Cover photo for George Leroy Everingham Jr.'s Obituary
George Leroy Everingham Jr. Profile Photo
1933 George 2021

George Leroy Everingham Jr.

August 29, 1933 — August 31, 2021

CARBONDALE - George Leroy Everingham, Jr. died on August 31, 2021, two days after his 88th birthday. He was an only child born in Lakewood, NJ to Mary & George Everingham, Sr. in 1933. He lived with his father and stepmother, Doris Everingham, but also spent several happy years at the bayside home of his paternal grandparents in Seaside Heights, NJ. He joined the Army after graduating from Monmouth Jr. College, and upon discharge, worked as a Materials Engineer with a highway construction company. When he went to Chicago, IL in 1958 to build the tollway, he met a lovely young woman named Shirley Bilyeu who had just graduated from Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. They were married at the Blue Island Methodist Church in 1959 and then moved to Red Bank, NJ. When he was accepted to Southern Illinois University in 1960, they moved to Carbondale and never left the beauty of Southern IL.

While George worked on his MA in History and Shirley was a nurse at Holden Hospital, they welcomed a daughter, Laura, in 1963. In 1965, while George was working for SIU Housing, their family grew to include their son, Alan. While his children were young, he and Shirley worked with a small group of parents to create the Carbondale New School, which both Alan and Laura attended and loved. Over the next several years George worked as Director of Code Enforcement for the City of Carbondale, Executive Director of the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging, and Coordinator for the Southern Seven Housing Rehab Program. He was the Democratic Precinct Committeeman for over a decade and elected Carbondale Township Assessor from 1990 - 2004. He later started his own business doing something he enjoyed, Eagle Home Inspections.

In the same way George committed his professional life to helping others, he also worked to make the world a better place by offering jobs to people who were down on their luck and needed work. He lived that commitment out in his faith, as well. A member of First United Methodist Church for over 50 years, George served on various committees and mission projects including the Commission on Religion and Race, Spirit of Christmas, driving the church van on Sunday mornings and ushering.

George joined the Kiwanis Club of Carbondale in 1975 and held several positions including Past President and Board of Directors. As a Kiwanian he was exceptionally proud of the Club’s efforts to raise funds for international, U.S and local service projects benefiting the children of the world. His house was always full of cases of Kiwanis peanuts and stacks of tickets for the Club’s pancake breakfasts.

An avid Saluki and long-time member of the Alumni Association, George loved SIU sports, especially football, men’s and women’s basketball and woman’s softball. He loved showing off the campus to visitors, and he and Shirley often opened their home to students and visiting families needing a place to stay. His generous spirit has had a lasting effect on countless people throughout the years.

George was proceeded in death by his sister-in-law, Betty Davis of Carbondale, and his brother-in-law, Donald Bilyeu of Tinley Park, IL.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley of Carbondale; his daughter Laura Crites (David) of Gordon, NE; his son Alan Everingham and grandson Gavin Everingham (Brooke), both of Charlotte, NC; his granddaughter Christine Crites (Roger) of Bellevue, WA; his granddaughter Michelle Crites Bowles (Patrick) of Ft. Collins, CO; his sister-in-law Paula Bilyeu of Minneapolis, MN; nieces Brianne Bilyeu (Aaron) of Minneapolis, MN and Erin Bilyeu (Ralph) of Greenbelt, MD. George never knew a stranger and claims countless others as friends and “extended family.”

A memorial service for George will be held once it is safer to gather in person. His family would be grateful for Memorial gifts made to the Kiwanis Club at P.O. Box 3095 Carbondale, IL 62901 or the First United Methodist Church at 214 W. Main St., Carbondale, IL 62901.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of George, visit

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