Paul Richard Peter Eggert, 66, of Birmingham, Alabama passed away on July 18, 2014 at his home after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Paul and his beloved wife Diane moved to the Birmingham area from Maryland, where they had lived for 31 years.
Paul was born on June 26, 1948 in Rochester, New York to Clarence and Helen Eggert. He grew up on Maplehurst Avenue and his family likens the street to heaven. His idyllic neighborhood was full of laughter and good times, and he could hear the zoo animals from his bedroom window. He went to Irondequoit High School and was most known for his red hair, big grin, sense of humor, and pitching no-hitters. Baseball was his passion and he lived his life a Boston Red Sox fan, being most proud of his Uncle Elmer "Mose" Eggert's time with the team. To know Paul was to hear a good baseball story or be told of his days working at Wegman's grocery store. There's even a rumor that he named his first born after a cashier at the Wegman's in Rochester. His daughter sometimes cherishes that story.
Paul attended Bowling Green University on a baseball scholarship and that is where he met the love of his life, Diane. Being one of seven children, Diane never got anything new or firsthand. Paul remedied that by purchasing her first ever new winter coat. That is the way it has gone for their almost 44 year marriage. Paul has always been proud of his time in the Navy and his long career at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He was instrumental in many plant pest eradication programs and in negotiating the trade of some of everyone's favorite fruits and vegetables. A proud day for him was delivering newly imported Indian mangoes to his neighbors who had so missed their favorite fruit from their homeland.
Paul's two children, Karen and Rob, have always been his pride and joy, and he spent years coaching their sports teams, entertaining their friends, and ensuring their futures. Paul will always be remembered as the coach who let everyone play. Girls on his softball team still talk about his fairness, enthusiasm, and laughter. His son's friends remember that he never ratted them out, keeping their secrets and antics to himself, and sometimes encouraging them.
Paul is survived by his brother David Eggert, his wife Diane, his children Rob Eggert (Stephanie), and daughter Karen Templeton (Brian). Paul was Gramps to his grandchildren, or his flowers as he called them. J.D., Sydney, Cora, and Silas were all a significant part of Paul's care in the last months of his life. All four of them bounced around the house and yard keeping him smiling even in the roughest of times. They will always be told the story of how they helped heal broken hearts. Paul is also survived by four of Diane's seven siblings, and was especially grateful to his sister-in-laws Leigh Ann Barber and Stevie Pizer and aunt Martha Hawkins for all the care they provided in his final months.
The memorial service will be held on Wednesday, July 23 at Ridout's Valley Chapel Funeral Home in Homewood, Alabama at 11 a.m. with a visitation beginning at 10 a.m. A military burial will follow at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo. For those planning on attending the service, please know that Paul will be in his favorite Hawaiian shirt, so feel free to ditch the tie and come comfortable.
Paul left with three requests: for his children to clean the garage and make sure his wife purchased a new car when it was time, and to also help further pancreatic cancer research so that others would not have to suffer. His kindness and genuine love for others has been shared around the world through his many travels and will continue. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network can be made on his personal memorial page at https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/karen-templeton/KeeptheMemoryAlive.
The family would like to thank the loving professionals at UAB and Gentiva Hospice, especially Jackie Angelos, Reita Mason, and Theresa Rose Harris.