Timothy Freeman Edgerton, 62, of Oakfield, went to rest at home Sunday night (May 7, 2023). Tim was born August 6th, 1960, in Batavia, son of the late Freeman and Dorothy (Landon) Edgerton. His ties to the Western NY area ran deep as the great-grandson of former Genesee County Sheriff Freeman Edgerton, and cousin to Hiram Haskell Edgerton, the 49th Mayor of Rochester, from 1908-1921.
In the late 1970s, there was only one competitive boxer left living in Batavia, and that was Tim Edgerton. There were still some boxers left in Batavia, but all had long since retired from the sport. Most had fought during Batavia’s Golden Era of boxing, the 1930s. The last public boxing ring had been dismantled in the 1950s or early 1960s. Not to be dissuaded, Tim studied old fights on tape, shadowboxing alongside the fighters, and training on a heavy bag hung up in his basement. His father even built him a boxing ring in the backyard of their home on Sunset Terrace. One of those former local prizefighters was Ken Pixley, who worked with Tim’s father at Chapin Manufacturing. After Pixley learned of Tim’s interest in boxing, he started working with him, training him. Once a month Tim's dad drove him to Buffalo to train with John Sudac at Singer's Gym.
He had a hard time getting his fellow High School students interested in boxing (he would eventually graduate from Byron-Bergen and is a member of the Byron-Bergen Hall of Fame). Friends and classmates would agree to a bout, but just once. Once was all it took, and they'd quickly lose their interest in boxing. Tim’s Uncle Norman had been a pretty good boxer in his local area (New Jersey) but was defeated in his three tries at a Golden Gloves title. Tim always thought maybe he could win the Golden Gloves title his uncle never did.
Tim graduated from Byron-Bergen and attended GCC for a year. He then transferred to Sam Houston State University in Texas, where he majored in Criminal Justice. In Texas, friends encouraged him to take up boxing once again. He started working out and training and when it came time for the Golden Gloves championship in Houston, he decided to enter.
He drove to the fight with his future wife, Lettie, who was also a Criminal Justice student at Sam Houston. He was unaffiliated and only had Lettie to work his corner. While he was signing up, he noticed a man watching him. The man asked him if he had a team with him. Tim said he didn't. The man said he represented the team from Cut and Shoot, Texas. They were a few boxers short for the team and if Tim joined their team, they could provide people. That way, Tim got help and if he scored any points, the Cut and Shoot team benefitted. That sounded like a fair deal to Tim. Then the man had another proposal. He asked him how he’d feel about fighting as a heavyweight. Tim clocked in at 174 lbs. Fighting as a heavyweight, Tim gave up at least 25 pounds to every fighter he faced. After winning the preliminary bouts, he went up against a man 45 pounds heavier in the finals.
Tim clinched the victory, and won his Golden Gloves title, and as a heavyweight! Those points also put the team from Cut and Shoot, Texas, over the top for a team championship.
Edgerton married Lettie and they moved away from Texas. He wanted to return home but couldn't immediately land a job in his field in Genesee County. He went to work for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, living in Detroit for a while. The two then moved to Canada for 10 years when Tim accepted a position as a Pre-flight Clearance Inspector, then later a Supervisory Inspector at the border, with Lettie working at the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto. During this time Tim would drive back and forth from Canada to Michigan while he pursued his master’s degree in Law Enforcement Administration at Michigan State University. In 1993, he developed Operation Child Intercept, which has been adopted nationwide, to combat the illicit transportation of missing and abducted children across the international borders into the U.S. Eventually, the job brought him back to the Buffalo- Batavia area.
Up until his retirement in 2016 he managed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Criminal Alien Program out of ICE's office in Batavia, dealing specifically with those that had come to the country illegally and then committed dangerous criminal acts. Throughout his career Tim strove to do what was right, not what was easy, and held himself to strict ethical standards. He traveled the world, frequenting Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, South America, and the Middle East while performing the duties of his job. He would always bring back cultural objects like musical instruments, hats, and artisan crafts, which he would then volunteer to bring into the local school to help educate the students about the wider world and promote empathy and greater understanding.
Tim served on the School Board for Oakfield-Alabama, where both of his daughters attended, for 15 years and was an advocate for student rights, improved school nutrition, and diversity and inclusion. He also served as President and a key member of the Elementary Community School Organization (ECSO) where he helped bring skating parties, winter carnivals, public speakers, and countless other special events to the students and larger community each year.
During his lifetime, Tim was also very involved with Limerock Speedway, and had been racing since he was a kid. His father was well known within Genesee County for his exceptional ability in building Open Wheel Sprint cars and high-performance racing engines. He is predeceased by his parents, and elder sister Linda Butler-Weddington, and survived by his loving wife of almost 41 years Lettie (Maria) Edgerton, daughters Kasey and Emily Edgerton, son-in-law Daniel Edgerton (Hull), sister Janet Edgerton, grand-nephew Ashton Chapa, whom they were raising, and beloved 5-month-old grandson Spencer Edgerton, along with many nieces and nephews. He was a devoted husband, father, uncle, and new grandfather (PeePaw), and the lives he touched are immeasurable. He will be greatly missed.
A true fighter to the end, Tim wanted everyone to know that he was “Never knocked down. Never knocked out.”
Please leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle at www.burdettandsanford.com.
Arrangements for Tim were entrusted to the Burdett and Sanford Funeral Home, Oakfield, (585) 948-5325.