the words.  Everybody was laughing because I was uncontrollable with laughter.  After about 25 minutes of this I looked over at her and she had taken off her glasses and put her head on her desk and was sobbing she was laughing so hard.

When I finally finished she handed me my grade:  Lenth of speech (she said she hated to do this but she had to give me a D- since it was suppose to only be 2 minutes) a B for content, a C for presentation but then she scratched all of those out and wrote A+++ for having the first class that ever laughed non-stop for 25 minutes.  Everytime she would see me at church she would stop anyone nearby and start telling this story.

I loved Mrs. Helen Bagley McGough so very much and she will never know how she helped me through high school.  See you in heaven one day, where I am sure you have continued telling "the two minute" speech.  Sincerely, Janie Little


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