OBITUARY

Everett Owen Rockwell

March 1, 1923July 15, 2018

Everett O. Rockwell

March 1, 1923 - July 15, 2018

No-one who met him will be surprised to hear that Everett managed to get fired from his first job. The fix was in to let a school board member's son play ball with failing grades - just tell the teacher to pass the boy. But Everett just couldn’t do it. No contract renewal either. All children were equally special to him.

It was Everett’s joy and privilege to spend his career as an elementary school principal in Tuftonboro, Amherst and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire; with a grand wrap-up in Granville, Massachusetts. He was a hands-on kind of principal, which put a lot of the administrative paperwork on his secretary. This gave him the luxury to spend most of his time with the kids - not always popular with superintendents, or school boards, but it always seemed to work for the students.

It also seemed that the school year just wasn’t long enough because many summers were spent directing summer camps or running bus trips. Those bus trips were the stuff of legends. Mim and Everett packed the gear, loaded a couple dozen 10-16 year olds with a couple chaperones and set off on a cross country trip through the national parks and wonders of America - or maybe ten weeks to Alaska. A generation of Granvillites share a priceless heritage.

Everett was born in Boston, and raised in Oakland, Maine with 7 sisters and brothers in the Baptist Church parsonage. In 1943 he enlisted in the Army Air Force, and was based in Bury St. Edmunds, England. His father was stationed in France as a chaplain. He found out that a plane was flying from England to landing strip near his dad, so with the help of the flight crew, Everett went AWOL to visit for a couple days and then returned to his base with no one the wiser.

Everett returned to Colby College after the war to finish his education under the GI bill. After being refused readmission based on his prior poor record, he convinced the dean to accept him, simply saying that two and a half years in England had made him a different man. He was, and he graduated in '48, married his childhood sweetheart, Miriam Tobin, and began his career.

Everett worked as an educator for 36 years, but he taught his entire life. Half of his career was spent in Granville, Mass. Upon his retirement, the town shut down Main street for a parade in his honor. Sixty people lovingly created a quilt commemorating his activities in town. Mim and Everett moved to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and Betmar Village in Zephyrhills, Florida. They shared more than twenty years of active retirement and travel.

In addition to his children: Becky Bent and Toby, his grandchildren: Samantha and Chris Bent, and his brother Paul; Everett has left innumerable kids of all ages enriched.

AA Milne’s donkey Eeyore helped encourage millions of kids to live in the moment; our EOR did the same, up close and personal, for thousands.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Everett O and Miriam T Rockwell Scholarship Fund, Granville-Tolland Dollars for Scholars PO Box 214, Granville, MA 01034. Alternatively, honor Everett by taking a young one for a walk in the woods and explore the mysteries of this wonderful world.

A service and fellowship will be held Friday, July 20th from 2:00 - 4:00 at Bridges, 108 Littleton Road, Westford, MA., Everett’s home for the last 5 years. Family and friends are invited to join the staff in remembering Everett.

Services

  • Memorial Service Friday, July 20, 2018
REMEMBERING

Everett Owen Rockwell

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Bob Laptew

August 10, 2018

I owe so much to you Mr. Rockwell. You changed my life in 6 weeks! Field Trip 77 was a very formative experience. You and Mim gave a gift that has kept giving to me throughout my life.
Several months from now, we will move into our Motorhome as our primary residence. Part of my sense of adventure and wanderlust was inherited and the other part inspired by you. I sit here writing this from a campground about to go kayaking. We leave every spot we stay better than we found it because of you. Your name has been spoken multiple times this week before I even knew that you had departed this world.
I could go on an on with stories as could so many of the students whose lives you touched. Thank you for being so kind and generous with your time. As I set out to retrace our 77 trip, I will remember and honor your life by being kind, learning things along the way and trying to leave each place a little better than I found it. With great gratitude and respect, Bob Laptew

Ted Sussmann

July 22, 2018

A photo of all of us on the DC trip with Sylvio Conte

Ted Sussmann

July 22, 2018

I may have missed the cross country trip, but everyone of us that attended Granville Village is better because of you. I still had plenty of chances to try ‘bug juice’ on trips to the State Forest, Fort Ticonderoga, Cape Cod, and DC. Met Sen Kennedy in DC who took us on the newly built DC subway at your request. What an eye opener. I remember that we always squeezed a bit more out of every moment you were with us whether we were in the woods or the city. Thanks for showing me how much fun is right in front of us.
Ted Sussmann

Sandra Kelley

July 20, 2018

I always looked forward to your visits. You were funny, always funny. I remember the fruit salad in a watermelon. What creativity. (I thought at the time) I also noticed that you were the ones helping in the kitchen at the reunions while most were visiting and playing.
I also kind of wished I could have gone on one of those trips that I often heard about.

We are blessed that you were a part of our lives.

Jennifer Rockwell Kelly

July 19, 2018

What an amazing man you were...and I get to call you Uncle. Thank you for inspiring me to be better, kinder, harder working, patient, a good listener and genuine. I will always remember you for your creative ways and how much fun you always had and that ever present smile. Rest In Peace My Uncle ...in our hearts forever.

Jim Rockwell

July 19, 2018

Wow, what a legacy this man has left the world ....
Funny, smart, loving, intuitive, funny, energetic, adventuress, funny, oh ya and did I metion funny ........

Gots to be the best uncle a nephew could look up to .... Both Everett and Mim

And they also raised two of the best kids on this planet too,......

He will always be missed by many

God Bless all ...

Paul Rockwell

July 19, 2018

Everett, my older brother, was a strong help to me and my family during every step of our life. Always with a helping hand, strong advice and encouragement. Everett was instrumental in getting me into Colby, helping us move several times, giving my children nicknames and being a great brother in every way. Condolences to the family.

Goodby Everett

Brenda Whitehill

July 19, 2018

My earliest memory was of the first time that Uncle Everett had us make burdocks creatures. We had very sore hand from putting those creatures together but such fun. He was the life of the party. He was always there for our family. He came to visi t our Dad just before he died. He was such a comfort to us all.

Pamela Hoover

July 19, 2018

Mr. Rockwell,
I remember walking home with my brother and sister from school as we lived on the same street you did; Dickinson Dr. on more than one occasion, with you working in your front yard, calling out to us, and always calling me pimEla; you were the only person to call me that on a regular basis. We stop and talk to you, as you would either provide us with a teaching moment, or ask us we learned that day. I will always remember you as being encouraging, wise, interesting and funny! Rock on, Mr. Rockwell, and here’s to a life well-lived. Blessings to you and your family.

Robert Thompson

July 19, 2018

Dear EOR,
I remember sitting on the front stoop of Granville Village School with you for my interview. You asked me a few questions about myself, then told me you knew I could teach because you had already spoken to other administrators about me. Then, you said, "tell me what you can do for the kids outside of the classroom!" You must have liked my answer because you then told me I had the job. Thank you for what you taught me and for making me a successful principal! May God grant you much peace, you more than earned your rest.

Robert W. Thompson