PLEASANT HILL, Mo. — A Pleasant Hill School Board member and business owner was remembered Tuesday night with a moment of silence.
Ryan Vescovi, 48, died Friday. A Facebook post earlier this month from Guido’s Pizza, which Vescovi owned, said he was hospitalized battling COVID-19.
“We appreciate the kind words, many prayers and support from so many in the community,” the post read at the time.
Dr. Zach Patterson, a veterinarian at Pleasant Hill Animal Clinic across the street, recalled the smile Vescovi always had on his face as he chatted with customers.
“I still almost don’t believe that he’s gone. When I saw the first person take flowers over there last Friday, I was in surgery here and I started crying.”
That memorial continues to grow at the pizza place that first opened in Cass County in 1971 and moved to Pleasant Hill in 1977.
“It’s an iconic part of our town. If people don’t know Pleasant Hill very well, you can be talking to them and they’ll know Guido’s,” Patterson said.
“It’s just a shame that he passed. He’s such a strong guy I didn’t think something like this would contribute to anything,” said John Blackmore, who graduated from Pleasant Hill High School with Vescovi.
Vescovi, a father of four, has been on the Pleasant Hill School Board since 2014, posting on his biography he wanted to make sure both current and future students had the best opportunities possible.
On Tuesday, flowers took his place at the school board table as the secretary choked back tears, in the first call for his vote after his passing.
“Would you please rise as we take a moment to honor a son, a husband, a father, a friend and a stalwart supporter of this community,” School Board President John Edenburn instructed the audience immediately after.
Pleasant Hill Schools and the Pleasant Hill School Board have declined comment on Vescovi’s death. It came 10 days after the district voted to institute mask requirements in schools. His vaccination status remains unclear.
Signs at Guido’s say he’ll be forever loved and missed. Visitors to the memorial are encouraged to leave messages to the family. Patterson decided to put a giant sign outside his business with the phrase
“Fly High Ryan.”
“There’s not many Ryan Vescovi’s out there, and we will never see his like again.”