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January 13th, 2010

Warren Eggleston: A life lost too soon



Warren Anderson Eggleston

Warren (Warrington) Anderson Eggleston

November 5, 1929 - December 15, 2009

Warren (Warrington) Anderson Eggleston was the first of four children born to Warrington and Lucille Eggleston, November 5, 1929, Newburgh, New York. "Sonny," as he, was called by his beloved family, was the consummate, protective older brother who delighted in sharing good times with his siblings.

During high school he excelled in every major sport - basketball, football and softball. Despite racial adversity, he triumphed as Newburgh’s "Boy Wonder." In his post high school days with Glenn Hines independent basketball team, he traveled up and down the east coast; he even played against the infamous globetrotters.

Sonny served in the armed services during the Korean conflict. He was attached to the Special Services’ unit; he played basketball and football throughout Germany until he was slated to be sent to Korea as a sharpshooter. (This uncanny sight later made him the official locator of lost items). As a result, his wife affectionately dubbed him "Sharp Eye".

Warren attended Central State University on the GI Bill, he played football and served as team statistician. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and "spoke softly but carried a big stick" as Dean of Pledges at Central State. At CSU, he majored in Physical Education and was initially hired as an elementary Physical Education teacher in Cleveland, Ohio. To his great joy, he was later assigned to a number of junior and senior high schools where he was able to coach basketball, football and track. He was so proud of his 1967 and 1970 state championship track teams. Eventually Warren was promoted to assistant principal; he served thousands of Cleveland youth for 16 years with diligence, firmness and love. He was viewed as a beacon of strength and decisiveness at his most challenging assignment, Collinwood High School.

"War," as he was fondly called, married his beloved "Sweetie" (Barbara), June 20, 1958. From this union two wonderful sons, Warrington (Skip) and Gregory were born. War reveled in being "father/coach" as the boys became immersed in baseball, football and track. Coaching prowess continued as he introduced his grandchildren to his sports "wisdom."

Warren accepted Christ at an early age in Newburgh. After moving to Cleveland, he joined Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. In 1983, he was ordained as a Deacon, under the pastorate of the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. He was deeply honored to serve his Lord and Master and the Olivet family in this position. He fulfilled his duties faithfully and lovingly-and always with a warm, magnetic smile. He participated in special spiritual moments with his fellow deacons, particularly his birthday mate, Hoover Thomas.

Another one of his responsibilities at Olivet was that of Recreational Director. As such, he was the founder of the OIBC Track Meet and was ably assisted by his long-time neighbor and track official co-worker, Wilma Hairston. This venture was highly acclaimed throughout the Cleveland community as a successful "running for Christ" event.

War also especially enjoyed playing bridge with his wife. He took pleasure in attending national tournaments and accruing master points while a member of the Cleveland Congress of Bridge Clubs.

Notably, a highlight of his career in athletics was his experience as a track official for high schools and colleges in Ohio. This culminated in his selection as a track official at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He continued to participate as a track official well into his 70’s because of his sincere desire to help young people achieve. To this end, he spent 10 years writing a biographical account of his experiences-his momentary downfalls, his ongoing challenges, his inevitable triumphs. It will become a legacy for his grandchildren and other youth who strive to overcome adversity.

Warren is remembered by all for that ingratiating, ever-present smile, his jovial, upbeat nature. He demonstrated constant, unswerving support for his wife in any and all of her undertakings. He was always there for "Sweetie".

Warren enjoyed traveling to over 50 countries in six continents throughout his marriage; he loved seeing the places on television where he had toured. He also had a great love for fishing; he had several Canadian fishing jaunts with his Mason brother. As a youngster in New York, he actually began fishing with string and paper clips; he flirted with danger while swimming alongside the dayliners in the Hudson River; and he engaged in wild, fun-filled pranks with his adventuresome brothers, William and Skippy and lovingly taunted his sister, Elaine.

Many people have said in simple terms, "he was just a good man with a good heart" – a wonderful husband, a marvelous father and grandfather, and cherished friend. He departed this life on December 15, 2009 after being involved in a fatal, single car accident.

He leaves to mourn his beloved wife, Barbara; his cherished sons: Warrington (Patrice), Dayton, Ohio; Gregory (Genita), Indianapolis, Indiana; his specially loved grandchildren: Gregory, Jr., Genelle, Warrington IV, Courtney; his devoted brothers: William (Mary), Newburgh, New York; Wellington (Ann), Norfolk, Virginia; devoted sister, Elaine (A.G.), Newburgh, New York; nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of other relatives and friends.


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