Jack Edward Eaves, 78, left his earthly life on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. He was born February 18, 1942 and was one of the 14 children born and raised in Dallas City, IL to Florence and Roy Eaves. In August 1961, he married Sandra “Kay” Marsh, the girl he met at the Bishop’s soda fountain in Fort Madison. They were blessed with their two sons, Kurt and Kevin.
Jack worked at the State Penitentiary for 10 years. Then worked 11 years at Armour Dial. Often neighbors would see Jack learning some boxing moves from his brothers, and in 1971 was approached by a youth wanting some pointers to defend himself. A few weeks later, he was approached by another boy requesting the same thing. Not long after, he found out the two boys had been fighting each other! He saw a need in the community for the boys and young men to have a place to challenge themselves. In 1977, putting his personal property up for collateral, he obtained a loan at the local bank to start the Lee County Boxing Club. With it, he rented a floor of the Anthes Hotel for their training facility, using his own money to purchase boxing equipment. He later received financial support from many local individuals, businesses, and organizations such as The United Way Foundation. Mike Delaney was instrumental in helping Jack with the start of the club. Jack had a special way with the boxers, many of whom needed a father figure. Ask any of the hundreds of boxers that agreed to the rules of the club (no cussing, no fighting outside the ring, keep your grades up, respect others), and they would all agree that Jack taught them just as much outside of the ring as he did inside. The club became well-respected in the boxing circuit, taking many athletes to the State and National levels. In 1986, he was awarded the National Child Labor Committee’s Lewis Hine Award for Voluntary Service to Children and Youth. Also, in 2010, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daily Democrat.
Jack gave his heart to The Lord and was a member of Joy Baptist Church. He enjoyed his time and fellowship with Reverend Beal and helping with the Prison Ministry.
Survivors include his wife, “Kay”, of nearly 59 years; son, Kurt (Angie) of Grinnell, IA and their children, Erica Place (Andy) and Alyssa Johnson (Gunnar); son, Kevin, and his children, Chelci Eaves-Mehaffy (Noah) and Ian (Cara); and great granddaughters Genevieve and Gabriel Ruble and Grace Eaves, all of Fort Madison, IA; brothers Guy, Jerry, and Richard, sister, Imogene, sister in law, Carolyn Marsh Weber & sons.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Betty Scott, Helen Boulyou, Linda Neuendorf, Ruby Pickard, Billy, Lester, Mike, Pat, & Vernon Eaves & a brother in law, John Weber.
A public visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020 at King-Lynk Funeral Home & Crematory in Fort Madison, IA, without family being present, due to the current Co-Vid situation. A private family graveside service will be held at Fairview Cemetery in rural Fort Madison, IA with Rev. Earl Beal officiating. A memorial has been established in Jack’s memory and contributions may be left at King-Lynk Funeral Home & Crematory during the public visitation. Online condolences to Jack’s family may be left at www.kinglynk.com.