Kevin Eblen

  • Born: August 12, 1966
  • Died: September 24, 2012
  • Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Powers Funeral Home

601 New York Ave
PO Box 431
Creston, IA 50801
Tel. (641) 782-7036

Tribute & Message From The Family

Kevin Eblen, 46, of Beijing, China/Chesterfield, Mo., formerly of Creston, passed away Monday, September 24, 2012 at St Johns Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis. Services will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 29, 2012 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Creston. Burial will be at Summit Cemetery, near Cromwell. Father Ken Halbur, Father Tom Sendein and Father Lazarus Kirigia will officiate. Open visitation will be 2-6:30 p.m. Friday, September 28, 2012, with family receiving friends from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Powers Funeral Home in Creston. There will be a 6:30 p.m. wake service and rosary, conducted by Rev. Monsignor Gerald Stessman. In lieu of flowers, memorials are to the FFA and China Little Flower Orphanage. Online condolences can be left at

Kevin Eblen was born August 12, 1966 in Creston, Iowa to Donald Joseph Eblen and Carolyn Kay (Graham) Eblen. He grew up in Creston and graduated from Creston High School in 1984 and from Iowa State University in 1990. On September 29, 1990 he was united in marriage to Jacquie Rychnovsky in Lenox, Iowa.
Kevin paved the way for his current high-ranking position with Monsanto, a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, by rising through the ranks of FFA in high school. Kevin earned his American FFA degree at the 59th National FFA Convention, where he was Iowa's candidate for Star Agribusinessman of America. He served as National FFA president in 1986-87 after serving the Iowa FFA Association as secretary and president the prior two years. At the time of his election, Kevin was only the fourth Iowan to be elected National FFA president, and only the 10th Iowan to serve as a National FFA officer. Kevin took a one-year leave of absence from Iowa State University, where he was majoring in public services and administration in agriculture, to travel throughout the nation, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands representing the 430,000 FFA memberships. While he was involved in several activities in high school, including thespians, 4-H and sports, it was his work in FFA under advisor Galen Zumbach that was most valuable for his eventual career in agriculture business. In an article in the Creston News Advertiser from 2008, when Kevin was surprised to be notified of his induction into the Hall of Fame at Creston High School, Eblen said, "I am certainly honored by it. In reflecting on it, it seems the recognition ought to go to my parents and teachers I had in the community, rather than me. Nonetheless, I am excited about it and we plan on coming. My memories of Creston are fond. There was an unselfish attitude among the teachers, and Larry Osthus was among them. (Principal) Ron Levine and (superintendent) Paul Grumley were also supportive."

Kevin was a member of the Our Lady of China church in Beijing, China, Saint Clare of Assisi in Ellisville, Mo., worked for Monsanto for 20 years and was currently the President, Monsanto Greater China and a huge advocate for solving world hunger.

Kevin is the loving husband of Jacquie Eblen ( Rychnovsky) of Beijing, China/Chesterfield, Mo; formerly of Prescott, Ia.; loving father of Joseph, Jessilyn, Anthony, and Vincent Eblen; loving son of Don and Carolyn Eblen of Creston; "number one son-in-law" of Jim and Marilyn Rychnovsky of Prescott; loving brother of Joedy (Kevin) Wynn of Corning; Pam (Tim) Gray of Creston; loving brother-in-law of Wayne (Jane) Rychnovsky of Corning, Jayne Braun of Libertyville, Ill.; and Joni (Bill) Taylor of Creston; loving uncle of Brook (Josh Abel) and Josie Krings, Jacquie (Jayrd) Merritt, Jeremy (Jessica) Gray, Lucas (Mariah) Gray; Michelle (Jeff) Potthoff, Andrew Rychnovsky, Judith (Joey) Morgan, Madeline Braun, Steven Braun, Colby Taylor and Jenna Taylor; our loving great-uncle, cousin, colleague and friend to many.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Roland and Thelma Eblen, Arno and Helen Graham, Andrew and Mary Rychnovsky, Vernon and Marjorie McKee and his sister in-law Judy Rychnovsky.



Condolence & Memory Journal

I am sorry to hear of the passing. I am certain we would have been good friends. God bless to all friends and family members.


Posted by Kevin Eblen - Akron, OH   October 27, 2012


There once was a friend of mine.
Who could not have been anything but friendly and kind.

Every day he loved and cared for the land.
In a way that food would be in abundance in everyone's hands.

While working for Monsanto, he was a loyal and eager servant.
Making deals happen in China, and showing us he could do it.

He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, wholesomeness, and pride.
In hopes that the rest of us can and will abide.

His hopes and dreams of the future will be kept alive.
By his loved ones, co-workers and friends that will prosper and forever thrive.

Kevin was a guy that made you want to be a better man.
And he always made you feel and say to yourself, I will and I can.

Although this man from Creston was and is a great guy.
We must remember the good times of this man, and say good bye.

Kevin Eblen cannot be replaced in our hearts and minds.
But none the less, he was and is one of a kind.

I cannot think of a better guy that led a National FFA Office Team.
Because he brought about great wisdom like a guided bright light beam.

Kevin touched so many lives and this world will not be the same.
But the Legacy of Kevin Eblen will always remain.

Loving Husband, father, son and friend.
That is what Kevin was up to the end. (And beyond)

Kevin went before us to a journey in the sky to prepare a place for you and me.
And this place shall certainly be the only place to be.

Jacquie, Joseph, Jessilyn, Anthony and Vincent have lost a husband, father, and great friend.
But knowing that Kevin is with God in Heaven will somehow comfort them.

We miss you Kevin Lewis Eblen more than you can know.
But someday, we all will get the chance to show.

-Bryon Murphy

(I think Kevin Eblen was one, amazing, human being and I am honored to have known him and call him my friend.)

Posted by Bryon Murphy - Redfield, IA - friend   October 23, 2012

I have great memories of Kevin from FFA and Iowa State and it was especially gratifying to have served on the National Officer Selection Committee when we picked him for National FFA President. I had recently re-connected with him and it was great to see how his family and career at Monsanto had developed. I know Kevin is greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. May God comfort you during this time of tremendous need.
Matt Musselman

Posted by Matt Musselman - Liberty, MO - FFA   October 11, 2012

You are all in our thoughts and prayers! We have been praying for you and we wish you peace.


Jeff, Diane and boys

Posted by Jeff and Diane Lange and Family - Lenox, IA - friend   October 10, 2012

We were so sorry to hear about the passing of Kevin. Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family at this difficult time.

Posted by Diane DeYoung Latham    October 03, 2012

Don and Carolyn

Just want you to know that Lynette and I have been thinking about you the past few days. Can't imagine what a shock it must have been to you. Our prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family.

Mel and Lynette

Posted by Mel Mueller - Neillsville, WI - First cousin to Don   October 02, 2012

We are so sorry for your loss. Just want you to know we are thinking of you through these sad sad times.

Posted by Ruby Mckee, Vance and Elaine Frommie and family - Spencer, IA - family   October 02, 2012

Out thoughts and prayers are with you Jacquie. Kevin was not only a loving husband, father, and friend to all he met but a leader in agriculture. May God give you and your family the strength to face each day without Kevin's physical presence.

Posted by Jim & Joy Goins - Diagonal, IA - friends   October 01, 2012

I remember working with Kevin early in his career with Monsanto. He was a sales representative in Northwest Iowa - young, ambitious, and one of the hardest workers I've known. Kevin was excited about getting married and when he announced they were pregnant with his first child, he was over the moon with joy! Kevin will be greatly missed; I feel honored to have known him.

Posted by Beth Haley - Omaha, NE - former co-worker   September 30, 2012

Jacquie and family,
I have kept you in my prayers since the day I was informed of Kevin's illness. I find it hard to find the words to say or to understand God's decision to take a young man with so much good to do yet in his life. Kevin lived a life full of love and accomplishments. He was surrounded by a loving wife and children who adorned him. His coworkers loved him, everyone he touched was a better person because of his passsion for life and his work.

My prayers will continue for you and the kids and I know God will keep you in His arms during this difficult time.

Posted by Lana Bearden - Creston, IA - Former teacher of Jacquie   September 29, 2012

I have had the priviledge in my forty-two years of business to travel from one end of this continent to the other, to meet with congretional delegations and other leaders who have shaped our country's past and future. Having said that, I have never met a human being with the content and character as a young man named Kevin Eblen from Creston, Iowa. Through all of his sucessess, and there were many, he remained the same wonderful young man that I have known since his boyhood days. My heart is heavy for his family, his wife and his children. I will never understand how someone who gave so much and had so much yet to give could be taken from this world so early. I only pray that his life would serve as an inspiration to young people he touched in his lifetime. The world will be a better place if we cherish his memory and teach others his story.

Posted by Dave Driskell - Creston, IA - Family friend   September 28, 2012

Jacquie and family,
We are sorry to hear about your loss. Our 2 kids are also active in FFA. Lean on your family and friends at this time.

Posted by Sharlene Shepherd Timm - Sac City, IA - friend   September 28, 2012

Growing up I had a few heros. Roy Rogers, Captain Knagaroo, Cookie Monster and Kevin Eblen. Standing in the auditorium in Kansas City when his name was announced made every one who had "Iowa" stitched into thier corduroy feel as though we could take on the world and succeed. After being elected to a state office I asked Kevin what was the most important lesson I could learn. He told me to always take time for people no matter how busy you were. It is a lesson I have carried with me to this day.

I know there are no words that can be spoken that will come close to easing the loss and grief you feel, but please know we all love and respected Kevin for not only his success but for the man he truly was on the inside. My thoughts and prayers are with you this day and for the ones that lay ahead.

Posted by Bryon Weesner - Dexter, IA - Past FFA member   September 28, 2012

Kevin was coming up through the FFA as I started my teaching career and I remember him from his various offices and then teaching in the South Central District at Centerville. He was a wonderful person and went on to be a role model for what one can become. My deepest sympathy to the family members of Kevin. You will be in my prayers.

Posted by Dianne Strickler - Springville, IA - Former FFA advisor   September 28, 2012

Sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you Don and all of your family at this time of sorrow. I also have lost a son. God will help you through your loss and help heal the pain. Take care.

Posted by Richard Agans - El Dorado, AR - went to school with Carolyn   September 28, 2012


Don, Carolyn, Jacquie & family, just heard of the loss of a great friend and my heart is broken. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May we all find comfort in the many wonderful memories that Kevin gave us. God Bless each of you.

Posted by Doug Phillips 1985-86 State FFA President - Ohio - Kenton, OH - Friend   September 28, 2012

Kevin was a gift to the community. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers for Jacquie, kids, and all of Kevin's family and friends.

The Zimmerman Family, Beijing

Posted by James Zimmerman - Beijing, China - Friend   September 28, 2012

We want to extend our sympathy to the Eblen and Rychnovsky families during this time of heavy hearts. Keep those great memories close to your heart and reflect back on them when the days are difficult. Stay close and lean on your family and your friends - we are all here for each of you.

Posted by Lyle and Paula Rychnovsky - Rippey, IA - cousins   September 27, 2012


I wish to add my condolences to the immediate and extended family of Kevin Eblen. The emptiness that we feel now is a reminder of how significant Kevin's commitment to family, friends and a profession he loved really were. His enthusiasm for life for many of us as agricultural educators was seen through the eyes our young students just starting their experiences in the FFA and the endless possibilities that awaited them. The time for sorrow is today, but let us celebrates his life remembering the differences he made along the way.

Lord, May eternal rest be granted to Kevin; and let your perpetual light shine
upon him.

Posted by Craig Mcenany - Nevada, IA - Agricultural Educator - Iowa   September 27, 2012


Truely sad for losing Kevin Eblen, a great leader and an important friend to me. He played a significant role in past two years in my professional development. He trusted and empowered me in implementing our strategic initiatives. He was so funny, joking around the office and bringing laughters to everyone. Now those laughters can only be translated into ourpouring of tears. He made important impact on our Chinese business. His legacy will continue to benefit the agricultural industry, the Chinese farmers, the busines partners and the empoyees. Kevin, rest in peace!

Posted by Michelle Nijun Duan - Kingston, Canada - Colleague and friend   September 27, 2012

Kevin you are a class act. Such a great example of a loving husband and father, intelligent businessman, wonderful friend and all around terrific guy. He had a way of always adding life to any situation. I don't understand why He decided to take Kevin so soon but I am just a simple man. I do have faith and confidence that one day when I meet my Maker, Kevin will be there buying the first round. Kevin, we love you. Jacquie, we love you and pray for His warm embrace around all of you. God Bless.

Posted by Steve Braun - Gurnee, IL - Brother-in-law   September 27, 2012

Kevin was a great inspiration to all of us in the Iowa FFA! He was a great person to know and work with. And it was an amazing feeling to have a National FFA officer from Iowa! He made us so proud. Please know the positive impact that he made within the FFA and that that inspiration has carried through to our children many years later.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends during this time.

Posted by Marcia Hopkins Cox - Princeton, MO - FFA Friend   September 27, 2012

25 years ago when I was a State FFA officer from Maryland and National FFA Officer Candidate, Kevin was National FFA President. Back then, he was an inspiration to many across the country and to me personally. It is clear that in the last 25 years, Kevin has had a lasting impact on folks around the world. This should be a continuing inspiration to all of us to have a lasting impact on others. I thank God for his life and inspiration, and I pray for strength for his wife, his children, and his extended family.

Posted by Mark Hooper - Denver, PA - Friend   September 27, 2012

Although I never worked with Kevin, I was fortunate to inherit the legacy of his assignment to the UK . Without exception his colleagues, customers and industry co-workers would reminisce of times they had spent with Kevin with fond memories. The word most often used was 'great' - as in 'great guy',' 'great boss' , 'great bloke' .
He left a mark of warmth here in the UK and was held in esteem by all those that met him.
I did experience one 'night on the town' with Kevin- and indeed he was a 'great guy'.

Posted by Peter Turner - co-worker   September 27, 2012

Kevin will always be remembered by us as the greatest man and the best boss. May God bless Kevin and kevin's family!

Posted by Alice - Beijing   September 27, 2012


Kevin was such a great guy to work with, professional, nice and warm. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with him for these past years. He lighted up the road for the Ag group at AmCham China to work together on a partnership program and the whole group will be missing him ever.

Posted by Sujing Wang - Beijing - co-worker   September 27, 2012

Jacquie & Family - I looked through a couple of "old" college albums and it brought back a lot of great times we all had at Sigma Kappa. Many of us had different dates at all the House Parties and Formals, but as Mary said we all knew, Kevin. We are so sorry for your loss and suffering. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 Let us know if there is anything we can do for you. Greg and Denae Rusk and Family

Posted by Denae Rusk - Shelby Twp, MI - frend   September 27, 2012

My sympathy to your entire family. Lean on each other to get thru these rough times. God bless each one of you.

Posted by Mary Jo Klingensmith Key - Ankeny, IA - Friend   September 27, 2012


Kevin is a great man. We all like him and will miss him so much.

Posted by Coco Wang - Beijing, MO - collegue   September 26, 2012

Jacquie & Family,

I am so sorry for your loss of Kevin. May the Lord bless you and keep you and may He heal your pain and suffering.


Posted by Larry Joines - Sioux City, IA - Freind   September 26, 2012

Carolyn, Don, Joedy and Pam,
I only knew Kevin as Joedy and Pam's little brother but it is easy to see what a remarkable man he was and how many people he has inspired. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Eblen family during this very difficult time. May God bless you.

Posted by Kathy Kessler Spencer - St. Louis, MO - Friend of the family   September 26, 2012


I started teaching high school agriculture in 1983 in the South Central District in which Creston was a part of. When I first met Kevin I was amazed. Amazed at his maturity level, his sincerity, his ability to converse with any one in the room about FFA or agriculture and make them feel important and included in the conversation. As he grew into his role of FFA leader, you could just see the confidence this young man had and you could tell he would be "great" in the FFA. It saddens me to hear of his passing, but I know that we all are better people because of our relationship that we had with Kevin Eblen. He will truly be missed. Please accept my families deepest sympathies.

Posted by Patrick Powers - Eddyville, IA - Friend   September 26, 2012


What could we write about our good friend Kevin? It is very simple:
He was a great friend, an inspiration as a father, one part of the nicest couple we ever met, a beliver in god, a generous donator, always looking for the others, a proud man of his 4 wonderful kids, an english teacher for our little son Ference, my personal barbeque advisor, the guy with a pumpking hat that make my wife laughing after a horrible visit of a french hair stylist, the "can-opener" for Shady, the shadowboxer after our visit in the lan-club in Beijing, the balcony climber, the artificer of the one and only right action to fight back jetlag (drink more beer!), the consument of the magic spice herbs from Jenny Lous for beef, the recycleing guy of my little tiny girly grill, the men with the black (not the green!) egg, the great host of the corner pub in Beijing Riviera for the best TGIF for kids and parents, my friend and brother in mind who makes me crying all the time since he passed.

Kevin, I will miss you, brother! I know, gods warm arms are hugging you and you will be somewhere to touch your wonderful wife and your amazing kids. Protect them, where ever you are, buddy. You will be in our minds for ever as man, where Verena and myself have not one negative memory. Everthing, really all the things which we shared were positive. Amazing and typically for you. We pray for Jac. and the kids that they recieve the strengh from the Almighty, to survive your too early passing. There must be a sense in this story, but today we are not able to see the message behind. If we are looking back, to all this positive things we had together, we are sure to figure the right lesson out somewhere in the future.

Thank you very much, for the common way we had together. We are sure, to meet you somewhere, sometimes.

Verena, Ference and your german brother Sven.

Posted by Verena Giese Prochowski - Holzwickede in Germany - Friends   September 26, 2012


Sweet children, Jacquie, Don and Carolyn and Eblen family -- we are so sorry for your loss and send our deepest sympathy. Growing up with Kevin through high school, we all knew he was special -- little did we know the difference he would make in this world. I will always cherish the memories of "my lil brother." He was an incredible person. God now has an amazing angel, and he is at peace in His arms. Our thoughts and Prayers to you all. Bryan and Sheila Gonseth

Posted by Bryan and Sheila (Bladon) Gonseth - Madison, MS - Friend   September 26, 2012

Kevin is warmly remembered in Beijing as a friend and leader of the ag community. He was the go-to person on agriculture in the American Chamber of Commerce in China, who could be counted on for clear, thoughtful advice and was always willing to give his time. We'll miss his friendship and join his family in their loss.

Posted by Christian Murck - Beijing - friend   September 26, 2012

My family's prayers and thoughts are with you all at this difficult time. So sorry to hear about your loss. I remember all the good times we had in college with you and Kevin. I will pray for strength and peace in the days that come. If your Sigma Kappa sisters can do anything or my family - please just ask. You are in my prayers.

Posted by Diane Gillespie Nicholson - Oskaloosa, IA - Sorority sister of Jacquie   September 26, 2012

Thinking of you at the time of your loss.

Posted by Connie ( Swanger) Arey - Ft. Mohave, AZ - Friends of family   September 26, 2012

Kevin was an individual that inspired many through his years as an FFA Leader. So sorry for the loss.

Posted by Rhonda Clough - Lowden, IA - Former FFA member   September 26, 2012

Don Carolyn and Family,
I will never forget how kind Carolyn and Joedy were to me upon the passing of my Mother. I would have never guessed death would be touching your lives so soon after. Vivian and I were talking last week about the race days and the truck and tractor pull days. Vivian asked me if I remembered the little blond haired Eblen boy, you know, Don and Carolyn's boy. To which I responded.."You mean Kevin"? I sure do, however that little blond boy is now a very successful man! How time has flown by. My heart aches for you. Kevin Loved you all so much and was so proud of all of you. God has a plan and he only takes the good ones. Please keep your wonderful memories of your time spent with Kevin close to your heart. Those memories will keep you going in the next days weeks, months and years ahead. God Bless each of you. Rest in Peace my young friend.

Posted by Tim Leonard - Creston, IA - Family friend   September 26, 2012

Our deepest sympathy to the family and may God Bless you in the days to come. Our thoughts and prayers will be sent your way in this time of sorrow. I had the pleasure of working with Kevin while he was working his way through the ranks of the FFA.
To this day, I still play a video in our Ag I class of Kevin presiding over one of the National FFA sessions. I use him as a prime example of how a small-town young man can make a difference in this world.
You should be proud of his accomplishments and proud that you raised a young man of such fine character,,,,,,,he was an example for all of us.
God Bless!

Posted by Dan Leinen - Harlan, IA - FFA Advisor   September 26, 2012

Jacquie & Family, Don and Carolyn, my deepest sympathy to all of you. Kevin was an amazing mentor, leader and friend. I have spent the last few days reflecting on the many memories of our FFA days together. I remember as if it was yesterday the moment they announced Kevin was elected National FFA President. We "Iowa kids" were overwhelmed with joy, and so grateful that the nominating committee had recognized what we already knew -- that Kevin was an amazing individual who was more than worthy of the organization's highest office. He did a stellar job (as expected) and went on to conduct an incredible life and career. Jacquie, from the first time I met Kevin, you were the light and love of his life, and you should be so proud of the beautiful life and family you built together. You were always so patient with the many demands on Kevin's time, and I'm sure that did not change in his corporate life. Kevin would no doubt say that you are the "rock" that holds your family together, and you will continue to be. Your children are blessed to have such a wonderful mother, and to have had the love and guidance of an exceptional father who was taken from them far too soon. My prayers for God's peace are with all of you.

Posted by Maureen Barber Hanson - La Porte City, IA - FFA   September 26, 2012

My thoughts and prayers go out to the whole family. I will always remember hanging at your house growing up and what a neat kid Kevin was. He was the typical "little brother" but never bothered us too much! (haha)! There is now a special angel with you all!

Posted by Darcy Simpson    September 26, 2012

Don, Carolyn, Jacquie & family,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Kevin and sending prayers your way. Since we heard about him going to the hospital - and then his passing - I thought about him a lot. I don't actually remember Kevin that well growing up, but I feel like I know him. Between the stories Mr. Zumbach would tell us when we followed Kevin 10 years later through FFA, or when Carolyn and I worked together at Fareway and we would talk about what Kevin what doing.

He really was a great inspiration to so many people. The things that have been written about him are inspiring and show how much of a profound impact he had on lives all over the world. 46 years isn't a long time on this Earth, but Kevin probably lived more in those 46 years than many of us could live in 10 lifetimes. He truly left his family, his town, his country and the world a better place. Now you have those memories to help to comfort you in the days ahead - remember the good times, celebrate his life and lean on everyone around you for strength.

They always say God sometimes needs the good ones sooner than we want them to go - and I truly believe he needed Kevin for something very special. Will be thinking about you.


Posted by Cory Bailey - Omaha, NE - Friend   September 26, 2012

Kevin was and always be remembered as an outstanding friend and mentor to my husband. My husband Ben, could go into a lot more specifics (probably for hours), but I wanted to share my memory of Kevin. He came home one evening with my husband. Our son was sitting in the front room and Kevin shook his hand and said "son I hear you're graduating soon". My son answered "yes sir, I am". Kevin reached in for his wallet and pulled out the only bill he had and handed it to him and said "you only do this once, congratulations". Of course we protested, but Kevin wouldn't hear of it. Our son, Baron went on to be an intern with Monsanto and has since completed his MBA, has a wonderful family, and I just know that this gesture of kindness will be one that made a difference in his life. It did in mine.
Thank you Kevin for your love of family, friends, and children. Godspeed our dear friend.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all and we wish you peace.
With Heartfelt Love and Respect,
The Ben Matthews Family

Posted by Ben and Colette Matthews - Perryton, TX - friend/ coworker   September 26, 2012

Carolyn & Don

What an outstanding son you were blessed with to raise - and what an outstanding job you did. Remember the fun times and all of the tying times too, for they - all together - make up this thing we call life here on earth.

Carolyn, our hearts ache for your loss and our thoughts and prayers cross the physical distance between us all. Don, give Carolyn a special hug from her classmates and know that our thoughts are with you all.

Murray Class of '62

Posted by Lyle Mansel tuttle - Surprise, AZ - classmate of Mother   September 26, 2012

I received the call from my best friend of Kevin's passing into God's kingdom. He will be missed and his family will be in our prayers.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11
His future is with God now and what a great life that will be.

Posted by Ed Klingensmith - Ankeny, IA - Classmate   September 26, 2012

Words cannot fully express how devastated our family is over Kevin's passing. We met Kevin in 1999 when we moved to Denver, Colorado. We quickly became friends with him and Jacquie and eventually their son, Joseph, and our son, Austin, shared 'playtimes' in the crib together. It makes my heart warm when I look at those pictures now. Eventually the boys went hunting together, and did more 'adult' things with their dads - Justin and Kevin. We will always cherish those memories we had in Denver and then Saint Louis.

Rest in God's arms now Kevin and know that you made a difference in so many people's lives!!!! We miss you. Your wife and children will be taken care of by the many loving arms down her until you see them again.

Posted by Tiffany & Justin Wolfe - St. Louis, MO - friends   September 26, 2012

It is hard to write anything on here because everyone else has already said it all. Kevin Eblen is the best National FFA President the Organization has ever had. This not only from my opinion, but from many people that I have chatted with the past few days. Words can not really explain what Keven Eblen was really like. But, here are a few. Sincere, caring, honest, loving father, loving husband, loving son, amazing friend. The list could go on and on. Kevin had a presence of grattitude, humility, compassion, and eagerness. This showed when he would give a speech. His amazing ability to make you feel like you were the most important person on the earth when you were having a conversation with him.

Kevin will be missed. He can not be replaced. But, he lives on in our hearts, minds, and souls. He was one amazing friend and I will deeply miss him. I wish nothing but the best for his wife, children, parents, friends, and coworkers. Monsanto is going to have a hard time finding someone to fill his shoes. Rest in peace Kevin. You did so much for so many people in this world. Litterally helping people in other countries with his knowledge, dedication, and willingness to make things happen.

Take care Kevin. Someday, all your loved ones, friends, and people that you have inspired will meet you again up in the heavenly sky.

-Bryon Murphy

Posted by Bryon Murphy - Redfield, IA - Friend   September 26, 2012


Cannot believe this is ture. You will be with us forever.

Posted by Rebecca    September 26, 2012


i will miss you forever.

Posted by Elle - friend   September 26, 2012


I was at a loss when I heard Kevin had passed. Although its been many years it is clear that Kevin did make a difference in today's world and the future. My deepest sympathy to the family and may God Bless you in the days to come.

Posted by Timothy Walden - Pierson, IA - Former Classmate Class of 1984   September 26, 2012

I am so sad to hear about Kevin. Praying for Peace for the Eblen family during this sad and difficult time. What an outstanding business man with a supportive family. Such a painful loss, I am so sorry.

Posted by Diane Fastenow Palmer - Classmate of 84   September 26, 2012

It's been many years since we crossed paths, but I know Kevin was an outstanding leader, mentor, and friend to many... plus a great, great professional. We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family.

Posted by Brad Moffitt - Radnor, OH - Professional   September 26, 2012

I was saddened to hear news of Kevin. My prayers and thoughts are with his family. I remember meeting Kevin when he was in Beijing as part of the Midwest China Hub Commission in 2010. I had other opportunities to cross paths with him in Beijing - and I'm so glad I did. As a fellow Midwesterner living in China, Kevin's good natured ways made my day. I was struck by not only his business acumen, but his heartfelt efforts to help others in everything he did. When he spoke of his wife and children, his face lit up with pride and love. I feel extremely fortunate to have crossed paths with Kevin. He is a very good man. May he rest now in heaven.

Posted by Mary Kertz - Washington, DC   September 26, 2012

My sympathies go out to the family of Kevin. Although it's been awhile since our class graduated in 1984, I can still remember riding the same "country kids" bus and all the activities in 4-H, etc... He sure went on to make a name for himself, and put Creston, IA on the map. Thoughts and prayers go out to Jackie and the kids, he obviously loved you all very much!!

Posted by Lisa Becker - Liberty, MO - Classmate at CHS, Class of '84   September 25, 2012

My thoughts and prayers to the Eblen family. Kevin was oustanding person who will be greatly missed by many.

Posted by Paul Stueckradt - Ankeny, IA - friend   September 25, 2012

My thoughts and prayers go out to Kevin's entire family. I feel fortunate that many years ago our paths crossed. We had so much fun together for a couple of summers camping at McKinley, truck & tractor pulls, county fairs and so on.

Posted by Rex Haggerty - Corning, IA - friend   September 25, 2012

I'm so sorry to here about Kevin He was a great guy, I still remember him riding that honda three wheeler all over his parents farm. My condolences's to the Eblen family.

Posted by Steve Weber    September 25, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time of sorrow. Celebrate the man Kevin was and the good-will he brought to all of those he met. I have had many former FFA students email me with..."I remember when you introduced me to Kevin...he made such an impact on me and in my life". He turned heads with his amazing ability to speak and think on his feet. He made people smile with his quick wit and sense of humor. Another student reminded me when a fellow high school teacher didn't appreciate the FFA. We handed her Kevin's retiring speech and said just listen to what FFA can do for our youth. She was a supported from that moment on and used it in her speech classes. What a great man...what a Faith...what a life to celebrate...and what a hole it will leave for all of you. Keep Faith by your side. Surround yourself with the love and devotion he instilled in all he met. I pray for Peace, strength and understanding for all of you! You will be in our prayers. Celebrate and honor the life he shared with you. Kevin is home and is at peace with his Creator and his Lord. Blessings to you! Barb

Posted by Barb Osborn - Ames, IA - FFA   September 25, 2012


I was so sorry to learn of Kevins' passing. My prayers are with his family. Knowing Kevin as I did I know his family will come through this. He was such a leader and giver, and remembered everone he met! We can be sorry that he is gone - but be blessed that he was here to touch so many people.

Posted by gary bruns - IA - FFA   September 25, 2012


My sincere condolences to Kevin's entire family... Kevin left his footprint all over the world with his family by his side. I'm proud to have know such a remarkable human being. His love of the land and helping others prosper in the U.S. and abroad. I can't imagine how many different lives he touched, and yet he never forgot where he came from. He will truly be missed!

Posted by Michelle Freese- McIntire - Afton, IA - Friend   September 25, 2012

Don, Carolyn and Family,
My heart aches for you right now, I sometimes wonder why such good-hearted people have to go through such pain. I know that no one can say anything to erase the tears, but please know that I'm thinking of you and praying for all of you during this trying time.

You're in my prayers,

Jacque Jay

Posted by Jacque Jay - IA   September 25, 2012


My heart and prayers go out to Kevin's family. We all had so much fun growing up together... along with camping trips and state fairs. Everyone always looked forward to seening Kevin when he was back. Kevin was amazing. Even upon his passing he was still giving. Hugs n prayers

Posted by Shelley Carter - creston, IA - friend   September 25, 2012


I remember Kevin being a top FFA student even though he was a couple of years behind me in high school. (I graduated with Pam.)
My condolences to the family; what a wonderful young man he was, who grew to be a wonderful man.

Posted by Christi Hamilton (Merboth) Byerly - Creston, IA - Friend of daughters   September 25, 2012

Kevin was truly one of the remarkable and outstanding young men that I had the opportunity of knowing during my many years in public education.

Posted by Rich Byerly - Creston, IA - Former SWCC President   September 25, 2012