William H Yancey
Educator & Author
[born 5 July 1919 in Morgan County, Alabama]

By Angie Maples

Home & Family Editor

William H "Bill" Yancey, a Union Hill [Alabama] native, was recently named to the 1991 Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and will receive the Golden Eagle Honorary Award at the annual awards introduction on Sunday, September 22 at the Montgomery Civic Center.

The Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was created in 1983 by the Alabama Legislator to honor living Alabama citizens who have made significant contributions toward enhancing the lives of Alabama's elderly citizens.

Yancey settled in Hartselle after completing a fulfilling career of 39 years in education. He retired from Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md where he served as Dean of Admissions and Records and American History Teacher.

Yancey graduated first in his class from Jacksonville State University in 1939 where he received a bachelor's degree. He continued his education in graduate school at Auburn, where in 1943, he earned a master's degree in American history. He then ventured to Michigan State University - East where he conducted post-graduate work.

While attending graduate school, Yancey taught high school history and physical education. He also served as football and basketball coach at various times.

In 1963, Yancey served as Dean of Men at Lindsey Wilson Junior College in Columbia, Ky, where he also taught history. He also spent one year there as Dean of Students.

From 1965 to 1970 Yancey was Dean of Men and Associate Dean of Students at St Mary's College in Maryland.

Since retiring to Hartselle, he has served as president of the Hartselle High School Booster Club member, he established a $500 Kay Puckett Scholarship, named after his late niece.

"Hartselle has a good school system. I have never seen any high school athletic program that is as well organized and that produces any better results" said Yancey.

Yancey joined the Kiwanis Club in 1981 and has served as secretary and president. In 1990 he was voted as a lifetime member into Kiwanis International. He is active on Pancake Day and in the scholarship program as well.

As Yancey looks back on his lifetime spent in education, he notes that some of the most precious moments he spent was through the Student Travel Exchange Program (STEP). This was a promotion enabling American college students to travel abroad.

Yancey was selected, with the help of the l;ate Sen. John Sparkman, to teach 10 student for eight weeks in Australia, Austria, Spain and Great Britain. "It was the most priceless educational experience I have ever had", he said.

In 1976, Yancey was asked by Anne Arundel to give a series of bicentennial lectures. These lectures featured 10 great Americans which included Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Thousands of county residents came from to hear him deliver his oratory on those famous individuals.

That same year, Yancey was presented a Distinguished Service award by the Student Government Association of Anne Arundel. This award represented his outstanding contributions to the College's educational, social and cultural life. According to JSU's Alumni News, he was commended for turning the college's admissions and records office into an organization of exceptional utility and professionalism.

After completing a successful lifetime career in education, Yancey feels Hartselle has been a good place to retire. Hartselle has good people in it", he added.

Since retiring, Yancey had the opportunity to speak to different senior citizen organizations in Hartselle, Decatur, and surrounding areas. He is the author of two books including "The Gate at Choctaw Ridge".

Yancey feels his success as a teacher lays in his ability to bring to life the facts and people of the past. As one listener, attending a lecture on the Revolutionary War commented, "I was with you every minute, I heard those horses galloping by".

 

 

The Huntsville Times, Monday,, August 5, 2002, page B3
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July 5, 1916 - Aug. 3, 2002
William H. Yancey

William Hugo "Bill" Yancey of Hartselle, an American history teacher, died Saturday. He was 86. Mr Yancey taught in high school and college, was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Hartselle Kiwanis Club and a lifetime member of Kiwanis International. He also coached football and basketball for 17 years with only one losing season. He was the former dean of admissions at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.

Survivors include two nephews, Joe Yancey Puckett and William H. Puckett, both of Hartselle, and one niece, Jan Puckett Kirkemier of Birmingham, and a half-brother, Melvin Bowling of Huntsville. A graveside [service] was to be today at 10 a.m. at Hartselle City Cemetery with Dr. Ron Wilson and the Rev. W.G.. Henry officiating. Peck Funeral Home is in charge of burial