David Paul Everett, 100, passed away April 20, 2023 in Hillsboro, Texas.
He was born in Enid, Oklahoma July 17, 1922 and raised in Baytown, Texas where he began a lifelong enjoyment of being on or near water.
David joined the Navy in July 1941. He was assigned to the USS Lexington. The ship was in Pearl Harbor when the crew voted on December 1, 1941 to spend Christmas instead of New Year’s in Hawaii. The Lexington sailed out to sea December 5—two days before the Japanese attacked.
David and his crewmates fought in the Battle of the Coral Sea. There, the Lexington was struck by two torpedoes and eventually sunk on May 8, 1942 after all hands had abandoned the ship. After two hours in the water, David was picked up by the USS New Orleans. During the war, he would also serve on the USS Breton and the USS Shamrock Bay.
While on the Shamrock Bay, the sailors learned that the war was over. Afterward, David was assigned to Seattle. While there, he and another sailor helped rescue eight people from a seaplane that crash landed on the water; they also kept the expensive plane from sinking, salvaging it. David was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1947.
From there, he began working his way back to Baytown. He chopped trees in the Northwest and later was a “shill” for a Las Vegas casino. Back home on the Texas coast, he ferried workers to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and operated a tugboat. At Texas City, he rescued four people whose boats were struck by a sudden violent Gulf storm.
David eventually headed to Dallas for work. At the downtown Sears and Roebuck where he worked in the service department, he met Ruby Kate Crocker. They married in 1952.
After working for General Electric in Dallas, the couple bought Cooney Cavern Lodge on Lake Whitney in 1961. The Everett family would run the fishing camp for decades. Through the years, many renters of Cooney Cavern cabins became longtime friends. He also created Everett Appliance Service where he was renowned for being able to repair anything.
In their retirement years, they enjoyed several RV trips into the mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Both David and Kate had a great interest in bass fishing. Aside from knowing Lake Whitney well, they spent many years traveling to lakes throughout Texas to compete in tournaments where they collected numerous trophies. They also danced through the decades, illustrating their love of life and each other.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Kate, son David Everett, Jr. (Julie Smith) of Lake Whitney, and daughter Paula Everett Campbell (Mark Campbell) of Weatherford. David had three grandchildren, Jeremy Everett of Waco, Julie Duran, of Weatherford, and Hayley Stotler of Weatherford and eight great-grandchildren.
David displayed great generosity his entire life. He was a gentle man who, truly, would do anything for anybody. David left his mark and set a wonderful example for many through his kindness and generosity.
A graveside service was conducted Wednesday, April 26 at 1 p.m. at Smith Bend-Coon Creek Cemetery.
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