Ohio Restaurateur and Education Proponent Bob Evans Eulogized at ARC Summer Meeting
WASHINGTON, August 3, 2007—Noted Ohio restaurateur and education proponent Bob Evans, who died on June 21 in Cleveland, Ohio, was honored by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) at its summer meeting in Florence, Alabama, on July 26, 2007. ARC Ohio state alternate Fred Deel introduced a motion that recognized Evans's dynamic and unswerving support for the Appalachian Higher Education Network, honored him as a champion of Appalachian youth, and extended its condolences and respects to his wife and children. The motion was passed unanimously by the Commission.
In remarks introducing the motion, Deel noted that there was much more to Evans' accomplishments than his successful restaurants. "In Appalachia, we remember him as much for his interest in education as in good food," Deel said. "The model for ARC's higher education centers, the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE), was founded in 1993 at his suggestion when he was a member of the Ohio Board of Regents. He was determined to improve educational opportunities for the young people of Appalachia and did something about it. That was his way."
Not only was Evans instrumental in the creation of OACHE, but his generous personal contribution of $150,000 to the West Virginia Access Center for Higher Education enabled the center to weather a financial crisis and continue its work.
In expressing her wholehearted support for the motion by Deel, ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope called Evans "a great man and a visionary and one of the great Appalachians."
The original Bob Evans restaurant, a 12-stool truck stop, opened in 1962 at a farm near Gallipolis, about 80 miles southeast of Columbus. From that modest beginning, with an eye on quality and customer service, Evans built his company into the well-known restaurant chain and food-products supplier it is today.