James Eason

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Daily Press
February 6, 1989


HAMPTON – James M. Eason, 81, died Sunday, Feb. 5, in Sentara Hampton General Hospital.

He was born in South Norfolk and had been a Peninsula resident since 1940.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church, former president of the Wesley Men’s Bible Class and president of the Men’s Club. He was an honorary member of the Chesapeake Lions Club.

He graduated from The College of William and Mary in 1928 with a degree in chemistry. Upon graduation he became head coach of football, baseball and basketball at Crewe High School, Crewe. From 1940 until 1960 he was the football coach at Hampton High School.

He retired from coaching after the 1960 season to become Hampton’s first full-time director of recreation, then retired from that position in 1978. During his tenure, he initiated the nationally acclaimed Santa Claus calling program. He wrote and published in 1961 “The Crying Towel”, a book on his coaching experiences and philosophy.

He was a member of the William and Mary College Athletic Hall of Fame and was recognized as Peninsula Sports Club Man of the Year on two occassions. He was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and received honors from the Peninsula and State High School Coaches Association and the Exchange Club’s Book of Golden Deeds for outstanding community service.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Towe Eason; one son, James L. Eason of Hampton; one sister, Elizabeth Eason Bemis of Richmond; one brother, Alton Ray Eason of Chesapeake; and two granddaughters.

A funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church, Hampton, by the Rev. Michael H. Browder. Burial will be in Parklawn Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 tonight at Lawrence B. Wood Funeral Home.

The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the Hampton Carousel Restoration Project, c/o City Hall, 22 Lincoln Street, Hampton 23669 or to the Hampton Public Library, 4207 Victoria Blvd., Hampton 23669.

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