Boxing champ Edward Berenbrok dies


A memorial service for Edward Victor Berenbrok Sr., a former champion welterweight boxer, will be at 7 tonight at the Howard K. McComas III Funeral Home in Abingdon.

Mr. Berenbrok, a retired General Motors maintenance worker, died Thursday at his home in Churchville after a short illness.

He had celebrated his 90th birthday a week ago.

During the 1920s, Mr. Berenbrok was known as a hard-hitting welterweight boxer and won 85 fights -- 65 of them by knockouts. In his first 53 bouts, he won 44 by knockout, 17 in the first round.

The late Roger Pippen, a sports editor for the old News American, called Mr. Berenbrok one of the hardest-hitting welterweights he had ever seen.

Many of Mr. Berenbrok's titles came while boxing in the Army, when he won consecutive welterweight titles from 1921 to 1923. The welterweight also won regional titles in the southern United States and on the West Coast.

Although his wife chose not to watch him fight, she would often go to his defense and call sportswriters if she thought they had written unkindly about him.

As his boxing career developed, Mr. Berenbrok became so concerned about sportswriters misspelling his name that he changed it to Eddie Burnbrook to make it easier for them, a family member said. Many of the newspaper articles on his title bouts refer to him by the phonetic spelling.

In 1974, Mr. Berenbrok was inducted into the Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame.

He was also an excellent football player and in 1921 was halfback for an Army all-Maryland team coached by then-Capt. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a family member said. He retired from boxing in 1930 to devote time to his family.

Mr. Berenbrok retired from General Motors in 1974.

In recent years, he spent his time doing wood carving and working in his garden.

His wife of 55 years, the former Mildred A. Rawlingson, died about 10 years ago.

Survivors include three sons, Edward Victor Berenbrok Jr. of Aberdeen, Bronson B. Berenbrok of Essex and Gerald Keith Berenbrok of Columbia, S.C.; three daughters, Edith M. Trovinger of Key West, Fla., Dorothy M. Stuprich of Churchville and Margaret K. Mekinski of Bel Air; seven grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

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