Everett P. Lay, 89, was born Sept. 14, 1919, in Bozeman to Anna Paulson Lay and Bert Lay.
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He attended school in Bozeman, and as a young man, started working in local area grocery stores and then moved for a short time to Seattle, Wash.
Everett's name was the first one drawn in Gallatin County for the World War II draft, but before being called, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served three years aboard the destroyer escort, the U.S.S. Ebert, spending most of his time on patrol in the New Hebrides Islands. He was honorably discharged from service in November 1945.
He returned to Bozeman where he served an apprenticeship at Bozeman Jewelry, under the care of Bert Johnston. He then attended watchmaker's school at Bradley Technology in Peoria, Ill.
On April 6, 1946, he married Juanita Rose Spaulding in Bozeman, where they continued to live happily together for the next 64 years. To this union were born their two daughters, Karleen (Jeff) Gates and DeeAnn (Tom) Langel, both of Manhattan. He was blessed with 10 grandchildren: Wayne (Ronya) Langel, Kelly (Jerry) Powell, Jenny (Aaron) Svare, Kim (Charlie) Briggs, Seth Barnhart, T.J. (Nicole) Barnhart, Ben Barnhart, Kohlby Lay Langel, Regan Langel, Elizabeth McCotter; and 17 great- (really great!) grandchildren. He loved and was loved by numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in law, cousins, nieces, and nephews. The legacy he leaves behind is the lifetime of love that he freely invested in his family. His quiet graciousness and genuine hospitality was apparent to all who visited with him.
Everett worked at Bozeman Jewelry until 1958, when he established his own business, Lay's Jewelry, located on North Seventh Avenue. He and his wife, Rose, served their customers until 1980, when they retired. They continued to live in Bozeman until they moved to Manhattan in 1995 to be closer to their daughters and their families.
The joys of retirement brought many happy hours fishing the Gallatin rivers and local area lakes. Although he lost his eyesight in 2002, his love of spending time with friends and family was not diminished. His ability to overcome the loss of vision was an example and testimony to all he met. He attended Manhattan Bible Church where he enjoyed the fellowship of many.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Frances Lay Kitterman; and his brothers, Herbert Lay and Fred Lay Jr.
Following the complications associated with emphysema, amidst the love of his family, he quietly passed from our arms into the loving arms of his heavenly Father on Monday, Aug. 17, 2009.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel in Bozeman, immediately followed by interment in Sunset Hills Cemetery at Lindley Park. As we continue to celebrate his life, friends and family are also invited to a gathering at 1:30 p.m. at Parkhaven Retirement Village in Manhattan.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service and Crematory; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Aug. 19 to Aug. 20, 2009