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Originally published: 2013-03-21 08:28:27
Last modified: 2013-03-21 08:28:27

Ben Gess Bosworth Jr.

Dr. Ben Gess Bosworth Jr., 86 passed away unexpectedly March 18, 2013.

He was born in Lexington, Ky., to Ben Gess Bosworth Sr. and Nell Bush Bosworth. Ben received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia where he was an active athlete, and received an Outstanding Athlete Award as a member of the track and field team. Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the military, serving in both the Navy and Marines, he continued his studies earning a Doctorate in Education from the University of Virginia.

Ben began work at Appalachian State University in 1960, when he became faculty in the education department, primarily focusing on student teaching supervision. Ben's dedication to the preparation of the future generation of student educators was felt far and wide, especially by his children and grandchildren who always seemed to get the teachers, principals and superintendents who were former students of Ben. In addition to his dedication to education, Ben was a die-hard ASU athletic supporter. He and his wife, Kathryn, held season tickets in the "kazoo" section of the football stadium and came to know the players and coaches on a first name basis.

Ben's love of sports wasn't limited to ASU teams. He was a very active and vocal supporter of his daughters' athletic endeavors, attending every sports activity they were in, even if it meant driving through snow, pea soup fog or while suffering from a kidney stone.

After retiring, Ben continued running (his trademark military flat top haircut was always spotted jogging around town) and even coaxed his wife into running. An active participant in the Senior games, Ben continued to run races well into his 70s. In addition, he continued participation in the Watauga Gun Club (of which he was a founding member) and took pride in his job site organizational work with Habitat for Humanity.

Ben took an interest in everybody he came in contact with, his students, regular wait staff, bank tellers and friends. He never met a stranger and always greeted everyone by their name and with questions about their family, studies or relationship status. His cheerfulness, sense of humor and character left a mark upon everyone he met and his absence will not only be felt amongst his family and friends, but throughout ASU and Boone.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents; his sister and brother-in law, Betty Johnson and James O.; and his wife of 55 years, the love of his life, Kathryn.

He is survived by his daughters, Kathy North and husband, J., of Mocksville, and Elizabeth Clark and husband, Jerry, of Raleigh. Also surviving are his grandchildren, of whom he was very proud, even if they didn't attend ASU, Sarah Franzheim and husband, Neil Chase, of Winston-Salem, Jamie and Katie North of Mocksville, Justin Clark of Oak Park, Fla., and Jeremy Clark of Liberty; several nieces and nephews and close friends.

Memorial services for Dr. Ben Gess Bosworth will be conducted 4 p.m. Saturday at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 2 to 4 p.m. at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritans Purse, Heal Our Patriots, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Online condolences may be shared with the Bosworth family at

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Bosworth family.