Rev. Willard Russell Everitt (“Will,”“Pastor”), died January 9, 2021, at The Commons on St. Anthony in Auburn, N.Y. He was 91. Born May 24, 1929, in Baptistown, N.J., Rev. Everitt married Judith Elaine Pepper June 25, 1960, at the Green Cathedral at the Baptist Camp and Conference Center in Lebanon, N.J.
He attended Houghton College as a music major and later received his Master’s in Theology from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Seminary). Rev. Everitt served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Rochester from 1949 to 1952, including during the Korean War, and rose to the rank of Fire Control Technician, Third Class.
He was a teacher, first at Mansfield Township Elementary School in Port Murray, N.J., and later at Tinc Road Elementary School in Flanders, N.J. As a clergyman, Rev. Everitt served at First Baptist Church Point Marion and New Geneva Baptist Churches in Point Marion, Pennsylvania; Meredith Baptist Church, Meredith, N.Y.; First Baptist Church, Somerville, N.J.; First Presbyterian Church of Oxford at Hazen, Hazen, N.J.; Knowlton Presbyterian Church, Columbia, N.J.; Lakeland Chapel, Ogdensburg, N.J.; First Baptist Church, Jordan, N.Y.; Faith Bible Chapel, Weedsport, N.Y.; and as pastor of the Senior Saints program at Second Baptist Church, Auburn, N.Y.
Rev. Everitt served as chaplain of the Clark-Heck American Legion Post #568, and, in his later years, attended First Baptist Church in Weedsport, N.Y.
While raising a family and serving his community, Rev. Everitt also found time to tend a vegetable garden and cultivateAfrican violets and gladiolas, putter in his workshop, and swing a hammer on occasional carpentry projects. A gifted lifelong musician, he loved to sing, perform on cornet, and embellish favorite hymns on piano.
Predeceased by his father, George Willard Everitt, and mother, Erma Decker Everitt, Rev. Everitt is survived by his wife of 60 years, Judith Pepper Everitt, daughters Jennifer Lashley (Mark) and Karen Everitt, and son Jonathan Everitt (David); grandchildren Matthew Lashley, Katherine Lashley, and Joseph Lashley; and sisters-in-law Clara Pepper Rowe and Christine Pepper Barash, and several nieces and nephews, beloved by all.
A private graveside service will be held at Weedsport Rural Cemetery in Spring 2021.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York in Will’s memory: alz.org/centralnewyork/donate/tribute_gifts.
Special thanks to the nursing home staff at The Commons on St. Anthony in Auburn for their extraordinary warmth, kindness, and hard work.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” - I Corinthians 13:4-7
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