The life of Warren Eugene Hall was honored on Friday at the Hendrix Park gym, a fitting location for the avid basketball player and sports fan who drowned Nov. 21 while rescuing a girl and her dog from a pond.
In life, Hall spoke often of unity. In his death, he brought people from different backgrounds and races, from all walks of life, together to honor the man who had an impact on their lives. The service also brought together Hall’s two families — the family into which he was born and the family he made in his church and community. The love and respect each group had for Hall and their shared loss was evident.
A theme woven throughout the service was that Hall had lived life to the fullest. He was a devout Christian and seemed to have never missed an opportunity to share God’s love, whether at work, at worship or at play.
His life was not about perfection, however, but redemption.
His mother called him a gift, but acknowledged that his younger years were difficult, his behavior often rebellious. His cousin recalled that they often got in trouble together at school. But both recognized that Hall turned his life around and that his last years were spent in joy and encouragement to others.
Hall made mistakes, one of them cost him time in prison. His own conscience burdened, he had turned himself in to the authorities.
By all accounts, he left prison a changed man. Determined to live a life of purpose, to live the scripture that he loved, and to convert any confused soul who was not a fan of Georgia’s sports teams.
It’s clear from the words of those who were close to Hall that though he had a wisdom that exceeded his years, he also had a sense of humor and a zest for life. He sang, though not well. He added peanut butter to his oatmeal cream pies. He was honest enough to tell his mother that while her macaroni and cheese was the best, her sweet potato pie came in second to grandmother’s. And when it came to trash talking or basketball, he could hold his own.
"My brother was an awesome man," his sister, Dominique Merriweather, said. "He was hard headed, but awesome.
"For those that may not know," she continued "… I want to make sure I talk a little about how he passed on and went to be with the Lord. He did it saving lives. He was always trying to save somebody’s life, which is a great thing…
Hall’s final act in life, that last selfless deed, served as an exclamation point to a concept that he not only professed, but lived everyday — "I give myself away, so you (God) can use me."