Dr. Patrick O. Spurgeon, affectionately known as “Doc’ by the many students, athletes, colleagues, and friends that loved him, passed away on June 23rd, 2022 in Statesboro, after an eight-decade career as a player, student, teacher, coach, and mentor.
Born in Northwest Indiana, he was raised in East Tennessee where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Elizabethton High School, received his BA in English from Emory and Henry College in Virginia, and then earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in English from the University of Tennessee.
He taught at the University of Tennessee as a graduate student, then served on the faculties of Catawba College, Coker College, and Georgia Southern University, where he became Professor Emeritus after his retirement. He was a man passionately involved in the development of young people on the playing field and in the classroom.
Playing golf with his friends, drinking coffee at Snooky’s, and working with kickers in football were among his favorite pastimes. He was passionately involved with his students in the classroom and on the field. He served as faculty advisor for the Sigma Pi fraternity at Georgia Southern. He was voted Professor of the Year by a George-Anne poll more than once.
He was associated with several high school football programs over the years—Statesboro High, Reidsville High, Westminster High, and Marist High Schools. He served as scout and kicking coach for Erk Russell at the inception of the modern Georgia Southern Football program. He maintained his connection with football through.
Youngstown State University, the Ohio State University, and again, Georgia Southern University. He is a member of the Marist High School athletic Hall of Fame, the Emory and Henry College Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Southern Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a mentor to many in the football staffs he became a part of. He leaves a legacy of love from Shakespeare to the Split-T. “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.”
He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ann Spurgeon, his sons, O’Dyer (Mary) and Kevin (Barbara), his grandchildren, Kathleen, Rick, Russell, Anna, and Bri. He was preceded in death by his parents Dallas and Vivian Spurgeon, his sister Jalna Larkey, and his daughter, Anna Kathleen.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 16th 2022 at 2:00pm at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro. The family will receive visitors following the service.
The service will be livestreamed and available at https://www.joineranderson.com/obituaries/Patrick-Doc-Spurgeon/
Memorial donations may be made to the North Tattnall Middle School Football Program PO Box 369, Reidsville, Georgia, 30453.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory of Statesboro is in charge of the arrangements.
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