William Keeffe “Bill” Baggott - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

William Keeffe “Bill” Baggott

May 3, 1936 - March 29, 2024

William Keeffe “Bill” Baggott passed away peacefully on March 29, 2024, surrounded by family. He was born on May 3, 1936, in Brooklyn to Helen Gidley Baggott, a strong and shy bookkeeper, and William Baggott, a charmer known for his pratfalls and dancing. His father died when Bill was five years old, and he was thereafter raised by and among incredible women, his mother, aunt and two sisters in Morgantown, West Virginia. He vividly remembered a joyful childhood that included roaming mountains dusted with coal ash.

He graduated from a five-year engineering program in three years at West Virginia University, paid for by his father’s drinking club and the G.I. Bill. He served as a 90-day wonder in the US Coast Guard Reserves at the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He went onto George Washington Law School at night while working at the US Patent Office, by day.

In Washington, DC, he met the love of his life, Glenda Smith Baggott. They have four children Kathleen Baggott, William Baggott with spouse Patricia Baggott, Melanie Rehberg and spouse Scott Rehberg, Julianna Baggott and spouse David Scott; thirteen grandchildren, Sinclair and spouse Kristin, James and spouse Mary, Cecelia, Molly, Carly, Grace, Lorelei and spouse Lev, Henry, William, Phoebe and spouse Jordan, Finneas, Theo, and Othilia; and four great grandchildren, Lilia, Ava, Quinn, Lucian, and counting. Bill and Glenda celebrated 64 years of marriage in the fall, an epic kind of love.

Bill worked for thirty years at DuPont, originally as an engineer but primarily as a lawyer. He did pro-bono work for the ACLU and as a public defender, and served as the head of the Newark Housing Authority, fighting for equal housing for underserved communities. He marched on Washington for Civil Rights in the 1960s, against the Vietnam War and other conflicts, and more recently for women’s rights and the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.  In 1975, he gave counsel to Father Keegan and Father Szupper in a religious freedoms case that went to the Delaware Supreme Court, allowing them to have services in a common area on campus.

With an insatiable intellectual curiosity and restlessness to truly live a full, rich life, he retired as early as possible, at age 56, from DuPont. He went on to become a pilot, a novelist and historian, an avid genealogist, an amateur painter, a professor of democracy in the Czech Republic after the fall of the USSR, a world-wide traveler, an avid theater-goer, a researcher, a lover of science and medicine, an outdoorsman who never lost his love of mountains, notably the Berkshires, a sage advisor, our wisest counselor, a wedding officiant, an official Irishman with an Irish passport, and a host to foreign travelers and refugees into his home – from those fleeing Cuba during Operation Pedro Pan to an Iranian family in need of a place to get their footing.

First and foremost, however, upon retirement, he became a full-time grandfather, dedicated to taking care of his grandkids. He was an inventor of games with complex rules and treasure hunts and a sure-bet to cry while watching (and rewatching) The Parent Trap.  He was quick to tell people he loved them, that he was proud of them and that he was thankful for them. He is remembered for his patience and incredible gratitude for this beautiful life. His faith was founded on looking at the full humanity of every person you meet.

Up until two days before he died, he danced every day and, on every occasion, with abandon.

A memorial service for family and friends will begin at 11:30 am on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at Newark United Methodist Church, 69 East Main Street, Newark, DE.

Following the Newark United Methodist Church service, there will be a Celebration of Life Reception at 1 pm at the Hyatt Place Newark Hotel. The hotel has a dedicated parking lot and it is located across the street from the church at 94 E Main St Building 1000, Newark, DE 19711.

There are rooms available for our guests at a discounted rate for both Friday and Saturday: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/group-booking/ILGZN/G-BAGG

If there are no rooms available at the Hyatt, the same rates are available at the nearby Springfield Inn and Suites: https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1711991829205&key=GRP&app=resvlink

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill’s memory to the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, 1901 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803 or online by clicking here.


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7 Condolences for William Keeffe “Bill” Baggott

  • I never met Mr. Baggot, but I went to St. Mark’s with Katie. (’78) I am so sorry for your great loss and send my deepest condolences.

  • Our condolences to the Baggott family. I (Mark) worked with/for Bill at DuPont Legal in my first “commercial legal” job in the 1980’s. Bill was a caring boss and a nice man. His obituary is great- what a wonderful and rich life.

  • Bill was such a wonderful man. Full of life, love and passion. I still miss our time of Prospect Lake Park. My condolences to you and your family Glenda.

  • Dear Baggott family,

    Our deepest condolences to all of you. Bill was so kind and friendly and we were so lucky to have had many interactions with him. When he visited Kate and family in California, he was always enthusiastic to play with our kids and tell funny stories. We will miss him. We are thinking of all of you. Love the Doyle family

  • Bill was my first boss when I came to DuPont Legal in 1980. He was a great boss and helped me transition from plant work to legal work. What a wonderful obituary. Bill certainly lived a diverse life with many accomplishments outside his work also. He will be greatly missed.

  • I knew Bill when we both worked at the DuPont Company and I feel he was one of the finest. I admired him and I’m glad he lived a long and apparently very rewarding life. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
    Bill Kester, South Carolina

  • Bill and family,
    Your dad sounds like an incredible man. I am sorry for your loss, but can see from the upbeat cadence of his obituary, that your memories will always warm your hearts. Please accept our deepest sympathies. Please know that are in our prayers.

    Rich & Stephanie Kollet
    on behalf of your Ludlow next-door neighbors at the Sikorsky Ski Club Lodge.m