Patrick Henry College
Long-time and beloved PHC Board of Trustees member Wilfred S. Templeton passed away Sunday evening, May 19. He had suffered a severe stroke. The campus flag flew at half-staff throughout the following week.
In requesting prayers for the Templeton family, PHC President Dr. Graham Walker shared, “I had just talked with him on Wednesday. He was full of life and full of plans when we talked. It seems too soon, despite his age. His wife, Ann, passed away last year, and they are together in the Lord's presence.”
Wilfred S. “Bill” Templeton, born in Union Grove, N.C., was one of ten children of Huey and Bertha Templeton. He enlisted in the Navy at age fourteen during World War II and later served in the Army during the Korean conflict. He was well known for his generosity toward Patrick Henry College and for his philanthropic involvement in many worthwhile causes.
After attending Appalachian State College and Clevenger College of Business Administration, he began a more than five-decade career in the automobile business at B&L Motor Company in North Wilkesboro, N.C. Mr. Templeton opened his first sole proprietor car dealership, Templeton Oldsmobile, in 1971 in Vienna, Va., and he later established and owned several dealerships in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
His last automotive endeavor, a Toyota dealership in Fort Myers, Fla., known as “The Family Store,” became one of the largest in the country. The Family Store team won countless awards, including the President’s Award for excellence in all areas of operations and customer service.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ann last May. They had traveled the world together, loving and serving their Lord Jesus Christ in many activities. Bill and Ann created the Templeton Foundation, dedicated to supporting faith-based organizations that spread the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ. A dedicated member of First Baptist Church of Sarasota, Bill also recently formed an entertainment company, Founding Fathers, LLC, with the goal of producing a film about George Washington. The project will continue under the title, "Founding Father,” and will examine the deep faith, courage and principles of George Washington who almost single-handedly held our forces together to secure victory in the War for Independence and became America’s first President. Bill’s family describe the project as intended as a gift for the people of America, whom their father loved with all his heart.
Bill Templeton touched countless lives all over the world. Just last month, in April, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of traveling to Israel, where he shared his beliefs, time, passion and talents freely. For his wisdom, faith, leadership and generosity, Bill Templeton will be deeply missed by the Patrick Henry College community.
Memorial events will be held at First Baptist Church in Sarasota, Florida, in June, and later at Greenway Baptist Church, Boone, North Carolina, in July. Per the family’s wishes, memorial gifts, if desired, may be directed to The Templeton Foundation or to Patrick Henry College.