In Remembrance: Everett Henry, College Painter, Presidential Medal Recipient
Friendly, conscientious, and miraculously not spattered by paint, he became a kind of symbol of Beloit’s community, putting his best effort forward on the job, while making time to befriend students and colleagues. He died on Jan. 6, 2020, in Beloit.
Everett joined the college in 1960 and retired in 2006, having made a host of friends among co-workers and a large following of alumni who, as students, appreciated his quiet kindness.
“Everett loved students, and he was just a wonderful person,” recalls former Dean of Students Bill Flanagan. “People like him had relationships that kept students at Beloit. As the Dean, that was so important to me because I could see the difference they made in students’ lives. There are some real Beloit heroes, and Everett is among that group.”
An outstanding basketball player at Beloit Memorial High School, Everett went on to play professional hoops around the world, including with the Harlem Globetrotters. After he joined the college, he was recruited to play for a novelty basketball team, which competed in regional matches. He played on the college’s intramural team and showed up when he could for noon ball, a friendly basketball competition between faculty, staff, and the occasional student.
Everett was in attendance at many college athletic matches where he was a steady fan, especially of men’s and women’s basketball games. In 2000, in recognition of outstanding service to the college, he received the Presidential Medal from Ninth College President Victor E. Ferrall, Jr., who introduced him as “a master craftsman who has devoted his career to making Beloit beautiful.”
Everett once reflected on his college painting job in a Beloit Daily News story. “I was fortunate to get into something I loved,” he said. “[Painting] allows you to do a lot of thinking, and I like to be creative.”