Emily Clarkson Thompson Eagar – Chattanoogan.com

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Emily Clarkson Thompson Eagar, of Belmont, Mass., The last surviving child of former Chattanooga mayor, reformer and philanthropist TC Thompson, died at home on Tuesday July 6, 2021. She was 97 years old.

Mrs. Eagar was born at her home in Chattanooga in 1924; she never had a birth certificate, which was the source of much trouble later. Her parents were TC Thompson and former Anna May Signaigo.

She is survived by three children, Harry Eagar Jr. (Tricia) of Sykesville, MD; Emily Maxwell (Richard, r.) Of Gainesville, Florida; and Thomas W. Eagar (Pam) of Belmont, MA. Also 12 grandchildren: Kachina Shaw (Daniel) of Louisville, KY; Hal Eagar (Rachel) from Queens, NY; Kathryn Launert of Sykesville, MD; Douglas Maxwell (Bess) of New York City, NY; and Leannis Crutchfield (Moss) of Gainesville, Florida; Matthew Eagar (Jianna) of Belmont, MA; Rebekah Dunkley (Greg) of Boise, ID; Linda Simpson (Chuck) from Apex, North Carolina; Karen Meeker (Jared) from Provo, UT; James Eagar (PJ) of Orem, UT; Anna Taylor (Richard) of Salt Lake City, Utah; Thomas Eagar (Ali) of Orem, UT; and 38 great-grandchildren.

Ms Eagar graduated from Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga and interrupted her studies at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia to marry Harry Douglas Eagar of Chattanooga, a naval officer and Pacific War veteran as soon as the fighting ended.

Her children were born in Chattanooga, and after growing up she returned to Chestnut Hill to earn a degree in psychology and later a master’s degree in education from Old Dominion University. Her husband supported her by taking lessons with her.

She has been a lifelong educator for education for all. Her grandfather was a university English teacher and the first superintendent of public education in South Carolina; and she often quoted her aunt, Katherine Signaigo, principal of a public school in Chattanooga who during the Depression extorted clothes from the co-workers of her brother Edward, a Market Street haberdasher, so that the poor children who were literally naked can go to school.

Ms. Eagar has taught in Catholic schools in Atlanta, GA, Raleigh, North Carolina and Norfolk, VA, primarily in second grade but also in junior high school. After retiring to Gainesville, Florida, she volunteered to teach reading to adults who had been underserved by public schools.

Ms Eagar was one of the last living ties to an Old South whose ethics she rejected while maintaining her social habits. She attended the first Cotton Ball (now Chattanooga Ball) in a hoop; but it had no use for the Daughters of Confederation, racism, or romantic lies about the Civil War. His father, at the age of five, had been a refugee from the Sherman attack on Columbia, SC

Her father was a renowned storyteller in Chattanooga, entertaining guests who buggy rides to his summer home on the Brow on Signal Mountain on Sundays. Emily was the proudest in the story of the opening of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium in 1922. TC Thompson, the former mayor, was the master of ceremonies and he refused to let the event take place until then. that the Black Gold Star Mothers be invited to descend from the separate gallery to be seated in the front with the White Gold Star Mothers. Emily continued to fight racism throughout her life.

A commemorative mass, celebrated by Father Mike Nolan, will be held on July 16 at the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive the friends at the church in the Holy Family room before the service starting at 10:00 am. She will be buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chattanooga, next to her husband and a son, Jude, who died at birth.

Memorial gifts can be made at the Edmundite Mission, 1428 Broad St., Selma, Ala.
Local arrangements are made by Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist East Chapel, 404 South Moore Rd. East Ridge, TN 37412.

Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaEastChapel.com.

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