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Barbara Wells Bedell '49

Barbara Wells Bedell, of Richmond, Va., died peacefully on Friday, March 7, 2014 with her husband of 64 years and daughter at her side. She was born in 1927 to Eleanor and Walter Wells of Liverpool, N.Y. Barbara graduated in 1949 from Antioch College and while there, she roomed with Coretta Scott (King) '51. As an exchange student in 1947, she was the first of three white students to ever attend a traditionally all “Negro” college, Hampton Institute, Hampton, Va. Her attendance was at the time considered controversial and was noted by news media around the world. Her work included a summer camp program for poor and disadvantaged children from New York City. She also formed an inner city support program in Pittsburgh that was later reported to have influenced The American Housing Act of 1949 now HUD. Barbara and Robert married in 1950 in Syracuse. They lived in Springfield, Mass. and Watertown, Conn., where they raised their children before retiring to Richmond, Va. In the mid-1960s, the family moved to Broughty Ferry, Scotland. Barbara loved Scotland so much that she and her husband returned there every spring for decades. Barbara is survived by her husband, Robert; and her children, Craig and his wife, Elaine, of Loudonville, N.Y., Mark and his wife, Jeanne, of Woody Creek, Colo., Cynthia and her husband, Jim Brock, of Richmond, and Eric of Charlestown, Mass.; and her three grandchildren, Megan, Keaton and Landon. A private family memorial has been scheduled.