Obituary for Edward Cain, Sr.
Edward Eugene Cain, Sr., was born on February 16, 1934, the second of four boys born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Grant William and Willa Mae Cain. He departed this life on Tuesday evening, August 29, 2017 in San Diego, California surrounded by his loving family, holding him in their arms until his last breath.
Ed's parents instilled strong Christian values in their children and as a result of his parent’s commitment, Ed spent a good amount of time in the church growing up. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior later on in life and rededicated his life to Christ just a few years ago.
Ed grew up in Coffeyville, Kansas where he completed his formal education. After finishing Coffeyville Junior College, he was awarded a basketball scholarship to Pittsburgh State University, where he earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Education. he He was an outstanding basketball player in high school and a superstar in college. While at Pittsburg State. Ed earned First-team All Central Intercollegiate Conference (CIC) honors as a senior in 1956, helping Pittsburg State to a 27-2 record and a third place finish at the NAIA National Tournament. Following college, Ed was able to complete his first year of teaching but it wasn't easy. The Marine Corps needed a few good men and Ed was high on their list. He received his draft notice shortly after school started and each month he had to file determent papers to finish the school year. Parents and students helped by launching a letter writing campaign on his behalf. He spent two years in the Marine Corps 1957 to 1959 and was a prominent basketball player for MCRD receiving the nickname Ed "Sugar" Cain.
Ed started his teaching and officiating careers upon leaving the service and several years later completed his Master’s Degree in Education. He spent four decades as a teacher and administrator (serving as a school principal at various schools throughout San Diego) before retiring in 1991. He did not however, retire from life!! He loved golf and played as often as possible with a wonderful foursome of men who were not only friends but strong competitors. He also joined the Senior La Mesa Softball League to keep in shape and to join a fraternity of senior warriors who battled it out daily on the baseball diamond. He truly was an all around athlete and sportsman.
Ed served 25 years in the San Diego County Basketball Officials Association and was inducted into the San Diego Sports Officials Hall of Fame in September 2007. The last five years of his career he officiated at the Junior College and College levels and donated many hours of officiating to the Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA and many other community groups. He served on the San Diego County Basketball Officials Association and also served as President. For many years he was rated the #1 basketball official in the association. In 1978 Ed was recruited by the NBA to be an official for the league. With his busy career he turned them down but officiated every college and basketball game from the sidelines of his recliner for the rest of his days.
In 2015 Pittsburg State inducted Ed into their Athletics Hall of Fame Program. A star player Cain scored 426 points during his senior season averaging 14.7 points per game. The Coffeyville native scored 656 points in 53 games for the Gorillas, averaging 12.4 points per game during his 2 year career. The entire 1956 team was also inducted into the hall of fame this past October 2016. Ed was truly honored to play with such an outstanding group of individuals and his lifelong friend and college roommate Bruce Palmer stood tallest amongst the team.
Ed was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and was active in their "Guide Right" Program which was designed to help young adults in the community.
You could not find a more generous spirit as Ed welcomed everyone into his orbit. He was financially devoted to many who needed help. People were easily drawn to him because of his selflessness and winning ways. He was a kind and gentle man with an easy laugh and an elegant stride. One who could walk with kings nor loose the common touch.
After a lengthy illness, Ed was called home on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. He leaves to cherish his memories, a loving and devoted daughter, Staci Lynn Cain, Los Angeles, CA; two sons, Edward Eugene Cain, Jr., and Courtney Rene Cain, both of San Diego, CA; three grandchildren: Courtney Rene Cain, Jr., D'Andra Cain, Audrea Cain; two great grandchildren: Marli Celine Cain and Preston Cain; Three brothers: Raymond Cain, Kansas City, MO, Graham Cain, Wichita, KS; and Robert Cain, Palm Springs, CA; Nancy Johnson Nieces and nephews: Dwight Cain, Wanda Cain, Raymond Cain, Cynthia Motley, Rita Long Bradley, Carla Bush, Karen Wilkinson, Mark Cain, Grant William Cain (Billy) , Kellie Cain, Mike Cain and Grant Cain, Jr., plus a host of relatives and friends.