Kevin A. Ebersole, 19, honor student, football athlete

September 22, 1999|By Gary Dorsey | Gary Dorsey,SUN STAFF

Kevin Andrew Ebersole, an outstanding scholar-athlete at North County High School in Anne Arundel County, died Monday of cancer at home in Brooklyn Park. He was 19.

Described by teachers as a particularly gifted student, Mr. Ebersole twice made perfect scores on the math portion of the SAT and graduated fourth in his class last year, intending to study engineering at the University of Maryland.

Shortly after graduation, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and spent the past year at home.

Equal to his academic prowess, according to his teachers, was a proclivity to volunteer for jobs around school. He is remembered moving the school piano for performances, running the concession stand, tutoring students, grading papers and cleaning up after school events. He was rarely asked, teachers said. Most of the time, he saw a job to be done and did it.

"He had all this ability, all this intelligence," said Alice Evans, math department chair at North County High. "He was in the band, he was on the football team, he went to the national math competitions. But he also made himself available wherever he was needed. He was that kind of person."

Born in Brooklyn Park in 1980, Mr. Ebersole grew up interested in football, playing offensive tackle for North County. He had been selected to work as student equipment manager for the University of Maryland football team before illness upset his plans.

"Football was his greatest love," said his father, David Glenn Ebersole, who recalled his son at his healthiest, standing 5 feet 11 inches and weighing 265 pounds. "Lawrence Taylor was his hero, and it was his final wish to see him inducted into the [pro football] Hall of Fame."

After losing his leg to the illness in October, Mr. Ebersole continued to attend sports events at the high school.

"You never heard him complain once," said Barbara Pattillo, an English teacher and National Honor Society adviser. "He just got in his wheelchair, took his medicine, and went on. When he couldn't get out, coaches would take tapes of the games over to his house and he would be there in his bed in the living room with an oxygen tank still talking about football strategies."

During the past year, the Ebersoles made two trips to the pro football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. On his last trip, last month, the family went in a van so Mr. Ebersole could lie down. He fulfilled his wish to meet Taylor, the New York Giants linebacker, at his induction.

Mr. Ebersole always held academics in high esteem. During the last weeks of his life, he chose to establish an academic scholarship fund in his name at North County.

"He faced the reality that he was going to die, and he took those last remaining months and weeks and days to set some goals and give something more back to the school," said North County Principal Patricia Gronkiewicz. "He did his research over the Internet and then he came over here to the school to talk about how to set up a scholarship foundation. I could hardly bring myself to face it, but there was Kevin, as strong as could be. That was the way he was -- Kevin didn't wait. He always took the initiative."

Mr. Ebersole was a member of the National Honor Society, the school's academic competition team, the band and the math team. He earned a dean's scholarship to the University of Maryland and won several academic scholarships, which he returned before his death.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Singleton Funeral Home, 1 Second Ave. S.W., Glen Burnie.

In addition to his father, he is survived by his mother, Gail June Ebersole; a brother, Brian Kenneth Ebersole; and his paternal grandparents, Raymond and Helen Ebersole, all of Brooklyn Park.

Memorial donations can be made to the Kevin Ebersole Memorial Scholarship, North County High School, 10 E. First Ave., Glen Burnie 21061.

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