Willard R. Everett

Willard R. Everett

April 27, 1923 – May 27, 2021

Willard R. Everett, 98, of Basin, Wyo., passed away on May 27, 2021. Willard was born on April 27, 1923, in Lexington, Ky., to Leonard and Ruth (Fox) Everett. His dad was a traveling salesman. They traveled around in a Model T and slept in tents as they made the rounds to county fairs so his dad could show his wares.

Everett moved to Nebraska with his dad and brother where he went to school until seventh grade. His dad had served in the Army during World War I and had received a homestead through the Veterans Homestead Act. They ranched there until moving to Worland where Everett graduated in 1941.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army on Sept. 25, 1944. He went to Camp Hood, Texas, for basic training to become an infantryman. From there, Everett shipped out to Fort Ord, Calif., to board a troop ship bound for Hawaii. In Hawaii, Everett underwent jungle training and was assigned to the 96th Infantry Division. He was then sent to the South Pacific where he served in Japan and the Philippines. Everett was one of the infantrymen to make the landing on Okinawa and secured the island. After Okinawa, Everett returned to the Philippines until VJ Day (August 15, 1945), when the Allies announced the surrender of Japanese forces. While in Japan he was wounded twice by shrapnel. They patched him up the first time and sent him back to the lines where he later got wounded again. He has two Purple Hearts and a few scars as a reminder of his time there.

Upon his return he went into partnership with his brother and father in a ranch on the Nowood. He may be best known, though, for working at the John Deere Implement dealership in Basin for 50 years. Bob Eckerdt hired him and he retired when he was 75 years young. Everett was active in volunteering in our community and was a member of the American Legion Post 29 for over 50 years.

Willard married Mary Katherine Giovanni on Nov. 5, 1952, in Billings, Mont. They moved to Basin in 1956. Mary enjoyed being a homemaker. She loved to garden, plant flowers, play bridge and bowl.

A graveside service was held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at the Mt. View Cemetery in Basin. Pastor Jerry Fuller will officiate and military honors will be provided by the American Legion Post 29. Arrangements have been entrusted to Atwood Family Funeral Directors.