Cover photo for Emma Bagwell Hyde's Obituary
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1948 Emma 2023

Emma Bagwell Hyde

June 7, 1948 — April 22, 2023

Emma Bagwell Hyde’s heart of gold came to a final rest on Saturday, April 22, 2023, bringing her battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) to a conclusion. While the little-known, uncurable lung disease was mighty, Emma’s determination (with a touch of stubbornness) allowed her to spend several years more than doctors predicted with herhusband and love of her life for the past 50 years – Fred Hyde.

She also was able to witness both her children marry their loves during that time – with Christie Hyde DeNave sharing vows with husband Joe on the beach near her home in Florida in 2015 and F. Michael Hyde pledging his love to wife Gina a year laterin Spartanburg. But her true strength and determination to fight IPF was drawn from her granddaughters – 5-year-old Lydia Hyde and 14-year-old Emily DeNave – whom she loved, supported, and doted upon to the very end.

Emma’s voice over the loudspeaker at Sky City department store in Spartanburg is what initially drew Fred to her in the most random of encounters that eventually led to a lifetime together. After their 1974 New Year’s Day wedding at Collins Chapel, the pair discovered they were born at the same Birmingham, Ala., hospital only six months apart from each other.

After living throughout the southeast, Emma and Fred returned to her hometown of Roebuck, S.C. in 1982 and lived on the farmland previously cared for by both her grandfather and father. Her brother Randy Bagwell, and his wife Maren, and 99-year-old mother Aline Bagwell also have homes on the former farm, as well as her son Michael and her nephew Chris Spelman– allowing Emma to keep family close. She spoke to her mother Aline, originally from Kentucky, nearly every day and was in the midst of helping plan her 100th birthday celebration for earlyMay.

Her illness also brought a ray of sunshine into her life in the form of her caregiver, LauraBeth Mitchell, who became an honorary family member through her years of providing assistance, laughter and smiles to both Emma and Fred.

Emma was one of the first graduating classes from Paul M. Dorman High School in 1966. She later received degrees from both North Greenville Junior College in 1971 and Limestone College in 1974, making her the first in her family to receive a bachelor’s degree. She had a passion for science and nature that carried into her professional and philanthropic careers with the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, the Girl Scouts of America, and Control Management Services.

For many years, she was known as “Mother Nature,” at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Meridale in Mississippi and Camp Mary Elizabeth in Spartanburg. She would visit underfunded nursing homes in the Spartanburg area to help spruce them up each month with seasonal decorations, provide gifts at the holidays,and conduct Bible studies. Even after becoming homebound, she continued to make prayer beads and other items at home for the United Methodist Women to distribute. Her heart of gold loved and supported as many as she could regardless of their culture, race, religion, or preferences.

As a devoted follower of Christianity and member of The United Methodist Church, she did not fear the day IPF finally won. She leaned on Psalm 17:15, “when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied for I will see you face to face.” She looked forward to her heavenly reunion with her beloved mother-in-law Bobbie Jean Hyde and her father Harold Bagwell, a Navy veteran whoexchanged love letters with his darling Aline during World War II and survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor and his ship being sunk in the South Pacific to make it back home to start a family with her.

Emma encouraged those she left behind to miss her, but not too long as she’s found everlasting peace, free of oxygen tubes, pain and medications, together with the Lord. She wants her loved one to remember the love and joy they once shared and bury their sorrows in doing good deeds.

A memorial service and celebration life will be held to honor Emma on Sunday, May 21, at 1:30 p.m., in the chapel at Chapel at J.M. Dunbar Funeral Home, 690 Southport Rd, Roebuck, SC 29376. It will be followed by a Celebration of Life Reception from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at The Vintage Toast, 100 Wood Row, Spartanburg, SC 29306.

The family wants to surround Emma with the love and prayers of those who knew her. They ask everyone in attendance to bring a rock or stone they feel is unique, pretty or from a special place. These stones with be prayed over during the memorial and collected by the family to surround Emma’s ashes when she is returned to the earth in a private ceremony at a later date.

In lieu of flowers or other items, Emma strongly encouraged those who cared for her to support the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation to fund research that may find a cure to the dreadful disease that took her from us. Donations can be made in her memory at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emma Bagwell Hyde, please visit our flower store.


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