Danny Travis Bedsole
The Randolph-Macon College community mourns the loss of former R-MC library director
Danny Travis Bedsole, who died at his home in Ashland on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 of
complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 79 years old.
Bedsole was appointed Library Director at R-MC in 1984. He spearheaded a $4 million
renovation and expansion of the McGraw-Page Library and also took on the task of
changing its classification system from the Dewey Decimal System to the Library
of Congress System. By 1988, the new McGraw-Page Library was completed. Bedsole
ushered the library into the 21st century and implemented an automated catalogue,
allowing users to find research materials via the computer; he also added media
services, media collections and computer resources to the library. Bedsole retired
from R-MC in April 2000, but remained a fixture on campus.
Bedsole was a member and elder of the Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, served on
the endowment committee, and sang in the choir for many years.
Born in Louann, Arkansas on May 30, 1930, Bedsole was the fourth child of Talmage
Franklin Bedsole and Mary Jane Knight. When Dan he one year old, his family moved
to Greggton, Texas, in the piney wooded eastern part of the state, an oil boom area
at the time.
In Greggton the family lived close to the general store that they owned, selling
groceries as well as gasoline. As a boy Bedsole was an enterprising young man, delivering
the Saturday Evening Post each week and selling scrap iron in Greggton
as part of the war effort during WWII.
Although he was admitted for enrollment at Rice University in Houston, he decided
at the last minute to enroll at Anderson College, the liberal arts college of the
Church of God, with the intention of preparing for a teaching vocation. Bedsole
majored in mathematics with minors in chemistry and history as he was preparing
to become a high school teacher. He played on the varsity tennis team and sang in
the men’s choral group, was president of the Science Club and belonged to the Sachem
club, an informal fraternity.
In 1952 Bedsole enlisted in the U.S. Army for two years of service. After being
honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal, he returned to Longview and, because
G.I. Bill funds were available for attending college, he enrolled in the graduate
school at the University of Michigan and began courses in the summer of 1954 in
the mathematical statistics program. In 1955 he received his M.A. in mathematical
statistics. He then decided to pursue a second master’s degree in library science,
which he earned in 1957.
Bedsole then pursued his Ph.D., with his research topic focusing on “Library Systems
in Large Industrial Corporations.” Over the next four years he completed his research
and published his findings in 1961. He earned his Ph.D. degree in 1961.
While residing in the Hartford area, Bedsole served as the president of the Emmanuel
Congregationalist Church’s “Fireside Club” for unmarried young adults. In 1965 Bedsole
was named library director at Austin College, later becoming dean and provost.
In addition to his wife, Leola, of 49 years, Bedsole is survived by a daughter,
Linda Ruth Bonness of State College, Pennsylvania; sons, Thomas Franklin Bedsole
of Indianapolis, Indiana and Stephen Justus Bedsole of Stafford, Virginia; a brother,
Thomas Kenneth (Bud) Bedsole of White Oak, Texas; two sisters, Rosemary Mitchell
and Beverly Tinsley, of Georgetown, Texas; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Sunday, May 16 at Duncan Memorial United Methodist
Church in Ashland. Additional information can be viewed at
www.nelsencares.com. Donations may be sent to the American Parkinson Disease