B. E. S. Spangler, Ph.D., 82, of Blacksburg, Virginia, died on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Bes was born on December 11, 1937, in Wilson, N.C., daughter of James and Annabelle Stark.
She attended Rollins College, joining Alpha Phi Sorority. After initiating a journalism career, she earned a B.A. from Barton College, a master’s degree from Duke University, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University. Her scholarship focused on Southern Literature and women writers. She began teaching in 1966, at Averett College, and concluded her last class, online, for SUNY, in September, 2019.
From 1983-2008, she was professor of English at William Peace University; served twice as Chair of the English Department; and retired as Alumni Distinguished Professor. Concurrently, she traveled throughout North Carolina as a lecturer for the North Carolina Humanities Council. She valued participating in Peace’s evolution from a two-year woman’s college to a university.
An Episcopalian, she served on the altar guild at Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, N.C.; was involved in adult Christian formation at Christ Church, Raleigh, N.C.; and served on the vestry of Christ Church, Blacksburg, Va.
She was predeceased by her brothers, James L. Stark Jr. and Richard H. Stark. Her husband of 52 years, John B. Spangler, died on April 21, 2020. She is survived by a son, Haywood B. Spangler of Richmond, Va.; extended family; and many friends and former students.
A private interment service will be at Christ Church, Blacksburg, on Saturday, July 18, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Bes Spangler Travel Fund at William Peace University or to Christ Church, Blacksburg.