EVERETT, PHYLLIS AILEEN “TERRY” – a long-time Maryville resident whose life spanned three continents and the political and social upheaval of the 20th century, died on September 29, 2008, at Hillcrest nursing home in Knoxville after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. She was 86. Mrs. Everett was a long-time member and leader of St. Andrew’s, serving in the choir and altar guild for decades and rising to the highest lay position in the church, senior warden.

She was born on July 29, 1922, in Calcutta, India, the daughter of British colonial parents who had emigrated from England generations earlier. As a young child, she and her brother, Dick, and family moved to what is now Burma, where her father was a civil engineer at a mining and rubber operation. Terry (called that because of her maiden name Terrell) was home schooled in the beginning and then went to private school in Calcutta. During certain seasons, the school moved to the base of the Himalaya Mountains.

She was sent back to England after graduation from high school. She began nursing school in London three days before Britain joined World War II. (Her mother and younger brother David, who stayed behind in Burma, escaped from the invading Japanese on the last ship from Rangoon.) Terry was trained as a nurse and physical therapist in London during the Blitz. In addition to working in British hospitals she worked the bucket brigades to extinguish fires from the bombing of London. She had several close calls during the bombing and later V-1 and V-2 attacks. Later in the war, she worked at a center set up outside London to rehabilitate children hurt during the Blitz; this operation was part of the beginning of the modern physical therapy profession. She also met an American Air Corps officer named William F. Sink. They married at a church in London, and she moved to the United States after the war.

In 1946, she led a press conference in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about the bureaucratic delays in allowing British war brides to join their husbands in the States. She also became a U.S. citizen. Living in Colorado and then Texas, the family grew to include two sons, Alan and David. After the marriage ended in divorce, Terry was forced to forge a new life for herself and her sons, in her new country. She earned her American physical therapy license and bought a practice in Lawton, Oklahoma. There, she met another American military officer, Harold R. Everett of Maryville. They married and, as they traveled the nation and world, through the Army, had three more children, Kent, Steven, and Lisa. After Harold’s retirement from the Army, they made their permanent home in Maryville. Mr. Everett died in 1982.

Mrs. Everett was a long-term cancer survivor, facing several serious surgeries in the 1960s and 1970s. She worked as a physical therapist for the state of Tennessee and joined St. Andrew’s in the 1960s. She also was active in mental illness groups, helping found and becoming the first president of the Maryville Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. She also served on the state physical therapy board and mentored young people who joined her profession. Mrs. Everett is survived by her brothers, Dick Terrell, a retired businessman and transportation minister in Australia, and wife Thea; and David Balfour and wife Loma, still practicing as an Episcopal priests in the Highlands of Scotland; and her children and grandchildren: Alan, a lawyer in Knoxville, and wife Anne; David, a university professor in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and wife Patty Edmonds, and children Claire and Will; Kent, the owner of Castone, a contracting and masonry firm in Maryville, and wife Debbi, and children Matt and Meghann; Steven, of Seymour; and Lisa Everett Woods, a computer software executive in Redmond, Washington, and husband Andy, and children Aaron Ameen and Leah Woods.

A memorial service and interment of ashes will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Maryville with special music by the choir beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, November 1, 2008 with a funeral and interment of the ashes to follow. The family will receive friends afterward at the parish house at St. Andrews. Contributions can be made to Habitat for Humanity and to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Tennessee Chapter, (NAMI Tennessee).

Advertisements