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Charles Homer Spain

Retired educator and insurance salesman Charles Homer Spain, 78, of Paris died Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006, at Paris Healthcare Center.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at McEvoy Funeral Home.

The Rev. Paul Veazey and The Rev. Jerry Massey and Charles Orr will officiate. Burial will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery.

Chosen as pallbearers are Rob Nichols, Jim Cook, William Atchison, Danny Sensing, Terry Baggott and Lemuel Muzzell.

Honorary pallbearers will be men who took part in the Grove High School basketball program from 1953-1962, when Spain was head coach, members of the Rotary Club and the Men’s Bible class at First Baptist Church and fellow associates in the insurance business.

Visitation will be after 11 a.m. Saturday.

Born June 3, 1928, in Clarksburg, he was the son of Charles Benton Spain and Effie May Waugh Spain, both now deceased.

Spain was a member of First Baptist Church, its men’s Bible class and the Rotary Club.

He was former head basketball coach, teacher and assistant principal at Grove High School, formerly of Paris, and worked for more than 30 years in the life insurance business, where he was a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Spain was a graduate of Union University in Jackson. He held a master’s degree in education administration from Murray State University and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Memphis.

He leaves one son: Ricky Allen Spain of Memphis; and a sister: Aileen Perry of Florida.
November 9, 2006


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Homer Spain excelled as player, coach and salesman

Charles Homer Spain, who died Wednesday in Paris, enjoyed a sports Hall of Fame career as a basketball player and coach and was rewarded for his sales in a long insurance career.

A Carroll County native, Spain, 78, was born in Clarksburg, where he graduated from high school.

At Clarksburg High School, he lettered four years in basketball, was named All-District four years and was named All-West Tennessee his senior year.

He received a scholarship to attend Union University in Jackson. He was chosen all-conference three times and led his team in scoring twice while at Union.

During his career there, he scored 1,652 points over four years, including a then-school record for most points in a single season.

Following his senior season, the university awarded him the Fred DeLay Trophy as the school’s outstanding athlete. He also was chosen to an All-American team that season.

After his college career, Spain was drafted by the National Basketball Association’s Minneapolis Lakers, now the Los Angeles Lakers, and remains the only basketball player at Union to hold the distinction of being drafted by a professional team.

Union honored Spain by retiring his number in 1999 and inducting him into the first Union Athletic Hall of Fame on November 2.

Spain came to Grove High School, formerly of Paris, in January 1953 and remained until 1962. During his 8-1/2 years as head basketball coach, his teams posted a record of 162-72, winning five Lake Conference championships, four district championships and two region titles.

His 1956 and 1958 teams advanced to the state tournament as one of the final 16 teams.

In addition to the Union Hall of Fame, Spain was inducted into the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Coaches Arena Hall of Fame at Grove School in 2004.

Spain ended his coaching career to become an insurance salesman.

He qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table seven consecutive years for selling more than $1 million of permanent life insurance, according to his Hall of Fame biography, published in the April 15, 1998 Post-Intelligencer.

The story also related that he held the titles of agent, divisional manager, regional director, vice president and training school director in his career.

In the community, Spain was a charter member of the Optimist Club and one-time member of the Paris Lions Club.
November 9, 2006


In more than his height, Spain was a large man

Player, coach, agent was larger than life

Charles Homer Spain was a gentle giant among men.

In college basketball, he was a big man in the days before big men became common. He set scoring records at Union University in Jackson and became that school's only player to be drafted by the professional National Basketball Association.

He was chosen to no less than four athletic halls of fame. In eight and a half years as boys' basketball coach at Grove High School here, his teams won 11 conference, district and regional championships.

After coaching, he became a big man in the insurance business here. In seven of his more than 30 years in the business, he qualified for the
Million Dollar Round Table award by selling more than a million dollars worth of permanent life insurance.

Distinguished by courtly manners and soft speech, he was known for acts of personal kindness and generosity. In a variety of ways, Spain stood
tall among men.
November 10, 2006


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Reprinted  from  The   Paris  Post-Intelligencer
Paris, Tennessee
Used by permission