William Preston Ingham, Jr.

Published 5:18 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

Tryon— William Preston Ingham, Jr. (Bill), 72, died Friday, January 5, 2024 at his home on Glengarnock Road in Tryon, NC.

Bill was born in Greenville, SC and was the son of the late Frances Geraldine Griffin Ingham and William Preston Ingham, Sr.  Bill’s father was in the army and the family traveled often. Bill lived in Germany, San Francisco, CA and Columbia, SC. He graduated from Eau Claire High School in South Carolina. Bill was a master plumber and continued plumbing even after he became a real estate agent and broker.

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In 1998 Bill and his former wife, Wendy, visited Tryon and noticed there was no coffee house. He saw a storefront on Trade St. available and he made arrangements to rent the space for a coffeehouse and art gallery before he moved here. The Trade St. Gallery Coffeehouse became an impressive gathering place for all ages. Artists displayed their works there, the Tryon Daily Bulletin, the Charlotte Observer, the Wall Street Journal, Sunday New York Times and other area papers were delivered there. If the papers came before opening, readers would pick up their paper and slip the money in the door slot. The coffee house often stayed open late and became a safe gathering place, particularly for young souls. The piano gave local budding talent a place to play, musicians performed there and the Pickin’ Parlor moved to the coffeehouse.

He continued serving Tryon as a member of the Tryon Board of Commissioners since 2013. He has been re-elected and served until his death. Bill was mayor pro-tem from 2015 to 2019. As a Tryon council member, Bill served as liaison for the East Side Citizens Advisory Board, the Harmon Field Committee, The Tryon Public Works Committee and other Tryon concerns. Bill served as a member of the Tryon ABC Board, he lived at and managed Pearson’s Falls, served on the Foothills Rural Planning Organization and at one time worked for the water department.

There are few people in Tryon and its surrounds who were not touched by Bill Ingham’s kindness, acceptance and patience. He was broker/realtor/partner of Thousand Pines Co., LLC since 2011 where he partnered with his dear friends, the late Carl Wharton and Claire Wharton.

Bill is survived by his wife Becki, his daughters, Grace Ingham of Atlanta, Pam Ingham Stafford (Chris) of Columbia, and Beth Ingham Helms (Matt) of Rock Hill. He is also survived by his grandchildren Damon Stafford of the home as well as Davis, Daysi and Dara Jayne Stafford, and Griffin and Carson Hollingsworth, two step-grandchildren River and JaLynn Helms, two sisters Susan Ingham Clubb and Patty Ingham Zeigler, and countless other family members and friends. He also leaves behind his beloved pets Rosie, who was by his side until the end, and Johnny and Pearl.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tryon Little Theater or Foothills Humane Society.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Bill Saturday, January 13, 2024 at the Tryon Coffeehouse Co-op in downtown Tryon beginning at 2 pm. Attendees are encouraged to bring: a coffee mug, a picture of Bill, bourbon and/or a cigar.

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth

And see the lights surrounding you.

(Bob Dylan)

An online guest register is available at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com

McFarland Funeral Chapel
Tryon, NC