Former Rock Hill City Councilman Bidwell Ivey, a World War II fighter pilot who was part of the leadership of Rock Hill as the city boomed in the 1980s and 1990s, died Tuesday. He was 94.
“Bidwell Ivey was a public servant in the truest sense of the word,” said state Rep. Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, who, along with Ivey, was a regular at a Bible study breakfast group that met at Anna Js restaurant for more than 20 years.
“For anyone who believed that public service was just that, serving your community and country, Bidwell Ivey was a hero.”
Ivey also was well-known for riding his Indian motorcycle around York County well into his 90s.
He worked for years with Guardian Fidelity after running a used auto parts business upon returning from World War II. The 1939 graduate of Davidson College was a Marine Corps combat fighter pilot and instructor in the Pacific who quickly attained the rank of major at the age of 24.
Ivey ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1985. During his years on the Rock Hill City Council, Ivey focused on making sure that the growing city took care of its people first and worked to attract good jobs, said Freddy Ivey, one of his four children.
“I never heard anyone have a negative thing to say about my father – and that’s not easy for anyone who was in politics,” Freddy Ivey said.
Ivey remained in public service for many years after leaving the council, working as a bailiff at the Moss Justice Center. It was only in 2010 that he left work in the courthouse following a fall, then he moved from his home to Westminster Towers.
Ivey’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill.
Andrew Dys • 803-329-4065