Everett L. Williams, alias “Jelly Bean” on the baseball field and basketball court in his youth and “Grasshopper” on the tennis court in his senior years, “fought his last dragon” at age 101 by trouncing his son and daughter at dominoes only a few days before the end of his earthly existence.
His wife of 64 years, Francis Lambert (Kemp) Williams, preceded him in death as did most of the Williams and Hanna clans. His daughter, Jo Carole McCulley (Jody) of Kerrville and his son, Everett L. Williams II (Rett) of New Hampshire and grand-daughters, Stacia Williams of New York and Megan Myers of Florida enjoyed visiting with him during his last few days. On the Hanna side, 10 first cousins along with their children are left to honor Everett’s memory, Verna Brown (Tatum, New Mexico), Doyle Brunson (Las Vegas), Clara Helen Edwards (Monahans), Vernice Hale (Helotes), H.L. Hanna (Oklahoma), Bonnie Heath (San Angelo), Betty Jean Naugebauer (Lubbock), Edwin Peeples (Harrisonville, Missouri), Doris Richardson (Morton) and Gracie (Hanna) Williams (Roby). Gracie, his especially favorite cousin, and Edwin visited Everett this last year, acknowledging Everett and his deceased cousin Bill Hanna as the top 42 players of the Hanna clan.
Everett was born in Monroe, Louisiana, to Oscar E. and Ada Rosetta Williams. He grew up in Roby near Sweetwater, Texas. The first in his family to obtain a high school diploma, he graduated from Texas Tech, taught in a one room schoolhouse, earned his Master’s from St. Mary’s in San Antonio, and spent 10 summers at the University of Colorado working toward his PhD in Adult Vocational Education under the GI Bill. After his thesis committee changed three times, he decided a doctorate was just a piece of paper. His children benefitted from his studies by living in family dorms where they met people from almost every state in the union and over 30 countries, experiences that broadened their view of the world and respect for the uniqueness of its many cultures. Everett and Francis instilled in their children and grandchildren a basic tenet: Treat everyone with dignity, regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed or station in life.
After his tour in the Army during World War II in which he taught English to foreign soldiers, Everett became Director of the Adult and Vocational Education at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and then Dean of Del Mar Technical and Vocational Institute after planning the program to obtain the funding to build it. He learned to weld with the welding class! While Director, he built and contracted homes in Corpus Christi, first for his parents, then for his family and others in his “spare time.” After 20+ years at Delmar, he was tapped by Amarillo College to head their Vocational Department and later became Assistant Dean to the President. He and Francis retired to Ingram, Texas.
Everett served as head of the Civil Service Commission for 15 years and was an active member of the Kiwanis Club in Corpus Christi. He voted his conscience and supported “the tired, poor and homeless…yearning to be free,” by backing legislation and causes that supported civil rights of the disenfranchised, the under-educated, women, and minorities in the work force.
An inveterate learner, Everett worked crossword puzzles daily and loved to try out “new” words on the family around the dinner table. He was famous for his one-line Letters to the Editor of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, but became more loquacious to the Kerrville Daily Times. He quoted Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poems “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee” and taught himself how to play the mountain dulcimer. He studied and practiced Spanish and later helped Megan with her distance Spanish coursework. His penchant for innovation: a hoop attached to the back of his boat so that his children could water-ski from side to side more easily. Too bad someone had already patented the idea!
Ever the outdoorsman, Everett with his son and welding instructor Sam George fished all over Corpus Christi Bay. One summer in the late 50s, when his friend Mr. Salter asked him to build a cabin, Everett dragged his boat to the Hill Country so his children could ski on Ingram Lake near the Dam.
A forward thinker, he taught the first couples Sunday school class at First Baptist Church Corpus Christi. There he served as deacon chair while Francis served as church librarian. He continued as a deacon and often assisted his wife with the library at Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville after her health failed. He and Francis organized and taught square and folk dancing for many years in Corpus…a much requested “caller.”
Everett “Ever-ready” Williams was always an active man of whom it was often said, “He could go through a swinging door twice before it closed once.” His athletic history began in high school where he played baseball, basketball and was champion wrestler. After moving to the Hill Country he took up tennis and continued to play after the loss of one eye. With no special training regimen, he garnered 10 gold medals during every Kerrville Senior Games in tennis and track and field events for over 10 years. He retired from the Senior Games due lack of competition in the 90s age group, but was often called to come give an 80+ year-old a chance to play. He coached girls and boys basketball and baseball, little league baseball, and tennis.
After a stroke in January 2012, Everett resided at Alpine Terrace nursing facility where he was known for his “wink” and wit and domino playing. According to his wishes, there will be no formal service. To live a long productive life, he would suggest that you keep active physically and mentally…walk, hit a tennis ball, go fishing, play dominoes or 42, or work a crossword puzzle! He gave instructions for his ashes to be mixed with those of his wife. His family invites those who knew and respected him to be charitable: American Red Cross or research for the hearing impaired, etc. A special note of thanks to his many caregivers at Alpine, Pathways and Peterson Hospice!
An informal gathering was held at the HEB municipal tennis courts in Kerrville on April 2, 2014. Friends brought chairs or racquets!
The family invites you to send condolences at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com  by selecting the “Send Condolences” link.
Arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville.