Thomas Bagley

Obituary of Thomas "Ken" Bagley

Retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Kenneth Bagley passed away March 26, 2023. He was born June 11, 1936 in the town of Chester, SC to Catherine B. Bagley and Thomas S. Bagley. He attended Chester High School and married his soul mate Carolyn Elizabeth McSwain on December 24th, 1956. They celebrated their 62nd anniversary in 2018 before Carolyn’s passing the following April in 2019. 


Ken served with the United States Air Force first during the Korean War in the photography lab, then as a Loadmaster for C-24, C-131 and C-5 airplanes through the Vietnam War and after while stationed in Florida, North Dakota, Japan, Charleston, and Delaware. He went on as an airman to serve as a security officer at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC before retiring from the USAF in 1978 with 24 years behind him. 


After his military retirement, Ken and Carol settled in West Columbia, SC where they raised multiple generations of their children and grandchildren while Ken worked for the Internal Revenue Service as an equipment supervisor until his final retirement. 


He was known for his loud laughter, his ever-present smiles, and his unwavering support for the Clemson Tigers. Ken had a deep love for traveling with his wife to the Hawaiian Islands and traveling with his family to Orlando, FL where he strove to introduce his grandchildren and great-grandchildren to Walt Disney World. As a devoted follower of Christ, Ken was a long running member of Trinity Baptist Church where he previously served as a Sunday school teacher and a former Deacon. Ken left us peacefully while surrounded by loving family and close friends. 


Those remaining to cherish his memory include his daughter Elizabeth Patterson (Guy); his grandsons Jason Bagley-Cooler (Brent), Jacob Bagley (Jamie), Justin Patterson (Ashley), Joshua Patterson (Kim); and nine great-grandchildren, Joshua, Reagan, Reese, Graham, Aaron, Delilah, Harper, Sullivan and Fields; and his dear friend, companion and caretaker, Ms. Brenda Greene. A special thank you is extended to the staffs at Right At Home, SC House Calls, and Enhabit Health for their assistance and care over Ken during his last years.


He was predeceased by his wife Carolyn, his son Thomas, and his sister Peggy Gwin.


Family and friends are invited to a visitation gathering on Friday, March 31st at 11AM at Thompson Funeral Home at 4720 Augusta Rd, Lexington, SC 29073 with graveside service to follow at Celestial Memorial Gardens, located at 3111 Delree St., West Columbia, SC 29170.


The family suggests donations be made in Ken’s honor to the Wounded Warrior Project at or the Tunnels to Towers Foundation at



11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, March 31, 2023
Thompson Funeral Home of Lexington
4720 Augusta Road
Lexington, South Carolina, United States

Graveside Service

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Friday, March 31, 2023
Celestial Memorial Gardens
3111 Delree Street
West Columbia, South Carolina, United States
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