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Friday, February 26, 2021

Top Stories > Notable Deaths

White Sulphur Springs ‘Mayor' left a lasting impression

Jan 11, 2021

By Fred Stabbert III - publisher

By: FRED STABBERT III | DEMOCRAT
When Jack Eggler's funeral procession drove through White Sulphur Springs on Friday, they stopped one last time at Eggler Automatic, so he could check on the town one last time.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - If you ever had the pleasure of visiting White Sulphur Springs you probably ran into Jack Eggler, long-time resident and businessman.
“He was the unofficial mayor of White Sulphur Springs,” The Rev. Bridgette LeConey said. “He kept an eye on things.”
Jack passed away last Monday at the age of 85, having left an imprint on the place he called home that families will remember for generations to come.
“He took care of the community,” one of his dear friends said.
“If you were a kid growing up in White Sulphur and needed a job, you went to Jack. He would always find something for you to do - painting or something else.”
With his trademark cigar clenched tightly in teeth, his ballcap on and dressed in his “greens” working clothes, ready for another day at Eggler Automatic, Jack's rough and tough exterior hid something that many in the community knew.
“He had a heart of gold, he was a softee,” Rev. LeConey said at his funeral on Friday afternoon.
And if you ever met Jack, he left an impression.
“I still remember the first time we met,” LeConey said. “I was putting letters in the sign in front of the United Methodist Church when Jack pulled up, on the wrong side of the road and said, ‘Let's go for a ride?'”
“I said, ‘Sure, just let me finish this,” LeConey laughed.
Well, after riding for about 15 minutes LeConey wondered where Jack was taking her.
“He was taking me to the airport for a ride in his plane,” she said. “And I had to pull the plane out of the hangar - I didn't know you could do that.”
Well, LeConey and Jack spent hours up in the air over Sullivan County and because she had no way of contacting her husband back at home, she had quite a story to tell when Jack finally brought her back to Earth.
But that was Jack, always welcoming new residents into town and making them feel at home.
Jack had a passion for flying and spent hours flying his friends around the county as well as being a member of the Civil Air Patrol.
“He affectionately called me ‘Dogooder,'” LeConey said.
And Jack always had a soft spot for his community.
Residents could often spot him mowing the grass in town around his pond, along the road and other places.
“I think he mowed a lot that wasn't his,” his sister Joyce Teed laughed. “And sometimes you were almost scared to ask Jack for help, because he always did more than you needed.”
She recalled the time she needed a little gravel to put her kayak on next to her house.
She went over and asked Jack if it would be alright to take a couple pailfuls of gravel from the pile in front of his business.
“The next thing you knew, Jack was bringing over his tractor loaded with gravel and dumping it next to my house - three times,” she laughed. “And he brought more the next day.”
But that was Jack, always there when you needed him.
His large family, including wife Nancy, rejoiced in LeConey's eulogy, shaking their heads in agreement at her many first-hand accounts of Jack's exploits and laughing out loud when she told stories that even Jack would have enjoyed.
As the community paid tribute to Jack on Friday, his funeral procession from Harris Funeral Home in Liberty to Laurel Hill Cemetery in White Sulphur Springs included an Eggler Automatic flatbed, a Sullivan County Sheriff's patrol car, a White Sulphur Springs firetruck in honor of their long-time member and Jack's pick-up truck bringing up the rear.
When the procession hit White Sulphur, they paused in front of Eggler Automatic, giving Jack one last chance to ‘Check things out,' and then the WSS firemen sounded their alarm - a last call to a dedicated community volunteer.

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