Irene Margaret (Graves) Everett, 89, passed away in Springfield, Tennessee on Monday, February 27, 2023.
Born in Rock County Minnesota on April 18, 1933, she was raised as a midwestern farm girl with her parents, two brothers, and four sisters. She was raised Catholic and remained a devout Catholic her entire life.
Irene was educated in a one-room country schoolhouse and was proud of the quality of her education. She graduated from Jasper High School in 1951 and soon met the love of her life, Clair Everett, by sharing a ride with friends to the local dance in Hatfield. This was the beginning of a never-ending love and wonderful marriage. They married in Jasper, MN on June 27, 1953 and had four children: Dennis, Kenneth, Bruce and Carleen.
In 1964, Clair and Irene moved to California where they found new opportunities and adventures. Clair went first to find a job and later sent for Irene and their four children who traveled by train with only the worldly belongings they could pack into trunks. The couple’s meager beginnings flourished with hard work and careful budgeting. They enjoyed raising their family in Long Beach for their first 10 years and then purchased a home in 1974 and moved to a nearby city called Artesia. Irene lost Clair in 2001, but she remained in Artesia, where lived for 40 years, until moving to Cedar Hill, TN in 2014.
Clair and Irene’s first priority was always family first. Each summer, they spent their two-week vacation driving from California to their hometown of Jasper, Minnesota to visit their parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and extended family. They made sure to travel varied routes so the family could experience visiting different states and their unique landmarks. Irene and Clair loved to go camping and continued to travel the country visiting family and friends in their fifth wheel until Clair’s passing.
Irene was full of life, quick-witted, always up for a good joke and a laugh, had a thirst for knowledge and the news, and she was the family historian. She and Clair loved to dance and their swing routine was always in perfect unison. She loved to play cards and games and no matter your age, you had to earn “the win.” She was a natural teacher and spent lots of time working with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren teaching them how to write or quizzing them with flash cards to learn their multiplication tables, vocabulary words or historical facts.
Irene was a creative soul. She was an eloquent writer, poet, and a beautiful painter. She loved to sew, crochet afghans and scarves, embroider, and tat. She also was a perfectionist. If she made a mistake, she was known to pull out all the yarn and start again.
She loved her flowers and plants and never lost the farmer girl in her, as she grew the best tomatoes in Southern California. Those who knew Irene, knew her love for deer which was exemplified throughout her home adorned with her favorite animal. Irene loved to cook and made everything from scratch every night of the week as Clair wasn’t a go-out-to-dinner kind of guy. For years she baked her own bread each week: yeast rolls/buns, cinnamon rolls, and fried bread. She also kept-up the Norwegian and German family traditions of making oyster stew on Christmas Eve, along with lefse and fugens.
Irene was a proud mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother.
She is survived by her children: Dennis (Pattie) Everett, Mt. Juliet, TN; Kenneth Everett/Becky Kujawa, Ashley, IL; Bruce (Jean) Everett, Cedar Hill, TN; and Carleen (Jamie) Herndon, Cedar Hill, TN. Her grandchildren: Robert (Paula) Everett, Bill (Tina) Everett, Danielle Everett/Cody West, Dana Everett, Selena Alcantar, Michael Everett, Kate Gurney, Bradley Everett, Brett Everett, Cassidy Haley/Carter Mullins, Heath (Melanie) Haley, Seth Haley, Olivia (Jeff) Haines, and Abner (Lindsey) Herndon. Her great-grandchildren: Breven Everett, Jordan Everett, Levi West, Claire West, Alex Alcantar, Jeremiah Winterswyck, Matthew Gribble, Kierra Everett, Vel Gurney, Ava Everett, Ava Haines, Nate Haines, Brisby Herndon, and Hazel Herndon. And, her great-great-grandchildren: Evelyn Everett and Landon Everett.
She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 48 years, Clair Everett; grandson, Brock Everett Haley; parents, Gearhart and Cora Graves; siblings, Ed Graves, Tom Graves, LaVon Chambers, Doris Draxten, Ruth Fjellanger, and Verna Baustian; and several nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at Austin & Bell Funeral Home, 509 Walnut St., Springfield. Visitation is Sunday, March 5 from 2-5 p.m. and Monday, March 6 at 10 a.m. followed by the funeral at 11 a.m. with Pastor Rebecca Votral officiating. Interment to follow at Bellwood Cemetery, 105 U.S. 41, Adams. Pallbearers are grandsons: Robert Everett, Bill Everett, Michael Everett, Bradley Everett, Heath Haley, and Abner Herndon.
Austin & Bell Funeral Home in Springfield is in charge of these arrangements.
AUSTIN & BELL FUNERAL HOME-509 WALNUT STREET, SPRINGFIELD, TN (615) 384-1000 https://www.austinandbell.com
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