Thursday, March 4, 2010

Services for Edward L. Athey '47

The following information was given to us by the family of Ed Athey '47:

A service will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 1:00 PM at Christ United Methodist Church, 401 High Street, Chestertown, MD.  A reception will follow at the Casey Academic Center, Washington College.  

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Christ United Methodist Church, 401 High St, PO Box 262, Chestertown, MD 21620; Washington College, Office of College Advancement, 300 Washington Ave, Chestertown, MD 21620; or the Chester River Home Care & Hospice, 6602 Church Hill Rd, Suite 600, Chestertown, MD 21620

Edward L. Athey '47
1921 - 2010

    Edward L. Athey '47, a beloved professor and coach who served as athletic director at Washington College for 38 years, died at his Chestertown home on February 28, 2010.
    Born in Moundsville, WV, on October 26, 1921, Ed Athey was one of three boys raised during the Great Depression by the late Edward W. Athey, a railroad policeman, and his wife, Alice. When he was old enough, Ed took on part-time jobs to help the family stay afloat, but he always found time to play sports. 
    A natural athlete who excelled at basketball, baseball and soccer as a youngster, Edward L. Athey honed his athleticism by playing semi-professional basketball right out of high school. A year later, he began his collegiate career at Frostburg College, playing basketball, soccer and baseball. With the encouragement of coaches Tom Kibler and Fred Dumschott, Athey transferred to Washington College in the fall of 1942. Not surprisingly, the basketball team won the conference championship that year.
    In 1943, just after he was called into military service, Ed Athey married his college sweetheart, Rachel Lovell, with whom he would raise three children: young Ed, Ron and Patty. Mr. Athey spent the next two years flying missions in China with the U.S. Air Force. He returned to Washington College in 1946 for his senior year.  On a whim, he took up football-Coach George Ekaitis played him at the quarterback position. 
    Intent on a teaching career, Mr. Athey earned a master's degree in education at Columbia University. A few months later, in August 1948, he would be back in Chestertown again, earning his stripes as "Coach."
    In his first year, Coach Athey taught physical education classes and served as chair of the department, was head coach for the basketball, soccer and track programs, and helped out as a scouting coach for football. After one year on the job, Coach Athey added "Athletic Director" to his collection of hats.
    In a career that spanned five decades, Ed Athey coached six varsity sports-baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis and track, as well as JV lacrosse. On the soccer field sidelines from 1949 through 1981, Coach was named Division II-III Soccer Coach of the Year in 1980. But the baseball program has always been his special love: he was assistant and later head coach of baseball for 49 years, continuing to coach the Shoremen squad even after he retired from his post as AD in 1987.  Last spring, Washington College dedicated the new ballpark on campus to honor the longtime baseball coach.
    As director of athletics for 38 years, Ed Athey played a leading role in the activities of the NCAA, the Middle Atlantic Conference, the Mason-Dixon Conference and the United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He also instilled in Washington College coaches and athletes an appreciation for the life lessons students learn through sports competition. Widely respected as a champion athlete, coach and administrator with a gentle, easy-going manner, Coach Athey has been enshrined in Athletic Halls of Fame at Washington College, Frostburg State University, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame.
    Remembering his mentor, coach and predecessor, Bryan Matthews, the current Athletic Director of Washington College, remarked, "Coach Athey has embodied the spirit of Washington College more than anyone in the last 60 years, he has touched more lives in the Washington College family than anyone in half a century, and he will be missed by more people than can be counted."
    Predeceased by his first wife Rachel and his son Edward M. Athey '67, Coach Athey is survived by his wife, Marge McCorkel Athey, his son Ron and daughter-in-law Julie Crew Athey '93, daughter Patty and son-in-law Patrick Grieb; daughter-in-law Cathy Athey; step-son Don McCorkel and his wife Laura McCorkel; grandchildren Carolyn Athey Harms '93 M'97 and her husband Kevin Harms '96; Lisa Athey Clarke '96 and her husband J.B. Clarke (the head lacrosse coach at Washington College); Charlie Athey '01, Eddie Athey, Tricia Athey, Marcia Grieb Fellows and her husband Jon Fellows '02 M'04, Andy Grieb '07, and Nia and Joel McCorkel; and six great grandchildren: Logan, Jenna, Paige and Parker Archie Harms, and Jessica and Samantha Clarke.

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