While the Greenbrier High School athletic department might have lost an ardent supporter, they gained a spirit to watch over them.
Ed Amerson – Mr. Ed to everyone who knew him – who was a fixture at Greenbrier High School since it opened its doors in 1996, died Monday afternoon.
Funeral services were held Thursday morning at West Acres Baptist Church, with past and present baseball and softball players serving as honorary pallbearers.
Amerson supported the entire athletic department, but had a special affinity for the baseball and softball teams. He could be found in his regular seat behind the backstop on game days and was known for calling balls and strikes.
“He was good at helping me with the umpires,” said Garrett Black, current athletic director and softball coach since the school opened. “The umpires would tell me you need to shut that man up or you’ll be thrown out of the game. Sometimes, though, the umpires would laugh. A lot of times after games he would take them over to the concession stand and buy them hot dogs or hamburgers.”
That was just the way he was, said his wife, Donnie.
“You’d never know by looking at him and how he talked, but he had a tender heart and a loving heart,” she said. “He was a giving man. We all just love him so much, he’s going to be missed.”
Amerson meant so much to the school that he was inducted into Greenbrier High School Athletics Hall of Fame on May 22, 2012, along with longtime friend and baseball coach Terry Holder, whom he followed to Greenbrier High from Evans High.
“That was just wonderful,” his wife said. “It’s just overwhelming. He thought so much of him (Holder) and then to go in with him, it was like a ‘wow’ moment.”
It was a special day for Holder as well, who first met the former Little League coach in the mid-1970s.
“That was certainly a pleasure,” Holder said. “It brought back a whole lot of years in one day, from the ’70s to the 2000s. It was a cumulative of years rolled into one.”
While it appeared it was Amerson supporting the Wolfpack, in the early going it was the school’s teams that gave back to him.
“He really got into it after his first wife deceased in ’99, and that’s when he really threw his heart and soul into it and they’re the ones who kept him going, giving him something to get up for and do,” Donnie Amerson said.
His love of the school and its players extended beyond the playing field and past when their playing days were over.
One of the things that touched Kristan (Glover) Martin most came after she had graduated college, was married and expecting her first child. Amerson bid on a rug at a softball silent auction for Martin to have in her baby’s nursery.
“He took things and relationships even further than softball,” said Martin, who played for the Lady Wolfpack from 2002 to 2005. “He did genuinely care about each and every one of us. He was just a great man, and there’s not enough to say about him.”