Name: Everett H. McPhillips
Birth: 18 APR 1918 in Lindsay, Platte Co., Nebraska
Death: 7 JUL 1955 in Alaska
Burial: Mountain View, Pierce, Lakewood Co., Washington
Military WWII: PVT 96 Base HQAB SQ AAF
On April 28, 1918 in Lindsey, Nebraska, Everett Henry McPhillips was bo rn as the fifth of six boys and the sixth baby in the McPhillips famil y. He had one sister who was older than him. This sister, Viola, helped pr ovide care for his older brother, Edward, himself and a younger brother, D on. They lived on a family-owned farm. His father, James was Irish extract ion by one generation and Catholic. His mother Mary Jane had been bo rn in Wales and Protestant but converted to Catholicism. The father requir ed the children to ride their horses without saddles as his brother had be en dragged to death by having his foot caught in the saddle's stirrup. Th ey rode to school on horseback many miles in all weather, where Everett re membered the nuns as strict teachers who used the ruler readily over the ir knuckles. Everett's education ended after completing the eighth grad e. The McPhillips family was a close clan with strong ties to their mothe r. They worked hard, played card games, shot ferrel cats from the barn raf ters, learned to smoke out back of the barn and went to community dance s. Everett was a wonderful dancer who has noted for this talent when Lawre nce Welk came to their nearby community to provide music for a dance. He a lso was in the Golden Gloves program as a featherweight boxer. At some ye ar in the early 1940's he and his younger sibling, Don and older siblin gs Thomas and Edward moved to Seattle WA. His mother and sister would co me later.They took jobs at Boeing Aircraft and later enlisted in the milit ary for WWII. Everett was given an honorable discharge for "nerves" and fl at feet. He did not go to the war arena. His brother Don knew Dorothy Bols inger who had her own beauty shop so Everett took his girlfriend there f or an appt. He made a pass at Dorothy and came back to tell his brother th at the minute he saw her he knew "this is the girl I'm going to marry." In deed, two weeks later, March 11, 1944, they were married. He was good look ing with a Jimmy Stewart kind of long face with dark hair, grey eyes a nd a very good sense of humor. He was popular with women. Unfortunately, w hen with his brothers, he was also prone to drink like his father and gamb le. Dorothy came from a family where the father was a teetotaler who wou ld not let alcoholic drink into his house. Dorothy soon learned to meet h im on payday and take his check to pay the bills. He had a variety of jo bs and did not keep them long. He drove the Yellow Cab until a customer he ld him up for the night's earnings at gunpoint. They had their first and o nly child. They drew straws over her religion. Presbyterian won over Catho licism. A tumor on Everett's sturnum was misdiagnosed as Tuberculosis a nd he was sent to the VA Hospital in Vancouver, WA. for a year. Dorothy a nd his daughter, followed with Dorothy still continuing with her Beauty Sh op. During this time, his brother, Tom, came to live with them as did Ever ett's mother Mary Jane. After they had left, Mel's children, stayed with t hem as their parents went to develop a business in Alaska. They moved wi th the three children to a home in Spanaway, that Mel and Eunice had boug ht before leaving. During that time Everett caught a bad case of the chick pox which lasted two weeks. He said if he could go that long without smoki ng then he could quit for good, which he did. Later, he had an occassion al cigar.
Mel convinced them that there was work for Everett in Alaska so they all m oved to Valdez, Alaska in 1952 before it was a state in the union. Evere tt had hoped to work for Mel's trucking outfit but the work dried up. He w ould had gone to drink but Dorothy threatened to leave so he pulled himse lf together, gave up the drink for good, and found a job as a longshorem an working on the docks loading and unloading ships in the bay. After a sh ort while the Longshoreman union blackballed him and 12 others from wor k. They produced pictures while the men were sleeping on their breaks a nd said they were not working on the job. They said they were stealing ite ms from the loads to shift blame from themselves. They did this to get fri ends or themselves more work and skip the seniority of the thirteen worker s. While off work Everett took odd jobs like sweeping the snow off the hu ge oil tanks. The thirteen took the union to court and with the help of Do rothy's writing skills (she typed late into the midnight hours). They we re successful in winning the suit. They were reinstated to work. Everett t hrived on this work and in this environment. He loved fishing and hunti ng and kept the larder full with salmon and pharmigan, an occasional moos e, elk, caribou and once a bear which he gave to the native Americans. T he next three years were the best of their married lives as they went to m ovies, dances and played cards with friends and participated in the Bapti st church they had joined because of it's warm social atmosphere.
On July 7th 1955 Everett and a friend, Wally, the town garbage collecto r, went on a vacation fishing trip to Summit Lake. The ice had just been o ff the lake three days and fishing season had just begun so they were eag er to get there on the first day. Their small dorie had been home-bui lt by a former owner. Because it was still very cold they were dressed hea vily with thick boots. Everett excited that he had a fish on the line sto od up and the boat capsized, throwing him far away but Wally close to t he boat. Wally tried to push the boat to him but it moved away and his fro zen fingers could barely hang on until help would come. Everett was lad en down with his clothes and suffered a heart attack when he hit the ice c old water. He yelled help once and drown. It took a day of scraping the la ke before they found his body. (It is ironic that as a young man back in N ebraska he had been a strong enough swimmer to save another man's life w ho was drowning.) He was given a funeral in the Baptist church in Valde z. His body was flown out to Seattle where he had a Catholic funeral for h is McPhillips family. He was buried in Tacoma at the Mt. View Park Memori al next to Dorothy's parents.
He was only thirty-seven years old. Some of the values that he gave to h is daughter were; to treat all people equally regardless of race because t hey are all equal, play fair, keep a sense of humor, admit when you are wr ong and enjoy life.
Everett McPhillips is in two census that are available resources at this t ime; 1920 United States Federal Census, Joliet, Platte Co. Nebraska and 19 30 United States Federal Census, Cameron, Hall Co. Nebraska.
Dorothy Bolsinger b: 20 APR 1920 in Tacoma, Washington
11 MAR 1944
in Seattle, Washington
- Living McPhillips