Frank F. Everest, Jr., roamed the Alaskan wilderness when he was a young boy, soared through the air when he was a fighter pilot, and left this earth on his final journey October 11, 2020, when he passed away peacefully at home, with family by his side.
Frank was born in Galveston, Texas on December 31, 1931, the only son of General Frank F. Everest, Sr., and Edith Everest. He grew up in a military family and lived on bases around the country and in Charleston, West Virginia when his father was deployed during World War II.
Frank loved to tell his children and his grandchildren stories about living off the land in Alaska, his journey down the Al-Can Highway, and extended time with family in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he grew close to his Uncle Charlie.
Frank returned to Iowa for college and played football at Iowa State. He left school early to join the Air Force. During flight school and early in his military career, Frank met the love of his life on a blind date. The night they met Frank told Jean that he was going to marry her one day. Jean’s father, Carlyle Boguess, approved and their life together began on November 24, 1954. Their love for each other lasted 65 years and only ended when Jean passed away in 2019.
Their lives were filled with passion and family. Each new duty assignment seemed to bring another child, first when Hank was born in Victoria, Texas, and when the next son, Michael, was born in Bitburg, Germany. Frank told many stories about that post in Germany, including mock dog fights in training and how the cockpit in his fighter suddenly lost pressure at 40,000 feet, puncturing his eardrum.
Frank wanted Jean to see the family farm as soon as possible, so they went to Iowa on their honeymoon. Jean learned that farm life starts before dawn and that slopping the pigs is just one of the chores. Frank planned to return and start farming when he was discharged from the Air Force.
Uncle Charlie had some other ideas for the young couple after he met Jean’s father at their wedding. Carlyle started a steel fabrication company, Southern Iron Works, and told Frank he had a job waiting for him. Uncle Charlie gave Frank the best advice of his business career when he said “Rube, if I were you, I would go to Virginia and go to work for Carlyle.” And so he did.
Frank and Jean moved to Alexandria, Virginia when he was discharged from the Air Force and remained there for the rest of their lives. Frank went to work in the business and eventually became Carlyle’s right-hand man, both in real estate development and as a top executive at Southern Iron Works.
Frank did not give up farming. He planted bigger and bigger gardens, finally with rows and rows of corn in a large vacant lot. When Frank finished his day at the office he went to work at home in his garden and in his workshop.
What started out in the garden ended up on the table for their five children, Chuck, Hank, Mike, Jenny, and Marty. Frank often said that Jean cooked for all seven family members for years so then he cooked for Jean until the end of her life.
Frank loved to be outside in the garden and in the wilderness. He fished the Frying Pan River as a boy and later fished in Alaska with friends and family. Frank also loved to hunt birds in North America and big game in Africa. He was hard of hearing and always said it was his punctured ear drum, never the thousands of rifle shots and shotgun blasts from hunting.
Frank took his family camping in the Virginia mountains and then to the Colorado mountains. He taught his children to ski by leading them down the slopes like a line of ducklings. Later he took his extended family on more ski trips, but he sent his grandchildren to ski school.
Frank was welcoming to all, even the teenagers that dated his daughters and married into the family. He cherished his grandchildren and each visit. He was genuinely interested in other people, often direct, and always honest. He had many friends from all walks of life.
Frank is survived by Hank Everest and his wife, Natalie; Jenny Purcell and her husband, Dave; Marty Irvine and her husband, Chris; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Frank’s family is especially grateful to Josie Velasquez, who cared for him through his last days and also grateful to the caregivers from Goodwin House.
Please make a donation to a charity of your choice instead of sending flowers. The family is having a private service and hopes to later gather and celebrate Frank F. Everest, Jr., may God rest his soul.
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