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Local businessman hailed as family man
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Forsyth County News

A beloved family man and one of downtown Cumming's longtime business leaders died Wednesday.

Stanley Ray Bagwell, 59, died about 3 p.m. of natural causes, said Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald III.

A lifelong and fourth generation Forsyth County resident, Bagwell was one of three owners of Bagwell & Mathis Tire on Pirkle Ferry Road.

The business has been a Cumming staple since 1947, when Bagwell's father, Myron Bagwell, opened it with William Mathis as a service station across from the Forsyth County Courthouse.

Funeral services are scheduled for 4 this afternoon in the Ingram Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Bob Jolly officiating. Interment will follow at Sawnee View Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the service begins.

Stanley Bagwell's son, Sam Bagwell, said his father "first and absolutely foremost loved his family."

"His first grandchild, he was so smitten with her," he said. "And me and my wife, when we got pregnant, he was very excited about that. He was perfect to be a granddad."

The younger Bagwell said his father and mother, Susan Gravitt Bagwell, were high school sweethearts and graduated from Forsyth County High School. They married in 1970.

Sam Bagwell said his father, a University of Georgia graduate, was "always a big Dawgs fan" who took his family to Athens for football games.

"Everything he's ever done was so his family could have fun," he said. "He let us shoot fireworks on the Fourth of July even before the laws changed."

The family, he said, also has a cabin on Lake Lanier for gatherings.

The family-owned and operated business was moved in 1957 to its current location, where the owners began specializing in tires.

Myron Bagwell died in 1985 and Mathis has since retired. But his son, Kris Mathis, continued the store's operations with Stanley Bagwell and his brother, Tony Bagwell. Mathis and the Bagwells are cousins, Sam Bagwell said.

Stanley Bagwell was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Cumming. Other immediate survivors include: his mother; a daughter and son-in-law; and a sister.