George Ingram: an ardent Central fan

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

George Ingram will be greatly missed by the people of Lunenburg County, and his loss is felt especially among fans of and those involved in the Central High School athletic program.

“He spent a lot of his time giving back to the community, and he was especially good to us, our athletic family at Central High School,” said CHS Athletic Director Wallace Owen.

Ingram, who died Saturday, had lived in Lunenburg County for the past 27 years and became a significant supporter of Central athletics, particularly the Charger football program. He served as a member of the Booster Club and fired the cannon at home games for many years.

“He was just a true fan,” Central varsity football coach Will Thomas said.

If the Chargers were not good during a given year, “he was the best cheerleader you’ve ever seen,” Thomas said. “When you were good, he was the first person to pat you on the back and to give the coaches and the kids all the credit.”

And his service to the school was hardly limited to high-profile activities.

“He literally would do anything he could to help, from cooking hot dogs for the kids to the simplest managerial task,” Owen said.

Thomas said, “George always wanted to know what could he do for us, what could he do for the program.”

And he did not like to miss any Central games.

“He would become upset when he did, and of course, declining health forced him to miss some, but he still got out (and) shot the cannon even this past season,” Owen said.

Ingram’s support for Charger sports was not limited to football.

“He came and watched softball games, basketball games,” Thomas said. “He was a Charger through and through.”

Thomas recalled his own playing days in the early 1990s, noting that Ingram was a consistent presence for Central even back then.

In addition to being a supporter of Central sports, Ingram served as both a coach and umpire of youth baseball and softball for years.

Thomas remembered being a teenager and umpiring with Ingram in the youth leagues.

“He was kind of a stalwart there, too,” Thomas said. “He used to be at every game.”

Thomas said with the impact that Ingram made and the presence he had in the community, you would think that “this guy must be a lifelong Lunenburger.”

“He was like a native son,” Thomas said.

Ingram came to the area after retiring from the U.S. Navy following a 40-year career that included him providing service in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and various other foreign conflicts across the globe.

“He was a great patriot,” Owen said. “He might be a little younger than the greatest generation, but I think he would qualify to fit in that description. He’s really going to be missed. A lot of kids are going to be affected by his loss.”

Services were held for Ingram on Tuesday at Meherrin Baptist Church.