When East Central College President Jon Bauer remembers his longtime friend and colleague Boyd Eversole, he said one word came to his mind: fundamental. As the first dean and longtime trustee of the college board, Eversole was instrumental in building a strong foundation on which the college was able and continued to grow, Bauer said. This is one of many examples of Eversole’s impact in Union and throughout Franklin County, who mourns him after his death on September 24 at the age of 84.
“Because of its role in establishing and developing our academic programs, think of the number of people who have participated in it over the years and think of the number of those people who continue to live and contribute to our community,” Bauer said. “When you think about how her impact has been felt in the community, it’s amazing.”
Eversole began as the dean of academic affairs for the newly formed ECC in 1969, when the school had 474 students attending classes in the rented city auditorium and churches in the area. He held this position for almost 20 years, recruiting teachers and expanding the school’s supply and reach in the county. The school recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 and welcomed more than 2,600 students this fall.
“He was instrumental in making this dream of a community college come true,” said Bauer. “(At first) he was writing on a blank slate. His main goal has always been for the college to continue to grow and be successful, and he was very proud to see how this has turned out over the years.
After his retirement as dean in 1988, Eversole continued to serve on the school’s board of trustees until 1998. He also served on the board of trustees of Mercy Hospital Washington for nearly 40 years, even before that the hospital is not bought by Mercy.
Dr Thomas Riechers remembers Eversole as having a big smile, a big laugh, and considerate demeanor at board meetings.
“You could tell he had thought about what he was going to say,” Riechers said. “He always considered his words. “
Riechers said Eversole has always been a peacemaker and encouraged partnership and cooperation between the hospital and Patients First before the two merged. He also advocated for the hospital as something that could strengthen the entire community of Franklin County and neighboring counties.
“He was from that generation who was very involved in volunteering and wanted to leave our community better than they found it,” said Riechers. “In his efforts at the hospital, with East Central College, with Union, he always tried to build himself up and improve it for the future.”
Eversole was originally from the Clinton area and grew up on a Lowry City farm with his parents and two brothers. He received a master’s degree in biology from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg and studied education at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri.
After retiring from ECC, Eversole started and operated a family insurance agency for almost 30 years with her daughter, Joanna Eiermann. She, along with her two sons, Timothy and Jason Eversole; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren, survive him.