A1372321
Lyle J. EVERINGHAM
Former President of Kroger Foods.
b.abt 1926/27
married:
Rlene LAJINESS (b.~1929 d.2013)
d/o Sylvester Lajiness & Lucille Powell
Obituary of Rlene
parents:
Kenneth Lyle EVERINGHAM (b.1904)
Christina EVERINGHAM (b.1905)
children: EVERINGHAM
  1. Nancy
  2. Mark
  3. Christina
siblings:
  1. Robert George (b.10 Apr 1928)
  2. Donna Rae
  3. Jacqueline (b.3 Sep 1931)
  4. Joan (b.2 Oct 1934)
  5. James Roy (b.20 Mar 1937)
  6. Linda Lee (b.1 Feb 1946)
fact sources and writings about this individual:

Lyle wrote in March 2000:
"I remember your grandparents, Dale & Leora and your great grandparents, Charlie & Clara Everingham, but that was a long time ago, when they lived south of Onaway, Michigan."

Research of Kevin Everingham of MI, 2005-2012:

1978 - Lyle Everingham is named Kroger President and CEO.
Kroger opens Tara foods in Georgia
1979, Kroger becomes the 2nd largest food retailing company in the United States.
1980 - The Kroger Company tops $10,000,000,000 in sales.
1990 Lyle's Retirement... (with photos) The Blade News, Toledo, OH, Nov 4, 1990

Lyle named Alum of the Year (Onaway Area Schools Alumni Association). Onaway Outlook, Friday, June 20, 2008... article contains an old school photo.
full story:

In 1944, Lyle Everingham graduated from Onaway High School. World War II was in progress, and he was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army. After training in Texas, he was given a short leave to go home and then shipped to the South Pacific. It was quite a change for a boy from northern Michigan.

In the Pacific Theater during the fight for Okinawa, Lyle was wounded. He received a Purple Heart but returned to combat soon after. While on a small ship on the way to his next assignment, news came that atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese had surrendered. The sailors operating the vessel invited the army troops aboard to an impromptu celebration. The only alcohol they had was some beer that had suffered from improper storage, but they made do, rust and all, toasting the end of a war that had changed an entire generation and still affects world politics today.

After the war most were sent home, but others were needed for U.S. operations in stabilizing Japan. Lyle, who had time left on his contract with the US Army, remained in Asia. Although he was disappointed at not getting to go home, the experience was interesting. He got to see the Imperial Palace, visit many places in Japan, and serve under General MacArthur, commander of U.S. forces there.

One side trip Lyle recounts involved some horses the men came across in their travels. Having spent lots of time on a farm in his youth, Lyle figured he was quite capable of riding them. These were race horses, however, not the gentle farm animals he was used to, and he learned to his discomfort that he wasn't the horseback rider he'd imagined.

All in all, the experience of World War II shaped every person involved, changing them in many ways. While war is never fun, Lyle considers the experience was good for him, turning a green young man from a rural area into someone ready to face the challenges of the world.

Lyle's parents had moved to Adrian in the forties, so when he was mustered out of the service after World War II, Adrian became his new home. The GI bill allowed for college, but when he returned from Japan it was mid-semester. Lyle figured he'd go to college later and perhaps become a dentist, but he needed a job in the interim. His brother Bob worked at a local Kroger store, so Lyle went to work there, too. He says almost everyone in his family worked for Kroger at some point in the years following the war.

Lyle began by stocking shelves but soon began to move up in the company: store manager, district manager, manager of operations, and then vice president of merchandising. He was elected corporate vice president in 1965 and a board member in 1970. After serving as senior VP in merchandising, store operation, and distribution functions, he was elected Kroger's president in 1977, CEO in 1978, and board chairman in 1979. He also served on the boards of several other companies such as Bethesda Incorporated, Cincinnati Milacron, Incorporated, the Center Trust Company, Capital Holding Corporation, and Federated Department Stores.

Lyle doesn't comment on how he climbed the corporate ladder, but it is easy to guess he was able and efficient. Those who know him told OASAA that in addition to being a hard worker with the ability to see projects through to completion, Lyle is a person who is well-liked by all who know him. "I don't think Lyle ever had an enemy," is a quote from a friend and a wonderful summation of his character.

Besides being a successful employee at Kroger, Lyle also met his wife Rlene there, and they married a year later. The marriage has lasted since then with three children, two daughters and a son. There are grandchildren and even a few great-grandchildren these days. Lyle and his wife divide their time between Florida and Ohio. He served as a trustee for the University of Cincinnati and along with his wife established and/or support several scholarships. He was featured in 2002 as one of the Chamber of Commerce's "Great Living Cincinnatians." Forbes magazine also profiled Lyle's success in the May, 1989 issue.

After his retirement in 1991 Mr. Everingham became involved in many civic projects. As a result of his service to the region in areas like fundraising, he received honorary college degrees from Cincinnati University and the University of Toledo. It might be considered ironic the man who missed out on a college education because he took a job at Kroger achieved such success that he now holds two degrees. Lyle didn't miss out on an education; he just got his in a unique, hands-on way.

Because Lyle Everingham used his native intelligence, his combined experiences, and his determination to achieve success, OASAA is proud to name him the first ever Alum of the Year. The presentation of this award will take place immediately after the parade on the Fourth of July in the alumni tent across from the Onaway Post Office.


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