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University of Missouri

Hot and Cold

The Eggermans celebrated their 35th anniversary Aug. 4, 2014.

Leslie and Jean Eggerman

Leslie and Jean Eggerman married Aug. 4, 1979, and started their own family of Tigers not long after. Photo courtesy of Leslie and Jean Eggerman.

Jean Perry was too busy with her bridesmaid duties to worry about her boyfriend, Leslie Eggerman. They had been dating for a little more than a year but had spent the past six months apart. Jean, BS BA ’78, was in Kansas City, Missouri, at an accounting firm, and Leslie, BS AgE ’76, was wrapping up job training in Wisconsin.

We could only afford to call once a week on Sunday when the phone rates were cheap,” Jean recalls. “I was getting nervous about where the relationship was headed. He told me that we needed to have a serious talk when he returned.”

Leslie was driving to Boonville, Missouri, to meet Jean at the wedding of her Pi Beta Phi sister Pam Morris, BSN ’78, to Bob Bloss, BS IE ’77.

At the end of the night, he said he wanted to talk,” Jean says. “And he proposed! I was relieved as much as anything. Plus, it was kind of fun to say he proposed at the end of my sorority sister’s reception.”

The Eggermans married Aug. 4, 1979, and started their own family of Tigers not long after. The young alumni had season tickets to football and basketball games and often carted their children from Brookfield, Missouri, to Columbia for tailgates. In 2007, when the Eggermans’ daughter was a leader at Summer Welcome, an orientation program for new MU students, she was asked how she decided to come to Mizzou. “She has a picture of her when she’s 2 years old with Truman on the basketball floor,” Jean says. “She has this big grin on her face. She says that’s when she became a Tiger. But we didn’t really give them a choice,” she says of Kevin, Engr ’02, and Katie, BS ’09, MPH ’11.

Jean and Leslie have owned Biegel Refrigeration & Electric Co. for 30 years, combining her business background and his technical background. “Some days it’s hard [working with your spouse], and I wonder what we were thinking,” Jean says. “But we’re best friends.”