Clermont County is mourning the death and celebrating the remarkable and accomplished life of Amelia resident James Teegarden.
“I feel blessed to have known Jim Teegarden,” said family friend and Merwin Elementary School Principal Jackie Hospelhorn. “Like Jim, I am a life-long Amelia resident and have seen few people have the positive impact on our community as Jim had. He is one of those people who did the work without expecting anything in return. His death will leave a large void for the community. He was a wonderful man and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”
The hundreds of people who did know and love him came to show their final respects at the visitations and funeral service held at the Amelia E.C. Nurre Funeral Home Aug. 10 and 11.
“We (the family) were overwhelmed at the number of people that came and told us how much Jim had meant in their lives,” said wife and mother Beulah Teegarden. “He was most proud of his family and his accomplishments, both personally and professionally.”
James Teegarden was born and raised in Amelia. He attended Amelia High School and graduated in 1959. While a student there, he played for coach Stanley Ansteatt and played on the National Finalists Knothole teams of 1954-1956.
He attended Morehead College and the University of Cincinnati before beginning his exemplary and esteemed professional life.
He was a member of the West Clermont Board of Education for 12 years and in February 2004, received a citizenship and leadership award from Clermont 20/20.
His love and admiration of athletics stayed with him all of his life. He was the soccer coach at Amelia and New Richmond High Schools for more than 13 years. During this time, he worked diligently to promote his players to colleges of their choice and also helped them find worthwhile jobs.
He founded the Clermont Select Soccer organization and coached the Clermont Pegasus Select Soccer team as well.
Teegarden served as the Clermont County Baseball commissioner for many years. He was in charge of the scheduling of the umpires, teams, and other officials.
He started the Amelia Elementary PTA and organized many fund-raising activities. He founded the Amelia Community Basketball League and was a leader of the Boy Scout Pack #443 for eight years.
His humanitarian nature revealed itself in the community drives that he founded. These included an annual drive for the distribution of Thanksgiving dinners and the giving of Christmas gifts to all of those in need who lived in the community that he loved so much.
He even managed to find time to open up and help manage “Tee’s Tropical Fish” in Amelia with his wife of 42 years, Beulah.
According to daughter Bridget Ringel, her father always put family first.
“He always made time for us (my brother Jimmy and me) while we were growing up,” she said. “He was a busy and active man, but never too busy to help us. Until the end, I could go to him anytime with anything. Any problem, issue, question, or big decision, my father would always give me the advice I needed. He had the ability to listen. He was my rock and my foundation.”
After contracting polio one year before the vaccination was discovered and became widely available in 1955, doctors told him that he would not live past 40, and that he would never have children.
“Well, he proved them wrong,” reflects Beulah. “Nothing would slow him down. He had an unsurpassed exuberance and zest for life. He did great with what God had given him. He never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him and he certainly never felt sorry for himself. Despite the health issues, he always felt blessed and fortunate. He did everything, everything from the heart.”
On Aug. 7, at the age of 64, that heart finally gave out.
James Teegarden was preceded in death by his parents Glenn and Margaret Teegarden.
In addition to his wife Beulah, he leaves behind two children, James (wife Carol) Teegarden; Bridget (husband Thomas) Ringel; five grandchildren, Michael, Kylie, and Kelsey Teegarden, Austin and Cameron Ringel; step grandson, Jordan George, and his sister Carol (husband Richard) Jones.
Teegarden was laid to rest at the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Amelia and the family has requested that all memorial contributions be made to the James Teegarden’s Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of any US Bank location.