Obituary of Ammon George Robert Barksdale Sr.
Ammon George Robert Barksdale Sr, 86, of Monmouth Junction passed away peacefully on November 14, 2020. Ammon was born and raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania and moved to Monmouth Junction in 1972 with his wife June.
While attending Norristown High School, he was a member of the Drama Club, Varsity Football, Basketball and Track and Field Teams. During his Junior and Senior years, he was selected to the All American High School Track team for high jump. Jumping a height of 6’4, he set a Pennsylvania state record which was the second highest in the country.
In 1953, Ammon entered Morgan State University on an athletic scholarship. During his freshman year, he was on the football, basketball and track teams. In fact, Ammon had the distinction of being one of the few Morganites to receive three varsity letters in one year. However, track was his specialty and a series of contests proved him to be one of the five best high jumpers in the world.
Ammon represented the United States in track and field competitions in several countries - including England, Norway, Sweden and France. At one time during his career, he held every major track record on the East Coast including the Melrose Games, New York Athletic Club Meets, Pennsylvania Relay Games and the Mid-Atlantic Championships where he jumped 6-11 ¾ utilizing his “barky roll" style of jumping making Ammon the first person in the world to jump over the bar backwards. While attending Morgan, he became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He graduated Morgan State in 1957 and in 1974, Ammon was inducted into their Hall of Fame.
Ammon did a tour of duty in the Armed Forces from 1959-1963, stationed in Korea as a morse code operator. In 1963, Ammon was one of ten individuals selected by the Skillsbank Program of the National Urban League to become the first black salesmen to work in major corporations throughout the United States. Joining Colgate Palmolive Company as a Sales Representative in the Philadelphia area, he was promoted to Area Sales Manager within the New York Metropolitan area in 1967. In 1972, he joined AH Robins Pharmaceutical Company as the Northeast Regional Sales Manager responsible for the sales force covering Maine to Virginia. In 1986, Ammon became the Corporate Sales Manager for Optyl Eyewear where he remained until retirement.
Once retired, he committed himself to the Morgan State University M Club as national fundraiser for eight years raising over $131,000. He was also an active member of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church serving in many functions.
Ammon received countless awards and recognition throughout his lifetime, but more importantly, Ammon was loved, admired and revered. He never met an enemy. He greeted all with “Sugarfoots or Homeboy” with a smile and a laugh that consumed the room. A proud man of strength and deep faith, he was a father figure and role model to many. The memories of him run deep and his story will be told for generations to come.
Ammon is survived by his wife June of 55 years, their three children; Ammon Jr and wife Lisa, Talayia and husband George and Millicent and husband Alexis. They are also blessed with eight grandchildren who had the honor of calling him Pop Pop; Desiree, Taylor, Morgan, Maison, George, Bryce, Shelby and Aedan. He is also survived by his sister Theresa Walker and many more nieces, nephews, cousins and lifelong friends.
Visitation is on Thursday, November 19, 2020 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM at the Mather Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave, Princeton, NJ 08542. Visitations are limited to 30 people due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Burial services will be held at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, 830 Highland Road, Newtown, PA 18940 at 2:30 PM on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the place that played a significant role in making him the man he was, Morgan State University. Donations in his honor can be made to Morgan State Athletics here.
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