An educator and forward thinker, Ann Everett touched many lives throughout the years, making people better and her community better. She was also a pioneer, starting the theatre program at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) in the early 1980’s. That award-winning program is now one of the best, period.
Everett passed away on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. She was 81.
“She was a wonderful, creative and talented person,” said NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “The first play she produced was held in our gym and was attended by 23 people sitting in folding chairs.”
Campbell said Everett showed everyone just how much talent was in the area, especially from people who grew up singing in their churches and with family musical backgrounds.
Everett’s persistence, working with then NACC President Charles Pendley, led to the construction of the college’s theatre building, which is now used for many activities.
“She encouraged so many people,” said Campbell. “She had that ability to never accept ‘no’ for an answer and always found a way to get something done.”
Jackson County Circuit Judge John Graham, a friend of the college’s theatre program, said Everett led trips every year to either Broadway or the London theatre district.
“So many people went on those trips who would’ve never gotten to travel like that,” said Graham. “She knew New York and London as well as she knew Fort Payne and Scottsboro. We went to London with her in 2000 and had a wonderful time.”
Graham said it was Everett’s vision which planted the seed that grew into one of the finest theatre facilities anywhere, bar none.
“It was Ann who knew that these diverse communities would rally to support a fine arts program here,” he said.
Everett was born on Dec. 4, 1939 in Harlan County, Kentucky to parents, Chester and Marie Maxie. Her parents taught her and her two sisters the importance of education. She graduated high school in 1957 and attended Georgetown, Moorehead, University of Kentucky and Lincoln Memorial University. She received a master’s degree at Auburn University.
She met Horace McWhorter Everett Jr. at Lincoln Memorial and they were later married, spending six decades together and raising two children, Kimberly Jo Everett and Alan Everett. Mr. Everett passed away last December.
She spent her life in education, teaching many years at Plainview High School in Rainsville. In retirement, Everett continued making a difference and stayed active in the community.
When Campbell became president at NACC, Everett gave him a handmade card that said, “Ships are beautiful in the harbor, but that is not what ships were made for.”
Campbell said he still has the card to remind himself to succeed you have to be out there on the seas.
“She paved the way for brilliant directors like Mark Webb and current director Kayleigh Smith,” said Campbell. “Ann was a very unique person who really influenced many people’s lives and was so active in the community.”
“She was a heck of a person,” added Graham.