William Claude Everitt
William Claude Everitt, a Life Member of Local 72-147, aged 99 1/2, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2023. Born June 3, 1923 in Fort Worth, he later moved to Comanche, TX where he attended school and played in the band. After graduating high school his family moved to Brownwood, TX where he did many odd jobs and continued playing trombone professionally. He attended Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, volunteered when World War II broke out, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge, helping to liberate Dachau. After the war, he returned to Dallas and graduated from SMU and began teaching band at DISD. While teaching he began his band instrument rental program which was the first of its kind in the country. He was contacted by Brook Mays Music to begin that program there and soon he was offered the opportunity to purchase the company.
During this time he also played professionally as an extra with the Dallas Symphony, the American Legion Band, and the Shriners Band. He also earned his 32nd degree as a Mason. He later purchased C&S Music (renamed Mr. E’s music) in Fort Worth and H&H Music in Houston for a total of 22 locations which formed the largest music instrument company in Texas. He retired at the age of almost 91 years.
In 1952 he also became Minister of Music at Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church and served for 39 years. He directed the Choir of the Celtic Cross, adult choir, and the Westminster Youth Choir, which became nationally known under his direction and recorded several records and produced a weekly broadcast ministry on KRLD for over 10 years, two nationally produced programs which aired on CBS as well as three Protestant Hour programs which aired worldwide.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Jeanne and their son, Jonathan Everitt and his wife Kendra, granddaughters Kristina, Kathryn and Kayleigh, and his sister Jo Acrea and husband Jan of Kentucky. He is also survived by daughters Claudia Irwin of Colorado and Betsy Taylor of Dallas, and son Billy Everitt of Dallas, granchildren, nieces, and nephews.