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William Lee “Bill” Cawood, II

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”-Henry Adams

Big Stone Gap, Va.-William Lee “Bill” Cawood, II, 55, passed away Friday, October 15, 2021, at his home.
He was a lifelong resident of Big Stone Gap. He was a 1984 graduate of Powell Valley High School. Bill graduated from Va. Tech with a B. S. in Forestry and later from Clinch Valley College with a B. S. in Education. Bill taught in the science department at Powell Valley High School and Union High School for 25 years. He taught Dendrology, the study of trees, at M.E.C.C. for the past 20 years. He served as a Nature Interpreter at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Va. for 27 years.
Bill loved to spread his knowledge and love of nature, not only with his students he loved, but to the many who were fortunate enough to hear him interpreting about the outdoors. His annual trips to various Virginia state parks were a highlight to many students. He not only taught them about nature but also survival skills. Bill loved kayaking and took many a person on trips down the Clinch River.
Bill has joined his close friends, Jim Abe Fleenor and Lowell Fowler.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Lee and Sue (Cochrane) Cawood.
Surviving are his wife, Kristen Hamilton Cawood; step-daughter, Ann Marie Slagle (Matt), Big Stone Gap; grandson, Walker Slagle, who called Bill, “Pop-Pop;” sister, Chloe DeLong (David), North Augusta, SC; brother, Mark Cawood (LouElla), Big Stone Gap; uncles, Jack Cawood, Big Stone Gap and Greg Cawood (Sharman), Flagstaff, Ariz.; aunt, Gail Wolfe, Catlettsburg, Ky.; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 5:00pm until 8:00pm Monday, October 18, 2021, at the Union High School Auditorium. The service will follow at 8:00pm Monday with various speakers.
A private graveside service will be in American Legion Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, it was Bill’s wishes for everyone to plant a couple of trees and plant flowers.
Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Cawood family.
To view the obituary online and offer condolences, visit

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