William James “BJ” Clemence, Jr. age 80, of Greensboro, Georgia, died Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at his home in Greensboro. He was born in Macon, GA on March 15, 1932. He lived in Knoxville, TN from 1933-1939, when he and the family moved to Druid Hills in Dekalb County, Georgia. He attended Druid Hills Schools, fourth grade through graduation in 1949. He then attended the University of Georgia Atlanta division in 1950 and 1951, and finished the last three years at the Athens Campus. He graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Education majoring in Physical Education. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta social fraternity. Following 1954, he was teacher and coach at Luthersville, Georgia High School. The same fall, he married Martha Nancy Bentley. In 1955 he received a teaching assistantship at the University of Georgia, while working on his Masters Degree. In 1956, he was promoted to the rank of Instructor at the University of Georgia in the Physical Education Department. In 1958, he received his Master’s Degree in Physical Education at UGA and was promoted to Assistant Professor. In 1963, he was awarded a teaching/research scholarship at the Physical Education Department at the University of Arkansas to begin work on his Doctorate in Physical Education. He completed work for the degree in 1965 and was awarded the degree in 1968. In 1968, he was promoted to rank of Associate Professor. During his tenure at the University of Georgia, he chaired the Department of Men’s Undergraduate Program, chaired the Department of Kinesiology, and served on several college committees. He also coached the freshman golf teams in the 50’s and 60’s, the wrestling team, tennis and varsity cheerleaders. He was also very active in the State Southern Region of the National Association for Health and Physical Education and Recreation. In his tenure at the University of Georgia, he wrote and had published a book for tennis players and golfers.
In 1976, he divorced Martha Nancy Bentley and married Nelsie Cosper. He was one of 43 golf enthusiast who started the Florida-Georgia Golf Classic. He was also instrumental in the initiation of the Town and Gown Golf Tourney. In 1978, he was awarded the outstanding Teacher of Division of Health Physical Education and Recreation. In 1990, he retired after thirty-six years with the University of Georgia. In 1994, his wife Nelsie died of cancer. In 2000, he married Edna Earl Wilson of Lake Oconee, Georgia. She passed away in November of 2009 with lung cancer.
BJ loved people, golf, and travel. He traveled extensively in Europe travelling in England, Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong, Soule Korea, Tokyo Japan, Hawaii and Alaska. In his younger days, he enjoyed camping. He camped in every state of the lower forty-eight states except two states. After retirement, he moved to Lake Oconee, Georgia to the community of what was Port Armor, later to become Reynolds Landing, where he golfed and traveled.
He is survived by his brother, Samuel Patton Clemence, wife Carolyn and their children, Daniel and Samantha and their son Patrick Clemence; stepchildren, Bonnie Marie Wilson, Dennis F. Wilson III, his wife DeeDee and Frank Wilson all of Atlanta, GA; step grandchildren, Heather Wilson, Dalton Wilson and Shelby Wilson; a number of cousins, other relatives and many, many friends.
A Memorial Service will be held, Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at McCommons Chapel with Rev. David F. Ridenhour officiating. The service will be followed by a UGA Tailgate Toast and Roast, attire Red and Black, at the Historic Hall-Thomas house, 109 W. Broad Street, Greensboro, GA. Please bring your favorite BJ story. The family requests any memorials be made to the American Cancer Society, 1684 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens, GA 30605-3007. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at www.mccommonsfuneralhome.com to sign the online guest register.