Edward Henry Easterling, 57, of Auxvasse, died at 5:20 p.m., Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 11, at the First Christian Church with Rev. David Nash officiating. Visitation will be Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the First Christian Church. Pickering Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Edward was born August 13, 1956, in Mullins, S.C., and grew up in Hartsville, S.C., a son of Samuel Edward Easterling, Jr. and Ella May (Walters) Easterling. On June 8, 1986, he married Lori L. Osbourn on the family farm in Monroe City, MO.
Along with his wife Lori, survivors include two sons, Schuyler and Ralls Easterling of Auxvasse; and one sister, Elizabeth Easterling Carnes and husband Tony of Hartsville, S.C.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one infant daughter, Shelby Easterling.
Edward earned a B.S. in Poultry Science from Clemson University in 1978, M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri—Columbia in 1984.
He was currently a professor at William Woods University. Teaching there since 1985, Easterling served many capacities at WWU, including Academic Advisor to Alpha Chi Omega social sorority and Alpha Chi honorary society. He was the only four-time winner (1987, 1991, 1999, and 2013) of the Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching. Easterling was also a recipient of the prestigious T.A. Abbott Award for quality teaching with the integration of Christian faith and learning, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. Since 1985, Easterling was a member of the Missouri Valley Economics Association, serving as director and presenting numerous times.
Prior to Williams Woods he worked as an Economist for the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service from 1983-85, and from 1980-81 was a Research Associate for the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University. Throughout his career, Easterling had been involved in numerous research projects and had more than 20 research publications.
He was a very active member of First Christian Church, Mexico. He had served in numerous leadership capacities including, Elder, Deacon, Trustee, and Sunday School Teacher. He was also very active in Boy Scouts serving as Cubmaster for Pack 32, Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 32, and he served as Scoutmaster for Troop 1119 to the National Jamboree in 2010.
He was an avid outdoorsman and loving family man.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Christian Church. They may be sent in care of Pickering Funeral Home, 403 N. Western, Mexico, MO 65265.
Public Tributes and Expressions of SympathyLori, Schuyler, and Ralls I am so sorry for your loss and your pain. I do know that God, faith, and the love of friends and family will carry you though the next few days. Most will not know what to say because there are really no words that are worthy. I wish for you a new journey of healing and remembering all the amazing times that were in chapter one. You were blessed with an amazing husband and father, we were blessed with an amazing friend. God is good all the time and he has an awesome plan for each of us. Love to your family, Sandy Lavy
We are so sorry to hear about Ed. He will be missed as I remember his handsome smile, fun-loving laugh and quick wit. He was definitely a blessing with his amazing personality. We send our love and prayers. David, Zola & Kaitlyn Finch
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls: You are in my thoughts and prayers, and you will remain there in the days and months to come. Dr. Easterling was my favorite professor at William Woods and someone who has left a precious mark on my life. I'll always be grateful for the gift of his friendship and mentorship. I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray you feel the love of God in tangible ways as you mourn and prepare to celebrate an amazing life that was lived to its fullest. And though I've never met you as adults Schuyler and Ralls, I do not that your father loved you before you were even born and was immensely proud of you. God bless you all, Donna Claycomb Sokol
Lori,Schuyler and Ralls: You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Your faith in God will help you get through the tough times ahead but you also have a wonderful family and friend support system to be there for you. Ed was a truly amazing person who always has a kind word and a smile each time I saw him. He will be missed and will always be remembered to the Boy Scouts who had a chance to know him. God Bless all of you. Love to your family- Debbie Slaughter
Lori, Schuler and Ralls, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Your husband and father was a wonderful man and it was a privilege to be his student. Not only will I always remember his economics lessons but also the way he lit up when he spoke of his family. I know this is a hard time, but have faith that in time his memory will bring more and more smiles and laughter and the tears will be fewer. I am deeply saddened by your loss. John Field
I just got done reading what my good friend John Field just wrote, and I cannot agree more. Dr. Easterling was a wonderful man, wonderful professor, and someone who's teaching I still reference on an almost daily basis. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Mark Billion
Lori,Schuyler and Ralls, Eddie was an amazing father and husband. His family was everything to him. He will always be with you. I will never forget the fun we had playing in his yard in Hartsville,S.C. when we were kids. And who could ever forget his wonderful sense of humor. Lori, you and Eddie raised two fine young men who love the Lord. What a legacy he leaves! He will live on through those whose lives he touched. God's cured his cancer and God will see you through this time of sorrow. With love and sympathy, Marilyn and Dave
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls, we send you our deepest sympathies upon the passing of Ed. We attended First Christian Church in Mexico from 1995 to 2005 and loved your family very much. Please know that we are praying for you and rest knowing that Ed is now with our holiest of Fathers. Terry and Susan Turner
My heart and prayers go out to you. I last spoke with Eddie on the computer after his Dad died. I am Ethel Lee Wadsworth's grand daughter. My Dad and Eddie's Dad were first cousins. I always enjoyed being around Eddie and very proud of his Clemson days. Cousin Sam would sometimes share his Clemson football tickets with us. That probably influenced my daughter to go to and to graduate from Clemson with her Bachelor and Masters degrees. With prayers, Becky Walker, Durham, NC
Forever will you be in my thought and prayers. A professor became a father to me. He worked with me 30 minutes before class and 30 minutes after class to help me understand economics. I Love the way he uses his family as an example in teaching me. He paved a way for me to have a zeal to love education. Your smile and style of teaching will be missed. God will make a way when there seems to be know way and works in ways we cannot see. I know deep down, he is in better place. Prayers to the family. Daniel Armah
I'm so sorry to hear of Eddie's passing. He is my cousin on our grandmother's side. Peace of Christ be with you all. Donna Wadsworth
Dear Lori, Ralls and Schuyler: I struggle to find words to equal my sense of loss at Ed's passing, my sorrow for your family, and my peace at knowing Ed has gone on to the Lord and now rests in his arms. Words are inadequate to describe my admiration for Ed and his for his joyful fatherhood, my delight in knowing him and you all, and my memory of his sharp mind, wit, and musical entertainments. I will never forget him cooking his delicious 'Carolina Chicken' for John and I and his tales of South Carolina. John and I always recall his keen stewardship of Ralls' Civil War activities and his devotion to family and God with the greatest respect. Oh, we miss you all, and pray for you daily. Teresa and John Burgher
Lori, Schuyler, and Ralls: We are so terribly sorry about Eddie. You have all been such good neighbors and friends to us. When we moved to this area 12 years ago, you welcomed us and helped to make this a real home for us with real friends. We will miss seeing Eddie around and laughing at his sense of humor. While we mourn here, we know that heaven is a better place with Eddie in it. Our prayers are with your family. Dale and Betty Brinker
So sorry for your Loss You and your family are in our Prayers Wayne and Sue Nolan
Lori, Schuyler, and Ralls; I read all these wonderful comments and know these people know the same man that I do. It such a privilege to have known his love of family, strong Christian faith, and life values. We already miss him here but look forward to seeing him again. Our prayers continue to be with each of you. One cannot but smile when I remember incidents of the recent years, but right now the tears flow. Love to each of you. Bonnie Shiverdecker
Ed was my son's Boy Scouts Leader for years. He welcomed us to the school and to the group like he had known us forever. He was a wonderful person that cared deeply about the boys and their parents. He also had a smile on his face. He was always concerned about other people and would not let on that he was not doing well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Brian, Fran & Alex Gilmore
Lori, Schuyler, and Ralls: I am thankful that email allowed Eddie and I to reconnect in recent years. He was a model of consistency throughout life. From our student days at Clemson until the last time I saw him back in October, he always had that great sense of humor, winsome personality, orange blood, strong faith and commitment to Christ. The only thing that changed from our Clemson days was you. You added so much to his life! His love for you and the joy he expressed when talking about you was very obvious. I pray that you will experience God's comfort in the days and months ahead.
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls, Your husband / father was an amazing man and professor. I am so grateful to have experienced his teachings and guidance. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you navigate through this next phase. Although Ed is with the angels now his presence lives on in all of you and those that he touched. Vanessa Anderson - WWU 2001
Lori, Schuyler, and Ralls: I am thankful that email allowed Eddie and I to reconnect in recent years. He was a model of consistency throughout life. From our student days at Clemson until the last time I saw him back in October, he always had that great sense of humor, winsome personality, orange blood, strong faith and commitment to Christ. The only thing that changed from our Clemson days was you. You added so much to his life! His love for you and the joy he expressed when talking about you was very obvious. I pray that you will experience God's comfort in the days and months ahead. - Fred Stone
Dear Schuyler and family, our hearts are broken for you. May our Lord and His angels welcome your dear dad into His Glory. We are thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers. May God bless you with His grace and may you feel His peace and comfort. With deep sympathy, Steve, Allie, John, Abbie Anne, and Pop-Pop
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls:I remember the first time Eddie and I met. I carried him and some other BSU members to an outing on the Clemson Forest. We soon became good friends. I think I visited him at all the places he ended up working. I admired his tenacity. He just worked harder when someone told him something was too difficult. I remember thinking "Yeah,sure! when he said he could steal the ball from an All-ACC receiver we were playing against in an intramural basketball game. But he did it! I think I knew most of the accomplishments that are summarized in the obituary but while searching for it, I didn't realize how much stuff he had published academically also. He accomplished much while here and I know he touched countless lives. We should all hope to have the impact on our world the he had. I pray that God will give you comfort during this difficult time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. John Rainey
I was very fortunate to knoe Eddie during his time at MU. I was a member of Campbell Harrison where he was a houseboy. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. Lee Ann Maxwell Cooper
Lori, Schuyler, and Ralls, You are in my thoughts and prayers now, as you have been over the past months. Eddie joined the William Woods faculty a year after I did. It was a pleasure and an honor to be his friend and colleague. I smile as I recall his stories -- told at our "lunch bunch" -- in Tucker Dining Hall. They revealed his humor, his deep caring for his family, and his love of teaching. Robert joins me in extending our deepest sympathy. Marte (Mason) and Robert Bock
Eddie will be remembered as a great competitor in sports at his high school Thomas Hart Academy. As one of his teammates I am sad to hear of his passing. We have lost a good man. Wishing the best for the family in their time of loss. Tim Griggs
So sorry for your loss. We know there is a better place and your angel has gone there to watch over you all as he always has. God be with you all in this time of loss and love. Sandy terry
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls: We were so sorry for your loss. We hope that you're finding comfort in all the great memories that you have of your husband and father. He was and still will be the definition of a true gentleman. Marcia and Dale Dowell
I am so sorry for your loss. Dr.Easterling was an amazing professor. I always say he was the hardest professor I had during years at the Woods. He always challenged you and pushed you to be your very best. I will always remember that he had a big smile on his face. I enjoyed visiting with him if I would run into him at the Mexican restaurant in Mexico. You family is in my thoughts and prayers. Dawn Duenke Miller '98
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls, I have cried and I have smiled since Donna called and said, "Dr. Easterling died last night." I cried because I was so sorry that you and the world lost an amazing person - an individual I was privileged to have as a colleague and friend when I taught in the business department at William Woods. I smiled when I remembered the many times we laughed together standing around the second floor railing in the Burton Building between classes with fellow instructors. Ed always kept us entertained. You all are in my prayers as you, too, will cry and smile remembering what an amazing man touched your lives. May the peace of God be with you as you celebrate Ed's life. Nelva Claycomb Heath
Libby and Family....I am praying for all of you, I am so very sorry for your loss of Eddie. I've known Libby and Eddie for a very long time. I'm sad that I've never had the opportunity to get to know Eddie's family. I do know that Libby will surely miss her "Big Brother Eddie"....May God wrap His arms around all of you and give you comfort. Much Love From Eddie and Libby's Home Town of Hartsville, South Carolina. And please know that there are many many friends of Eddie, Libby and of the family that are asking about each of you! I love you Lib.......Jerri Gainey
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls, We were saddened to hear of Eddie's passing. But the notice of it brought back so many wonderful memories of our time spent together, now many years ago. I pray that you will Let Go and Let God during this difficult time. Love Ya, Mike and Ginn King
Lori, Schuyler and Ralls, Dr. Easterling was my favorite professors at WWU (like many other students). He spoke so often about his wonderful family. I'm so very sorry for your loss and will keep you and his family/friends in my thoughts and prayers. Amber Elsenrath (Baker) '05
Lori - I just heard today about Eddie. Sorrowful doesn't even begin to describe my feelings. I'm sending you a hug via JoAnn - wish I could be there to deliver it myself! Take some comfort in the fact that many prayers for your comfort are being delivered! Much Love, Laura (aka "The Little Bono Girl")
Lori - Tom K. sent me the sad news about Eddie and my heart goes out for you and your family's loss. I remembered serving under Eddie as Vice President of the Graduate Student Organization at MU. He was a kind and a great leader and we had many chats in the Graduate Office about school and life as his desk was across from me. Through those years and the chats, I always remember Eddie as a kind, smart, know what he wants, someone I can trust and a down to earth individual. I am sorry for your loss and will pray for you and your family. Catherine
Lori, Schuyler, Ralls, my thoughts and prayers are with you. What a beautiful life and legacy we celebrate today! From his teenage years throughout Eddie's life I witnessed God's best. Eddie was the most genuine friend a family could ever have....he was part of us....the best part. We have so many wonderful memories...he played basketball in our backyard...he ate with us...gave rides home from school...play wrestled Terry and Scott in our den. As God's servant, integrity, transparency, and unity has been the theme of Eddie's life. He kept heaven in his eyes and earth under his feet. I treasure the visits and the time we shared with your family when you were in SC. Dorothy and family, Hartsville, SC
To: The Easterling Family.I am sorry for your lost.There is hope for Edward.At John 11:25 where Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life.The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life;This Scripture shows that faith in the ransom sacrifice and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.Gives hope for our love ones who have fallen asleep in death, they will come to life;To "a new earth that we are awaiting according to his (Jehovah's) promise in these righteousness is to dwell."-2 Peter 3:13. R.Gaines~Warrensville Heights,Ohio
Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Ed left a positive mark on all you knew him and the world is a better place since he was in it. He will be sorely missed. Jason, Tina, and Ryan Ashford
So sorry for your loss! Dr. Easterling was my professor years ago (1985) he was a great influence in my life and I will always remember his positive attitude, smile and his support of his students! What a wonderful person!
Dr. Easterling was my faculty advisor, and professor of Economics during my first year at the Woods. His genuine caring, compassion, and support steered me away from a Business Major that I was not passionate about. Maybe a semester later, after attending a play I was in on campus, he sent me a lovely note of congratulations. He wrote that now he understood where I was putting my energies, because clearly, it was never being put into economics! I loved that note, and that even though he was no longer my professor or advisor, he took the time to write it. Sent with love and remembrance, Eva Swackhamer DeVries, WWU '93
Dr. Easterling was the first professor I had when I transferred to WWC in the fall of 1989. I always enjoyed his class and grew to have great respect for Dr. Easterling. He would tell us stories about his days at Clemson, always with a big smile on his face. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sons. We will be seeing him in heaven. Diane Talley Batts, Class of 91.
Lori and sons, so sorry for your loss. He was so young, my husband died of cancer and I have worked with Relay for Life ever since,hoping to find a cure. Keeping you in our prayers Barb Woolfolk
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