Paige’s Legacy

This week Zach and I sat and reflected on Paige’s life in preparation of her eulogy. How do you summarize the incredible life of such an incredible and irreplaceable sister and friend? We did the only thing we knew how…went back to the beginning and retraced her footprints. I hope you’ll enjoy the read and be inspired by her life well-lived.

One thing I know to be true this week as that a life lived walking with Jesus will outlive you. Although her life here on earth is finished, the legacy she left behind will live on through all the lives she touched.

Paige’s Eulogy

As I reflected over the past few days on what I would say to honor my sister, Paige, I randomly inquired of a few friends and family members as to “What things come to mind when you think about Paige?”

There were many common words that were used to describe her that were mentioned by most everyone. Beautiful, infectious smile, hard-working, genuine, gracious, forgiving, loving, excellent teacher and coach, fierce competitor, mentor, dependable/trustworthy, witty, faithful (led me to the LORD).

Some may think that my sister’s legacy will be for her prowess as a dominant softball player. Others may remember her most for proving that first love truly can last. Still others will hold her in their hearts as an inspiring teacher and mentor. And 2 boys in this room will always remember her as the one that loved them the most, their biggest supporter, and their hero. To her 9 nieces and nephews, she was “Aunt Paige” whom they all looked up to as a role model. Over the last 2 years, multitudes of people who may have never known my sister, got a glimpse of her persevering spirit in the face of adversity as she fought to win against this terrible disease.

Most people would attribute the start of my sister’s softball career to my dad, Charlie, but soon after she started playing as a 6 year old on her first organized team, she came to my mom, Joyce, and said “I want to pitch.” So, my mom began working with her as best she knew how and soon after she pitched her first game (in which my dad was not there because he was out farming), she dominated and from that point forward, she was dad’s!

My first memories of my sister are of she and my dad down behind our house in front of our barn, pitching and honing her craft. This almost daily routine continued throughout her Dixie Girls days until she became a Lady Charger playing for the great Coach Martha Lawler. Her longstanding softball career opened the door to many close lifelong friendships and sisterhood all along the way through college. Friends that continued to support her, and love her and our family, even through her illness.

When we weren’t playing baseball, JC and I lived with our family at the softball fields with too many memories to count, watching and supporting “9-ER” and traveling with our family in the Blue Mini-Van to watch her play. One of my fondest softball memories is traveling to Brunswick, Georgia with my family and the TN State Champs to watch her play in the Dixie Girls World Series.

The time we spent together as a family through all these fun times developed a bond that held us all together as a close-knit family throughout her illness and even to this day. Her faith in Christ was developed as we attended church together as a family, primarily at Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, where her Christian character was developed, and God molded her into the most loving daughter and sister you could ask for. Her faith in the LORD sustained her over the last 8 years of life without my dad, whom she dearly adored.

Later in her life, Calvary Baptist would be where she married her childhood sweetheart, Bradley. It’s rare in life to find true love in the 8 th grade, but my sister did. November 16, 1988 – Brad got his buddy Shane Coats to ask Paige to be his girlfriend while she was at the water fountain during cheer practice. Brad walked by, got embarrassed, and went into the gym for basketball practice. Shane ran in the gym to excitedly inform Brad that she said “Yes”, and the rest is history. I really can’t recall a time in my life growing up when Brad wasn’t around. Their love continued to grow and blossom.

Paige became a loving and cherished daughter to the Warmaths, and our two families grew into one united by Paige and Brad’s love. We all remember the day they were married, and it rained like crazy all day for an outside wedding. But even changing venues at the last minute and moving into the church couldn’t take away the joy and celebration of that day. Everyone there knew that day was special because of the 2 people that were committing to be together for their entire lives. Just a few years later, we were so excited to welcome Griffin Tyler into the world to be followed a few years after that by Holden Drew.

Their family too then continued mutual family traditions of building bonds and making lifelong memories and more friends and extended family through the boys’ baseball teams. They’ve been all over the country together as a family playing baseball in places like Cooperstown, NY where Brad coached the boys and Paige was their biggest cheerleader.

It culminated 2 years ago when amid a family crisis for both Brad and Paige, the family persevered and Paige was able to cheer Brad and Ty on to a TN State Baseball Championship! Prior to that, Paige displayed her true love and loyalty to Brad by never leaving his side when he had a medical emergency himself that almost took his life.

To us, it was heart wrenching to witness them being separated as she began her
own battle with Glioblastoma. Brad in turn proved his true love and loyalty to Paige by begging the doctors to let him leave the hospital to go check on his ill wife when he himself was in no shape to be leaving the care he was receiving.

Anyone who was at Methodist Central that day when the two were reunited in wheelchairs, will never forget the display and emotions of unconditional and enduring love during the darkest of days. Our favorite movies and novels pale in comparison to the unwavering love and commitment they showed. His overwhelming desire to take care of Paige was his motivation to get stronger every day and be there for Paige just like she had
been for him. If that’s not a true picture of God’s design for love and marriage, I don’t know what is!

It seems like Paige knew exactly what she wanted out of life from a very early age. That included becoming an educator, coach, and mentor. Mom said from a very early age she loved to play school and teach those around her, included my brother and me. That led her to pursue a secondary education degree at UT Martin followed by a 20-year teaching career at Covington High School. Her co-workers became like close friends and extended
family to her, and she earned the respect and trust that allowed her to inspire the next generation to pursue and achieve their dreams. She was active in leading and supporting more clubs and organizations than I can count at CHS, making a lasting mark on each one.

Paige saw God’s unique gifts and talents in her students and encouraged them to pursue interests and careers that utilized those gifts. One of her co-workers commented that
she was CHS and did everything with perfection. She gave selflessly of her time and talents and asked for very little in return, except for the occasional large coffee from McDonalds with 8 creams and 8 sugars!

Almost 2 years ago life threw Paige the nastiest “rise” ball she had ever faced when she was diagnosed with a dreadful brain tumor while she was at Brad’s side during his own health battle. She faced this battle as she has every challenge that has come her way – with bravery, perseverance, and determination to beat this formidable
foe. And she did so with grace and the love and devotion of our family (both literal and extended from all these facets of her life), friends, and our entire community at her side and behind her pushing her towards recovery.

The desire of her heart was to live to see her boys grow up and have families of their own and that fighting spirit drove her along the journey. From the start of her illness until Monday afternoon when she drew her last breath on earth, our precious servant-hearted mother, and Brad faithfully supported and cared for Paige. All along the journey,
God’s provision and faithfulness was evident, from the doctors and medical teams he led us to at West Clinic and Duke, to the overwhelming love and moral and financial support they received from our community.

It’s very easy for all of us to fall into despair and think that this is not the way Paige’s story was supposed to end. But in faith, we believe that this is not the end of her story. As the Apostle Paul stated in the book of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”” “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (V53-57).

Paige is the ultimate winner because she put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior and was ushered into His glorious presence in eternity surrounded by our family and a great cloud of witnesses. What I take away from Paige and her life well lived is exactly what you saw in her – a true team player and leader who loved big, inspired many, possessed great faith in her LORD and her family, was loyal and persevered to the very end, and did everything she set out to accomplish with excellence. She was the best big sister a guy could ask for, and I cannot wait to see her again one day soon and play catch with her and dad! I’ll love you forever, Paige!

-Zach (and Emily) Cook


  1. Wanda carver. Ferrer says:

    This is so so Beautiful. It has. Touched my Heart. What Beautiful Lady she was And so. Loved. Zach and Emily y’all. Are. Great Love and. Prayers. To you all. And. Family love you so so much. Aunt. Wanda. Carver. Ferrer 🙏🙏🙏🧎‍♀️💕❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherry Stegall says:

    This touched my heart. She was such a beautiful, loving, sweet lady. Her faith was so strong and she is with God now and he will take care of her. May God bless all of you .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Felisha says:

    I did not know her personally but she was a sister in Christ! She left a beautiful legacy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dana Naifeh says:

    Such a truly wonderful tribute for such an amazing person, daughter, sister, mother, wife, teammate, teacher and friend! She was the first teacher Oney connected with after transferring to Covington High. 💙 Love and prayers to you all! She will be missed! 🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Staci leanox says:

    She will. Be missed terribly and prayers for the family

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have loved her since her birth! We had many fun days together. I remember when her brother JC was born and he was rather colicky! She said one day “can we just send him back!” Then when my granddaughter transferred to CHS she took her under her wing. Aubree told me “Ms Warmath held my hand while they were attending the Pole service!” This touched her heart and mine too.
    I’ll always love you Paigey. Look for my Jerri Lynne in heaven! Two of the prettiest angels there!!
    Love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carolyn Murray says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful expression of love and tribute to Paige and her life. I am sorry we were not in attendance at the funeral home. We take care of my 94+ year old mother and are doing our best to avoid crowds and COVID. Please let Joyce know why we were not there. You all have been in my prayers and will continue to be. May God comfort you with memories of Paige and her live of service.


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