Our brother, Lonny Arrington – the man I affectionately called “Coach” – passed away yesterday after fighting a brave fight against cancer. Lonny taught religion and coached multiple sports in his 39-year career at Pacelli. When I was a kid at cross-town rival Brookstone, “Coach” was the leader of our archrival. He led some impressive teams and was a great competitor. We had Joe Sparks at Brookstone. Coach Sparks had a massive, generational impact on me and all the kids that played sports at Brookstone. I still tangibly feel the impact of Joe Sparks in my life and I know that Lonny Arrington had the same profound impact on generations of kids at Pacelli. Lonny was “every bit” of a Joe Sparks and Joe was “every bit” of a Lonny. Those men sacrificially poured their lives into kids to make them better men and women. At a small private school, he had to coach nearly every sport. He had some great basketball teams and coached baseball. His greatest success was as a girl’s softball coach. His teams won 8 region championships and made 12 state playoff appearances.
Lonny was a key member of our Manschool Tribe – always present, always encouraging and deeply touched by the power of our community. You need to know this — he LOVED Manschool and missed us terribly and was inspired to start a similar work at his new church in North Carolina. Sadly, cancer stopped that dream but Lonny is now in the Kingdom rejoicing for a life “well-lived”. We were blessed by his presence, missed his impact when he moved to NC and now hurt for our loss. A memorial for Lonny will be held at Christ Community sometime in July. Please remember Barbara and the family in your prayers.