Family Remembers Auburn Football Student Coach

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) When you grow up in the family business and that business is photography, chances are good you will end up in at least a few photos yourself. For Joseph Malcolm Bagwell, his family full of photographers means there are literally thousands of pictures  to remember him by.

 Joseph, 23, a student coach who died Saturday in Auburn just hours before the Tigers hosted LSU leaves behind a family in Huntsville, and an entire campus in mourning at his sudden passing.

At Southerland’s Photo phones were ringing off the hook with friends and loyal customers sending their condolences Monday afternoon.

 In high school Joseph was a manager for the Huntsville High School football team, but it was his role on the sidelines with the Auburn Tigers that was truly his dream “job.”

Joseph’s grandfather Malcolm Tarkington talks about his grandson’s sudden passing with WHNT News 19 reporter Matt Kroschel.

“He loved what he was doing, that’s the important thing in life, always love what you do,” his grandfather Malcolm Tarkington said.

Joseph could not actually play the game because of a weak heart. He was born missing part of his heart and had three heart operations by age three. With the support of his family, Joseph was able to fight his health issues until this past weekend when he lost that battle.

“It is a very heavy heart for myself and a lot of our players and a lot of our coaches right now,” Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik said Saturday. Chizik also placed a call to  Joseph’s parents to offer condolences. 

Visitation is Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with the funeral 2 p.m. at Trinity Methodist on Airport Road. Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery. The family is requesting friends wear Auburn colors, Joseph’s favorites, to the service.

In 2007, Joseph’s mother, Jennifer Tarkington, a professional photographer, started “Clicking for a Cause” because she and Joseph felt this was a way of giving back to their community. In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts in memory of Joseph be made to the “Clicking for a Cause” fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation, 101 Sivley Road, Huntsville, AL 35801.

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