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Homeless Veteran Who Died Of Hypothermia Remembered

Brian Bull

Friends, officials, and homeless advocates gathered to honor the memory of Thomas Egan today, at the site of his death roughly eight years ago.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the veteran’s legacy lives on through a warming shelter service in his name.  

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Representatives of Springfield VFW Post #3965.

People clustered under tents and umbrellas at the end of Blair Boulevard, where Egan – a former Army major – died in the freezing cold on December 18th, 2008.  He was 60.  

Credit SVDP.US website
Thomas Egan, while with the U.S. Army.

Shelley Corteville laid a wreath where Egan’s body was found.  She’s Director of the Egan Warming Center. 

Given the recent ice storm and outages across Eugene, demand has been huge.

“We opened up eight Egan Warming Center sites during this last week," says Corteville.  "The first night it was around 265 people, the last night it was over 400. 

"Takes easily 400 volunteers to open up those eight sites, 400 volunteers every night.” 

The Egan Warming Centers are operated by St. Vincent de Paul.  They run through March 31st, and open when temperatures drop below 30 degrees.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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