Donald L. Everhart
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July 18, 1917 - December 17, 2013
Donald L. "Don" Everhart passed away peacefully on December 17, 2013.
A native of Ohio, he received his BA degree (summa cum laude) in geology from Denison University in 1939 and his MA and PhD in geology from Harvard University in 1942 and 1953 respectively. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Citation and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Denison University in 1978 and 1986 respectively. He was a Senior Fellow of both the Geological Society of America and the Society of Economic Geologists. From 1989 to 1992 he served as President of the Society of Economic Geologists Foundation, Inc.
Don began his career as a geologist working for the U.S. Geological Survey, and then became the Chief of the Geologic Branch, and later, the Geologic Advisor to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Don subsequently spent 18 years in the private sector as Chief Geologist and later a Division Vice-President of International Minerals and Chemical Corporation, before moving to Grand Junction in 1977. Here he became the Project Manager of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) Project under the Carter administration and later Manager of the Grand Junction Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. Don retired from the U.S. Government in 1981, and then for the next 15 years practiced as an independent Consulting Geologist, remaining as a resident in Grand Junction. His career took him to many countries around the world, and during retirement, he and his wife Dorothy enjoyed many trips together abroad.
Don Everhart was active in a number of civic, educational, and charitable organizations during his residency in Grand Junction. For several years he was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, President of the local Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, a member of the Goal 5 Committee for Excellence in Science and Math in the District 51 schools, and the Coordinator of a Task Force to promote the granting of graduate degrees by Mesa State College. In 1992 Don ran for the Grand Junction City Council, emphasizing a platform for effective long-range planning in the community.
Don and his wife, Dorothy, were both charter member cellists of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and both served terms as members of the Grand Junction Musical Arts Association Board. Don was a tenor in the Western Colorado Chorale for several years. He was also a member of the Celtic Singers.
Don was active in the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Grand Junction, holding a number of offices including that of Moderator. His passion was Mission and Outreach and for many years was a leader in that church effort. He was also instrumental in forming and participating in the church's Science and Faith discussion group.
He was happily married for 69 years to his college sweetheart, Dorothy Lindaman Everhart, who died in 2011. His parents, William Alfred and Mary Everhart, and his beloved brother, David Leslie Everhart, preceded him in death. He is survived by his four children, Ellen (Ron) Bradley of Grand Junction; Larry Everhart of Lakeland, FL; Greg (Christine) Everhart of Roselle, IL, and Doug (Nancy) Everhart of Durango, CO. He had twelve grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.
His family meant more to him than anything else in life. He will long be remembered for his infectious grin, the twinkle in his clear blue eyes, and his constant desire and readiness to help others in ways both big and small. His passion for debate on religious, philosophical, and political topics often led him to play the devil's advocate, much to the chagrin of those around him at times, but his authenticity, integrity, and intellect were never doubted by those who knew him well. He taught his children the virtues of hard work and dedication to worthy goals, but he was also their biggest fan, teaching them to see possibilities in their wildest dreams and to turn mistakes into steppingstones. During numerous family camping trips and hikes, he passed along to his children his love for geology and his wonder of the great outdoors.
A memorial service celebrating Don's life will be held at the First Congregational Church at Fifth and Kennedy at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2014.
Memorial donations will be gratefully accepted at the First Congregational Church of Grand Junction, CO.
Published in The Daily Sentinel on Dec. 29, 2013