OU alumnus

Spring 2013

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Gerald and Marian Eason were married for 54 years and all three of their children attended the University of Oklahoma. The famly boasts a long list of OU graduates, beginning with Gerald in 1947.

Gerald and Marian Eason were married for 54 years and all three of their children attended the University of Oklahoma. The famly boasts a long list of OU graduates, beginning with Gerald in 1947.

When Gerald Eason graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in accounting in 1947, he had no idea what he started. The first in his family to graduate from college, Eason would inspire three generations—his children and grandchildren, and soon great-grandchildren—in their pursuit of higher education, many of whom would earn OU diplomas.



“He never missed a graduation,” said his son, Doug Eason, an Oklahoma City attorney, who earned his BBA from OU, as did his brother, Jim. Their sister Janet also attended OU.



Eason, who grew up in a very modest household, provided financial assistance and encouragement to any member of his family who wanted to go to college. Through an estate gift to the Price College of Business, Eason, who died in 2011, continues his ardent support for education with the establishment of the Gerald N. and Marian A. Eason Professorship in Accounting.



“The Eason Professorship will help us in recruiting new faculty for the Steed School of Accounting, as well as helping us to reward and retain current faculty,” said Frances Ayers, director of the school. “We deeply appreciate Mr. Eason for making this gift.”



Eason was born in Fortescue, Missouri, and moved to Oklahoma City as an infant. Eason entered OU after graduating from Capitol Hill High School in 1939, but his education was interrupted by World War II. After officer training, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 16th Armored Division of the 3rd Army in Europe, under the command of General George C. Patton.



In 1944 Eason married Marian Samuelson of Oklahoma City. They were married for 54 years until Marian’s death in 1998. Eason began his business career in Oklahoma City, becoming a Certified Public Accountant in 1949. He served as vice president of Fain Porter Drilling Corporation before co-founding Hadson Oil & Gas Company with his longtime business partner and friend, the late Harry Hadler. He participated in many other successful business ventures, including a car rental company and hotels in Oklahoma City and Costa Rica.



In 1972 Eason purchased the Coors Beer Distributorship in southwest Oklahoma and moved to Lawton. The distributorship is still owned and operated by the Eason family. Eason embraced his new hometown of Lawton and supported it with gifts of time and financial support.



As hard as he worked, Eason also enjoyed leisure time with family and friends. A life-long water enthusiast, Eason spent summers with his wife and children skiing and fishing at their vacation home on Lake Texoma. When he and Marian moved to Florida, he continued his favorite past-time, commanding his own boat along the intercostal waterway well into his 80s. The couple also enjoyed sea cruises, which became their New Year’s tradition.



One sorrow of his life was the untimely death of daughter Janet Daughtrey in 2007. Janet attended OU, and her son Michael would go on to earn his OU degree in chemistry/biochemistry. The spouses of all three of Eason’s children—Doug’s wife, Tish; Jim’s wife, Melanie; and Janet’s husband, Tommy, all hold OU degrees. Melanie and Jim’s daughter, Kate, completed her OU degree in journalism in 2004.



“He believed in education, and he believed in accounting,” said son Doug.



With the OU Eason Professorship in Accounting, his support for both will continue.