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Emanuel Wright Bego Sr.

EMANUEL WRIGHT BEGO, SR., was born on August 2, 1939. He departed this life on June 11, 2020. He was the sixth of ten children born to Florence and Mary Bego, of Widen, W.Va. Virginia. In his early years, he became a Golden Gloves Champion in the state of West Virginia.

In 1953, Emanuel was forced to leave Widen, W.Va., due to the segregated school system. In the fall of 1954, Emanuel returned and was the first to integrate Widen High School. Emanuel also integrated the Widen High School football team. In 1957, for the first time in Widen High School history, Emanuel became the first African American basketball captain and first African American to crown the Miss Widen High School prom queen.

In 1965, Emanuel began a 55-year career in sales in the cemetery business. By 1980 he became the first African American Cemetery Director in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area.

During the winter months of 1966, Emanuel met and fell in love with Catherine Boddie. From this union, three children were born, Emmanuel, Jr., Sonja and Orlando.

Emanuel, a distinguished dresser, was known for his sharp pool skills that he learned at local pool halls in West Virginia and further developed in Washington, D.C., as a local legend.

Emanuel developed the plans for the construction of The Allen House Senior Apartments in Washington, D.C. Emanuel was known for his quick wit, his storytelling, and his quiet yet compassionate spirit.

Emanuel was preceded in death by his parents, Florence and Mary Bego; his daughter, Sonja; four brothers, Paul, Frank, Joseph, Tony.

He leaves to cherish his memory, devoted wife, Catherine; sons, Emmanuel, Jr., Rev. Orlando (Ebony); daughter, Canzada (Garry); one brother, John Bego of St. Albans; four sisters, Ramona Saunders (Louis) of Suitland, Md., Shirley Jackson (Edward) of Washington, D.C., Cerita Watson (Henry) of St. Albans; Selena Hebert (Robert) of St. Albans; grandchildren, Lauren Bego, Marcus Kave, Alexis Bego, Lindsey Bego, Oshea Bego, Chloe Wiggins; great-grandchild, Marli Kave; Godson, Dion Reid and a host of relatives, friends and spiritual sons and daughters.