1945-2010: STEVENSVILLE – Richard Michael “Dick” Everett, 64, of Stevensville, passed away Monday, March 15, 2010, at his home following an extended illness.
He was born Sept. 30, 1945, in Anaconda to Paul and Flora Everett. Dick was educated in Anaconda public schools, graduating from high school in 1963. He spent the school year in Anaconda and summers with his grandparents, Mike and Daisy Thoft, on their ranch in the Bitterroot Valley. This was his initial exposure to ranch life and raising livestock.
After high school, he attended Montana State College for a short time, worked for Clorox in California and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy in December 1966. He was honorably discharged in December 1972 after serving as an electronics technician (ETN2) in various locations, including San Diego, San Francisco and the Panama. His favorite assignment was the year he spent wintering in Antarctica, 1970-1971. He was most proud of his association with the Beach Jumper Unit 1. Dick received numerous commendations: Sailor of the Quarter, Sailor of the Month and two recognitions for his work with the Beach Jumper Unit.
After serving in the Navy, he returned to Montana State University and completed a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business. Dick was proud to be a Bobcat in “Grizzly Country.” He started ranching in the Bitterroot Valley, buying his own ranch in 1975. Dick became a “sheep man” and worked tirelessly and successfully to develop a line of Targhee-Merino sheep, noted for both their fine wool and long staple. These rams became the foundation for the wool that became blankets for the Montana Shepherds Market. He and Marie were two of the original owners. He also bred registered Targhee sheep. Raising sheep was his profession and passion. It was his life. He was very proud of having the 2005 Grand National Champion Targhee Yearling Ram. He also was a consigner at the Miles City Ram Sale.
Dick was active in the community. He spent nine years on the board of the Montana Wool Growers, serving one year as president; spent 14 years on the ditch commission for the Sunset Irrigation District; served as president of Concerned About Grizzlies; was a lifetime member of the Old Antarctic Explorers Association; and judged 4-H market lambs at the fairs in both Ravalli County and Missoula to name a few.
After two previous marriages and the birth of his daughter Bess, he married his best friend, Marie Fox, on Jan. 29, 1995 (Super Bowl Sunday). In addition to being a surgical nurse, Marie learned to be a “shepherdess.” She loved being married to her “handsome sheep man.” They also enjoyed bowling and hunting together, two of Dick’s favorite pastimes. He also had a passion for archery, recently making arrows and giving them to all members of his family.
He also was a wonderful cook and baker; Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings, pumpkin pie and oatmeal raisin cookies were his specialties. Dick and Bess had many contests over who made the best pie crust. Marie didn’t try. Dick usually won.
Dick’s daughter Bess was the light of his life. He spent as much time as possible with her. He taught her to bowl and to shoot a bow and arrow. He was so proud of her and her accomplishments, most recently her graduation with a master’s degree in international management from Portland State University in December 2009.
Dick was a consummate teacher and friend. One could not have a conversation with Dick without learning something about sheep or how to train a border collie. He spent hours training his dogs. Dick never met a dog that didn’t like him; well, maybe one. He could irrigate any piece of ground and spent hours trying to teach Marie. His friends were most important to him and he would do most anything to help them. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He did say bad things about spinach, though. He was honest as the day is long. He was a “nice guy.”
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Flora.
Dick is survived by his best friend and wife, Marie of Stevensville; daughter, Bess Everett of Portland, Ore.; sister and brother-in-law, Paulie and Barry Mills of Farmington, Wash.; brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Martha Everett of Tacoma, Wash.; nephews, Paul and Nathan of Tacoma; three aunts; an uncle; and numerous Everett and Thoft cousins, Jesse, Doc, Bud, special Lass and Gabbi.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Whitesitt Funeral Home with the Rev. Henry Littlehales officiating. Military honors will be presented.
A potluck reception will follow at the Stevensville Senior Center.
The family suggests memorials to the Parkinson’s Foundation.