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Effingham Magazine

Remembering Clarence E. Morgan

Remembering Clarence E. Morgan

Effingham’s beloved Clarence Morgan, 75, passed away Jan. 5, 2022, at his residence. A native of Effingham, Clarence retired from Effingham County Board of Education after 30 years of coaching and teaching but was employed at Effingham County Recreation Sports and Management since 1973, eventually becoming its director. He played many years on the B & B softball team, was part of the Josh Reddick Foundation and very instrumental to the Effingham Navigators. He served on various committees and received many awards with the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association, including Most Distinguished Professional in 2017. He was the recipient of the Golden Eagle Award from the Coastal Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America.

If you knew anything about recreational sports in Effingham, you knew Clarence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.

•  •  •

Mr. Clarence had the most generous and kind soul. He never met a stranger. I was n “outsider”- and he treated me (and the members of Sweat Like a Mother, aka SLAM) like we had grown up in his backyard. When the Clarence E Morgan Complex opened, he encouraged our workout group to move there. He insisted the park was meant to be used by the people of the county. He wanted us there, included us in every event, even asking SLAM to represent during the groundbreaking ceremony of the new gym.

Before COVID, we would see him almost weekly-coming by class just to check in with all of us. He always talked with me about his daughter April because we share the name. He lit up when he talked about her and the boys!

Effingham will surely feel his loss for years to come but will relish in all that he has done for this community for a lifetime!

–Apryl Lee

•  •  •

When you hear the name Clarence Morgan you immediately think of Effingham Recreation. I coached my girls softball team and could always reach out to him with questions or issues and he would immediately be there with answers. Clarence coached my daughter on the Effingham Middle School team.

I can’t say enough what a great man he was. As years have passed I have grandchildren that now participate in sports. If Clarence saw me at a game he always came over to say hello and give a hug.

He loved Effingham County Recreation and everyone that participated in a sport as well as the parents, grandparents and friends who were there to cheer them on.

We will all miss him.

–Jan Norton

•  •  •

I founded the Effingham County Navigator Team (ECNT) in 2011. ECNT is a support group and non-competitive recreation program for children with special needs/disabilities. I invited Mr. Clarence to one of our meetings and he came. After hearing the parents discuss how much they’d like to see their children get to play ball he said he would make it happen. And he did.

At our first outing for baseball we asked him if he wanted us on one of the out the way ball fields, Mr Clarence’s response: “No, I want y’all right out front where everyone can see y’all because y’all have just as much right to be there as anyone else.”

When Josh Reddick and his foundation approached Mr. Clarence about how he could give back to the community it was Mr. Clarence that asked him: “Have you heard of the Navigators?” He shared how we need an all accessible baseball field because we had kids in wheelchairs who had to stop participating because the clay would get in the wheels of their wheelchairs, how the children had difficulties accessing the current ball fields. And that was the beginning of the Josh Reddick Stadium.

Mr. Clarence was so proud of the Navigators he would go out of his way to do special events just for them, whether it was a sensory Christmas with Santa making sure each child was given a gift bag or a visit from the Easter Bunny (he had Ms. Brenda dress up like the Easter Bunny). He ordered basketball jerseys. No matter what the Navigators needed he would make sure we had it. He would tell the staff, “Whatever the Navigators need or want, just do it.”

In the beginning when we needed to do a fundraiser, he would let us use the gym for the whole weekend so our parents would have time to set up and cleanup. He made sure the players received trophies.

And one thing many do not realize: Mr. Clarence attended a presentation at GSU about the barriers that prevent people with disabilities face in accessing their community and he learned that lacking adult changing stations was one of those barriers. So when CEM was built, he made not only did the ladies restroom have an adult changing station but also the men’s restroom, because he understood father’s have to change their loved ones, too. He wanted to make sure whether it was a boy or girl they were thought of with dignity. So little Effingham County has something even the Mercedes Benz Stadium doesn’t have, and that’s because when it came to Mr. Clarence, when there is a will there is a way.

And he wanted to make sure ALL kids and young adults had the opportunity to play sports in Effingham County.

Mr. Clarence would tell folks that being invited to that meeting many years ago was one of the best things that ever happened to him; and that resulted in children with disabilities getting to do something they would not have been able to do: PLAY BALL!

–Pauline Shaw

•  •  •

As the retired United Way Effingham Director, I had the privilege of working closely with Clarence for many years. He not only volunteered countless hours for the United Way in a variety of programs, but he also served as an advisory board member and Board Chair. Also, Clarence served an unprecedented three consecutive years as our United Way campaign chair in Effingham, raising close to $1,000,000! He did so much for so many in their county. He is irreplaceable.

–​​Bonnie Dixon

•  •  •

Coach Morgan was one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He loved his community and he gave 100% effort to everything that he was involved with. But his ultimate love was Pam, April, Walt and his grandsons. There was not a hill that he wouldn’t climb for his family. He was a GREAT husband, daddy and grandfather. Clarence is a true legend and he lived his life making things better for others. Many people will benefit for years to come from the sacrifices that he made.

–James W. Dasher

•  •  •

When I started Bike Effingham in January of 2020, scheduling a meeting with Coach Morgan was one of my first calls. The health and fitness of the people of Effingham County was always his top priority! The things we discussed in that meeting will be happening this year and I can't wait to share them with the residents of Effingham! I personally will do my best to carry on Coach Morgan's vision of fun and family-friendly recreational activities in the county.

–Ashley Parker

•  •  •

I have known Mr. Clarence since I was little. He would always let me sneak into the concession stand or the announcers box because he knew how much I loved to help. He always told me he was as proud of me as well as my family. He was always happy and he never had a bad thing to say. Whenever I played a game and he was there at the park, he always made a point to come say hey and give me a few pointers. He was an amazing man and will be greatly missed.

– Danielle Howard

•  •  •

Clarence was a great husband, father, grandfather, coach and friend! He always had a positive attitude and a smile on his face. He surely loved his family and Effingham County. He will be missed so much!

–Stephanie Long

•  •  •

Clarence always stopped to talk with me at the ball fields and I always enjoyed our conversations. Both he and Pam are wonderful people. I am so sorry that Clarence passed away and will miss seeing him on the field. God speed Clarence.

–John Dean