Jesse and Bernice Pyeatt Scholarship

Jesse and Bernice Pyeatt Scholarship

Bernice and Jesse Pyeatt met while Jesse was attending ACU to obtain a B.A and Bernice was teaching at ACU. A cousin introduced them. They met in November and married in Lubbock ion April 13, 1947. Jesse’s college studies were interrupted by World War II. He served in the coast guard.

After Jesse returned from the war and had completed his degree, his dad called and asked him to join him in the Pyeatt Grocery Business. Jesse was always interested in seeing young people get a higher education and hired young men to work at the store. The young men are good citizens now and have never forgotten the Pyeatts. One of the young men was Mike Schweikhard of Atmos Energy who said, "I was fortunate to be able to work for Jess and Bernice Pyeatt for eight years from 7th grade into my college years. While working as “one of the boys,” I learned about honesty, responsibility, and honoring commitments. More than just good business principles, I learned from their example that these were daily Christian values to be followed."

In July, 1960, four other men and Jesse started the Peoples State Bank with Jesse being the Founding Director. Jesse listened to people carefully, was a quiet and had a dignified business-like nature After Jesse’s death, Bernice served as a director for 12 years. Bernice continues to be involved with her many friends, her quilting circle and her community neighbors.

When Bernice established this scholarship, she said “I want to give young, single mothers a chance to improve their life and that of their families.”