Obituary: Doris Eggleston. An educator than made a difference.

Posted By on April 26, 2020

DorisEggleston-SidneyOHSome of us are fortunate in life to have had a few teachers take enough interest to make a difference. I suspect they inherently knew the positive influence a good teacher can make long after a student leaves their classroom. One such teacher, really an extra curricular advisor for me, was Doris Eggleston. Last week her daughter Karen Gagermeier shared her mom’s obituary (below). Thank you Karen and my condolences to you and your family. Both your mom and dad were wonderful people (my mom and dad square danced with Doris and Gene for years after retirement).

DorisEggleston-obit200420HClick for Cromes-Edwards Funeral Home Obituary

Archiving a few of my Memories:

Our family moved to Sidney from a rural area east of Toledo (Curtice/Oregon) when I was in high school. Moving is rarely easy, but it was especially challenging in high school and trying to fit in with kids in small town Sidney, where most kids grew up together generation after generation. Thankfully I was not “new” alone and chummed with three other guys in the same situation – our “Fearsome Foursome.”  That definitely improved things.

I also had a variety of hobby interests that gave me an opportunity to fit and connect semi-socially in school. Having my own darkroom and a photography interest gave me a quick “in” to the school newspaper and yearbook staff (as well as making a couple dollars as a stringer photog for the local paper). One big advantage for me is that it was also a free pass to nearly every school event and excuse to occasionally slip out of class … my camera was my permanent “hall pass” as it was. If there was a question … “see Mrs. Eggleston” was my reply. JournalismScholarshipAwardCup1976Never once was I ever really questioned … on the other hand, I was a “good kid” without the questionable record following me around.

As for Mrs. Eggleston taking an interest in me and my future, it started when she selected me as the scholarship recipient  for a summer journalism class at Ohio University after my high school junior year (I still have the “award cup” she gave me sitting on a shelf). I took it relatively seriously, had a good summer in Athens, but concluded that a "bigger university and party school” with all the freedom and responsibility was not to my liking. College for me would be a smaller school: Ohio Northern University.

A few years later, I then re-connected with Mrs. Eggleston during my college junior year. ONU was on the quarter system and I had calculated my scheduling of classes to take the spring quarter off and work. I also applied to get some practical “teacher experience” (counted towards my hours) while back in Sidney. I was hired as a substitute teacher in both the middle school and high school, but giving me each afternoon and evening to work in the hardware department at Sears (once again my hobby skills paid-off). It was semi-enjoyable to reconnect with teachers in the once off-limits smoke-filled teachers lounge and feel “almost like” I was one of them; one year later I really was “grown up” enough to be teaching classes of my own … although it was as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GT) at Miami University. I was exceptionally fortune to be fully taking over photography and printing classes for a professor on sabbatical – that was a great opportunity.

Before leaving the substitute teaching role in Sidney though, I also connected personally with Gene and Doris Eggleston as I thought they might be good references when trying to land a permanent teaching position after graduation. Of course they said yes, but eventually invited me to spend a year teaching with them in American Samoa (their next adventure). For me that was “exactly” what I wanted at that time. I was single, had a smallish amount of college debt and had dreamed of sailing in the South Pacific – it seemed to fit perfectly with my “doors open and doors close” decision-making philosophy. Little did I know that my life would change significantly when I went back to ONU in the fall of 1981 and met Brenda. So I closed the “door” to teaching in American Samoa and “opened” the door to the rest of my life. No regrets.


Even though I didn’t end up in teaching, I’m still so thankful to have had Mrs. Eggleston in my life … unfortunately doubt she knew even after years of square dancing with my parents … what impact she made on my life in high school and college. Thank you … you made a positive impact on others. We can only emulate and hope to do the same with our lives.


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