George Will Ezell Jr. encouraged individuality, acceptance of others and a love of music in his children, his daughter Andreana Gonzalez said.
“He loved all kinds of music, especially jazz, and that is why I have the love of jazz,” Gonzalez said. “There was always music around the house.”
Ezell, 70, of Gary, loved to cook, making large quantities of a variety of foods to share, Gonzalez said.
“He catered my daughter Anais’s fifth birthday party,” Gonzalez said. “He made ribs. He brought in the nacho machine. He had hot dogs and hot wings. He just loved doing that.”
Ezell taught his children to be accepting.
“He loved his children,” Gonzalez said. “He wanted us to be open-minded and accepting people. He did not allow any bashing of anyone in our household. He didn’t say anything negative about people who were different.”
Gonzalez’s fondest memories of her dad involve traveling in his RV to Canada and Arkansas.
“It was an adventure,” she said. “He always had the funniest things happen to him. The whole experience was great.”
A teacher of physical education and science in the Gary Public Schools for 23 years, children and education were extremely important to Ezell.
At Ezell’s memorial service, Gonzalez said, her father’s neighbor said he came outside one day to find 20 bicycles in Ezell’s yard. Ezell told him many of his students had never ridden a bicycle so he was going to give them each one.
Ezell, who also worked 12 years at the Calumet Township Trustee’s office and ran a rib stand by Edison Middle School called Eazy’s BBQ for the past several years during the summer.