In Memory

Philip H. Claxton (Teacher And Athletic Director)


Date: February 17. 19R3

HOMESTEAD PARK, Fla. - Philip H. Claxton, formerly of Needham, Mass., and a teacher and athletic director at Needham High School from 1929 until 1969 died of a head injury Sunday falling from a ladder. . He was 78.

A graduate of East Stroudsburg State College, East Stroudsburg. Pa., in 1928, Mr. Claxton was head coach in Needham of football, basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, hockey, baseball and track. He also had taught at Quincy High School.

In 1980, Mr. Claxton was inducted into the East Stroudsburg State Teachers

College Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1966, the athletic field on Central Avenue in Needham was dedicated in his name.

A member of many organizations, he also was a past president of the Massachusetts State Physical Education Assn., the Massachusetts State Coaches Assn. and the Athletic Directors Assn.

He also had been a district director of Little League and was a past president of the Pee Wee Football League, the Lions Club of Needham and the Needham Exchange Club. He was a US Navy lieutenant commander in World War II and was a past commander of American Legion Post 14, Needham.

He leaves his wife, Lorraine (Burlingame); a son, Philip H. Jr. of Cherry Hill, N.J.; a daughter, Janet C. Costanzo of Schaumburg. Ill.; and five grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Eaton Funeral Home, Highland Avenue, Needham. Burial will be at Needham Cemetery. Needham.

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08/04/15 01:53 PM #1    

Paul Fontecchio '68


After I took first place in the Massachusetts State Gymnastics Final in my junior year, I was invited to compete in the Eastern U.S. Championships at Temple University.  As the Massachusetts Boys Gymnastics Chairman notified Mr. Claxton, his immediate response was "Don't worry, we will be there."  At his own expense, Mr.Claxton picked me up in his car and drove me to Philadelphia to compete in the Eastern Championships.  He put me up at a hotel and paid for all my expenses.  At the time, I never appreciated Mr. Claxton until I got older and realized how dedicated he was to Needham High School sports and all Needham children.   And of course what he did for me.    All I can say now is "Thank you Mr.Claxton, you'll never be forgotten."

08/05/15 06:56 PM #2    

Glenn Merkel

I grew up two on Tower Ave, two houses up from Mr Claxton's Lindburgh Ave, house.  From time to time, I would mow his lawn, and shovel his driveway.  He could never remember my name, and always hailed me when he saw me as "boy".  I believe that his wife past away a few years ago at almost 100 years old.  He died from a fall from a ladder, helping one of his Florida neighbors clean their gutters.  He was dedicated to Needham sports, and started many of Needham's youth sports programs.

08/05/15 09:49 PM #3    

Peter Faga

Anybody that played little league will remember Mills Field which was under Mr.Claxton's supervision. The ball field abutted my backyard and I always remembered him constantly making sure the field was in top condition. There was a plaque placed there with a Rooster of the Needham Team that made it to the Little Leauge World Series Circa mid 50's


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