William S. Flash

William S. Flash, a former instructor (1952-1954) and assistant professor (1954-1956) in the government department, died on September 9, 2015, in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

(The following appeared in The News & Observer from Sept. 13 to Sept. 20, 2015)

William Shoemaker Flash, 93, died peacefully at home in the arms of his family on September 9, 2015. Dr. Flash, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., was a political scientist, and professor of health administration.

In 1941, following graduation from Exeter Phillips Academy, he enlisted in the US Army, was commissioned, and served in the European Theater. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star for bravery in action. Dr. Flash received his Bachelor’s degree in Government in 1948, his Masters of Public Administration in 1950, and his Doctorate in Political Science in 1954 from Harvard University. He received a Fulbright Award for postgraduate study at the London School of Economics in 1950-1951, where he studied the legislative history of the British National Health Service. His academic appointments include Bowdoin College 1952-1956, Harvard School of Public Health 1956-1957, American University of Beirut, Lebanon 1957-1961, University of Michigan (Carnegie Fellowship) 1961-1962, University of Vermont 1962-1964, and the University of North Carolina School of Public Health from 1964 to his retirement in 1985.

Bill had a rich intellectual, academic, family and community life. A much-loved, kind and wise man, who was comfortable in the world, Bill knew both wonder and gratitude. He was at heart a humanist who never stopped searching. He was a long-time member of the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting and strong advocate of peace and non-violence. His association with Chapel Hill Shared Learning was engaging and fulfilling. He served on the boards of Carolina Friends School and Orange-Chatham Comprehensive Health Care Center. He deeply valued the integrity and meaning of human connection, and was inspired by those whose lives were stubborn testimonials to rational human behavior in the search for peace and justice.

Bill is survived by his wife Anne Charnley Rieley Flash, his wife of 37 years. He was previously married to Nancy Dewees (1949) and Bettie Lawrence (1960). In addition to Anne, he is survived by his children E Serrill Flash (Lacretia), Susan Flash, Alan Flash, Margaret Bito (Mahito), William Flash Jr. (Denine), Heather LaGarde (Thomas), Holly Baddour (Allen), and grandchildren Paulla Flash, Audrey Flash, Henry Baddour, Jack Baddour, Hadden LaGarde and Holland LaGarde.

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