Linda Everett

Linda Everett
Gate River Run, March 10, 1990

Growing up on Alexandria Street in San Marco in the house built by her parents in 1942, Linda Williams Everett showed an independent streak at an early age, and cherishes the memory of the fun times she spent hanging around with her best friend, Steve Pierce.

“I had a really fun childhood. Halloween in San Marco was wonderful – we would just go all over the place. It was a small town atmosphere,” said Everett, now a resident in Monclair. “Steve and I rode our bikes everywhere. We would go to Mims Bakery, which is about where Taverna is now, and we would go to the San Marco Theatre. I think it cost nine cents to get in then. There was Guisenhoff’s gift shop and a place that sold 45 records. It really was wonderful! Mother took me to see Santa Claus go by in a boat near where the playground is.”

Linda Everett

Linda Cherrie Williams

One time Everett decided to run away from home. “I got a few things together and sat on Steve’s family’s front porch next door and watched them eat dinner,” she recalled. “There was no air conditioning in the 1940s so the windows were open, and I loved listening to Steve’s older brother play classical music on the piano. To this day I love classical music. Steve’s mother was a great cook. I spent a lot of time over there, and we would sit on the floor and listen to the Lone Ranger and Sky King on the radio.”

Everett was shocked when her good friend was killed in an automobile accident returning home after finals after his first year at Duke University. Even though they had formed other friendships, the recollection of her childhood with Pierce is still very poignant for her. ”Those are really fond memories,” Everett said. “We went to Southside Grammar School together, played together, we did everything together. When we were about six or seven years old we set up a card table and sold lemonade to the workers who were building the sanctuary of South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. Steve’s mother made the lemonade and we sold it. Lots of it!”

Everett said she was a tomboy growing up and was heavily involved in sports when she attended Landon High School. “I did just about every sport you could do – archery, tennis, softball, basketball. I was on the Landon Lionettes. It was a marching group – we performed at the football game half-time shows,” she said. “It was led by Mrs. Kathleen Turner, and she was so strict. We got demerits for just about everything. We had to audition and practice every day after school. It was a big deal.

“We also did water ballet at San Jose Country Club. My high school buddies and I went to the Athletic Association in San Marco – it was across from where Underwood’s is now. There was a bowling alley and a drug store, I think it was Lane’s. We’d go there and get cherry limeades and go to the San Marco Theater.”    

Everett’s father, Carl Williams, owned Willow Battery and Parts on Main Street and she remembers middle-of-the-night calls from customers needing a battery.

“Mother helped Father in the business. It was a great childhood, and they were fine parents, but I was adopted and I’ve always wanted to find my real parents,” she said. “My father was never one to give me advice, but he really liked me. We were very close. I think, and my cousins think, that he was my real father but no one knows. He always said, ‘Someday I’ll tell you about it,’ but he died before he did.”

Linda Everett

Southside Grammar School, third grade class; Linda is fourth from right in first row

Everett has a long history with South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church from the time of the lemonade stand in 1946 to her wedding in 1962 to Britt Everett. “I met my husband, Britt, in June of 1962, and we were married on December 7. I wore my sister’s friend’s wedding dress. It fit just perfectly,” she said. “We were married for 22 years, and lived for a while in Ft. Lauderdale but moved back home in 1979. We divorced in 1984 and he passed away. We have two daughters, Beth and Amanda. In high school a lot of my friends went to South Jax Presbyterian so naturally I had to go too. After my marriage I went to church all over town, but I ended up back there. My parents attended, too, even though they were Christian Scientists and continued to practice their beliefs.”

To please her parents, Everett got a degree from Florida Southern College in secretarial science, then started a career in real estate in 1979 with Stockton Whatley and Davin. Later, she made the jump from full-time real estate back to college student to earn a nursing degree. “My father wasn’t too happy about that since it went against his Christian Scientist religion,” she said. Everett worked for Baptist Medical Center until 2004. Now she and daughter, Amanda Everett, work together for Watson Realty. 

In 2004 Everett married Fred Edwards. “His parents and my parents used to play bridge together when we were little. He passed away in 2010.” She also cheerfully recounted a brief marriage to local hair stylist Anthony La Roche. “It didn’t work out but we are still friends. We talk tennis and politics,” she laughed, “and he still does my hair!”

Everett enjoys many church activities, including Sunday school and chancel guild. She has been an elder for three years at South Jacksonville Presbyterian, belongs to two women’s circles and has friends all over town.

Linda Everett

Linda Everett

In her spare time she serves as a home-health nurse, works out three times a week, is an accomplished amateur photographer, cooks, listens to classical music, enjoys dinner out and watches cooking shows.

“When I was first married I didn’t know how to cook so I’d sit on the floor and write down recipes from Julia Child,” said Everett. “Now I enjoy PBS specials and old movies.”

Every night Everett and former housekeeper Annie May Oliver, 90, talk on the phone. “My mother died in 1974. Annie May and I have more of a mother/daughter relationship,” she explained. 

When asked whom she would like to meet, Everett is quick to respond. “Oh, my gosh! My favorite star is Gregory Peck. He was so handsome – it would be fun to sit down and chat with him, but I’d really have loved to have met Mother Teresa,” Everett said. “She really impressed me with how she just kept fighting to build hospitals for the poor. She was so determined. I’ve read several books about her and her entire life is an inspiration.”


By Peggy Harrell Jennings
Resident Community News

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