Margaret Powell and Langdon Strong Flowers Fund
Langdon Strong Flowers was born in Thomasville, Georgia, on February 12, 1922, the son of Flewellyn Strong Flowers and William Howard Flowers. Flowers’ father William started Flowers Bakery in 1919.
A 1944 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Langdon enlisted in the US Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. At MIT he won the Barton Rogers Award, the highest honor given to a graduating senior. Upon graduation, he attended Midshipman’s School at Notre Dame and received his commission as Ensign. He served aboard the light aircraft carrier USS Belleau Wood during World War II as Engineering Officer for Air Group 31 as part of Admiral Bull Halsey’s Third Fleet that saw action off the coast of Japan. At the war’s end, Mr. Flowers returned to MIT where he earned a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Langdon Flowers’s career with Flowers Bakery started in 1947. He first worked in the sales department, then became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1965, a member of the Board of Directors when the company listed publicly in 1968, Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1976, and Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1981. He retired in 1985 and continued to serve as a member of Flowers’ Board of Directors until 2004.
Flowers, along with his brother William Howard Flowers, Jr. and the company’s senior leadership team, directed the company’s growth from a small baking company into one of the largest baked foods enterprises in the country. He was actively involved in the baking industry and in civic life, serving in leadership positions on a number of boards.
Langdon married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret (Bobbie) Clisby Powell on June 3, 1944, and they were married almost 60 years, with five children. Bobbie was born November 17, 1921, in Thomasville, the daughter of Margaret McKay Powell and William John Powell. She graduated from Agnes Scott College. Along with leadership roles in the National Society of the Colonial Dames, she was actively involved in Thomasville cultural life, serving as founding member and president of the Thomasville Cultural Center, as founding board member of the Brookwood School, and president of the Thomas County Historical Society. She was named Thomas County’s Woman of the Year in 1981.
Margaret Flowers died on December 22, 2003, age 82. Langdon Flowers died on June 22, 2007, age 85. They are buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Thomasville.
In 2003, Margaret and Langdon Flowers’ children, led by GHS Curator Peggy Rich and her brother Langdon Flowers, established the Margaret Powell and Langdon Strong Flowers Endowment Fund at the Georgia Historical Society to honor their parents’ contributions to Georgia history.