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Everette plays the piano for Alzheimer patients

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights 70-year-old Jettie Everette. Everette travels to Daphne every other week to play the piano for patients with Alzheimer's at the John McClure Snook Alzheimer Center. She also enjoys sewing, recently creating her dress and matching umbrella for Atmore's 100th birthday party.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born on Dec. 12, 1937 in Uriah.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Mamie Bayles O'Gwynn and William "Bill" Gulsby. My father died when I was 5 years old and mama married again later.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: Yes, but mine was a very strange family. I was a "second" family for both of my parents. Daddy had four grown children when he and mama married. He was 58 years old when I was born. He had four grown children, Ola Bradford, Clifton Gulsby, Bruce Gulsby and Harold Gulsby. They are all deceased.
Mama had a daughter, Gladys Broughton, now Gwin, when they married. She lives across the street from me and we are very close.
Q: Where did you attend high school and college?
A: I attended J.U. Blacksher High School in Uriah. I attended Jefferson Davis Junior College and graduated from Faulkner University in Montgomery when I was 53 years old. I was given "educational leave" from my job to finish college.
Q: Do you do a lot of traveling?
A: We have traveled extensively within the United States. When we retired from the state of Alabama in 1998, we took a month-long trip out west in our travel trailer.
We have been to Canada and on a cruise to Nassau in the Bahamas.
My favorite place of all our travels was to Yellowstone National Park.
Our daughters live in Arkansas and Georgia and our son lives in Daphne. We visit them as often as we can.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: Yes, I married when I was very young and that marriage did not work out. I married Gordon Everette in 1958, we will celebrate our 49th anniversary in August.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: We have three children. Susan Fischer of Bentonville, Ark., Melanie Whitaker of Acworth, Ga. and Gene Everette of Daphne.
Gordon's son, Mike Everette, from a previous marriage is deceased.
We have six grandchildren, Ashley Fischer Vinson and Carter Fischer of Ark., Leslie Whitaker and Brian Whitaker of Georgia and Kristie Everette and Hali Everette of Daphne.
We have two great granddaughters, Abbie and Libby Vinson of Arkansas and another due in November.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: Gordon and I are very active at First Baptist Church here in Atmore. I am currently the church pianist and serve on the music committee and the nominating committee.
I sing in the choir when someone else plays the piano.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I do a lot of volunteer work. Gordon and I travel to Daphne every other Wednesday to the John McClure Snook Alzheimer Center. I play the piano for an hour and Gordon leads the patients in singing old songs from the 30s and 40s.
I love to play the piano, sing and sew. I am a member of the "Alabama Singing Women," which is a group of about 90 Baptist women from throughout the state. We sing at the Baptist State Convention each year and go on a short tour annually.
I am secretary for our local lodge of Woodmen of the World.
I am also a National Delegate for WOW and on the National Fraternal Committee and will be attending a seminar in Nashville in June.
Q: What jobs have you held?
A: I met Gordon working at Chemstrand, now Solutia. .I worked at Vanity Fair for a short time, then at Jefferson Davis College. My last job, which I am retired, was as a social worker for the State Department of Human Resources. I worked there for 24 years and have been retired since 1998. I am now chairman of the DHR board.
Q: What's your favorite TV show?
A: I enjoy the soap opera "All My Children" and have watched it off and on since it began. I enjoy "Extreme Makeover" on Sunday Nights and we watch "Wheel of Fortune" each night after we eat.
Q: What do you think is the most interesting thing about yourself?
A: My ability to sew just about anything. I sewed purses for many years to help educate two children who were at Auburn at the same time. My most recent project was my costume for the 100th birthday of Atmore. I could not find a yellow umbrella to match my dress so I covered a beige one out of the same fabric as my dress. I made my oldest daughter's wedding dress. I love to sew for my grandchildren now.
Q: What advice would you like to give people on staying healthy?
A: Keep busy, stay active. Serve the Lord and trust Him for guidance. Be happy!
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Adrienne McKenzie at 368-2123 or e-mail her at lifestyles@atmoreadvance.com)