Born in Charleston, he was the son of Ira Irvin Bledsoe and Hattie Eugenia Pierce Bledsoe.
He was an honor graduate of the College of Charleston, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for Science and elected to the college honor society. He was also a graduate of the Medical College of South Carolina and received post-graduate training at the District of Columbia General Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, Georgetown University Medical Center, and the Mayo Clinic. He was also awarded a Master of Science degree by the University of Minnesota for research on the artificial kidney.
He was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and practiced nuclear medicine and radiology for many years with Greenville Radiology. Dr. Bledsoe took a particular interest in the early development of diagnostic ultrasound in Greenville and established the first diagnostic ultrasound facility in South Carolina.
He served in the United States Air Force as Flight Surgeon with the 12th Air Force in Europe following the Korean War.
After retiring from active medical practice, he became an avid fly-fisherman. He enjoyed traveling and visited 47 of the contiguous United States and Alaska. He had a passion for genealogy and spent years searching for, and discovering, the English origins of the American Bledsoe family. He also rekindled his love of the German language.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Bledsoe was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Mitzi Estes Bledsoe, and his brothers, Dr. John Joseph Kane, Ira Irvin Bledsoe, Jr., Roger Williams Bledsoe, and John Kane Bledsoe.
He is survived by his children, Kimberly Hester of Nashville, TN, David Bledsoe of Alexandria, VA, and Julia Thomas of Hassell, NC; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Monday, October 28, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at Earle Street Baptist Church, 225 W. Earle Street, Greenville, SC 29601. The funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Committal will follow at Graceland East Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.thomasmcafee.com. Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown.
Published in The Greenville News from Oct. 25 to Oct. 26, 2019.