We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at O'Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home & Crematory
Joe Dwite Everhart (93) of Lillington, NC, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, June 3, 2022, twelve days shy of his 94th birthday. During his final days, he was cared for in the homes of his loving children and by the staff of the Springbrook Nursing and Rehab Center and Cardinal Hospice Care. Joe was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife of almost 70 years, Ruth Nance Everhart. Joe was born in Lexington, NC, on June 15, 1928, to Henry David Everhart and Pearl Mae Beck Everhart. He was raised on a farm, worked in the family logging and sawmill business, and repaired looms in the textile mill. Joe was a student school bus driver where he met Ruth, reserving a front row seat for her. They were married on August 7, 1948. After moving to Lillington in 1950, Joe and Ruth built a loving and supportive home for a family with four children. Their children were taught two major life lessons. The first is best summarized as: No matter what path you choose in life, be the best you can be with the talents God gave you. The second is: Be an honorable person and respect everyone you meet; we are all God’s children. He was The Candy Man by trade, a hard job that carried him over the back roads to farms and homes covering a 6-8 county region. He became a “Walmart on wheels” for poorer families who lacked transportation, providing them household goods in exchange for the premiums they earned selling candy and soft drinks. The hot summer tobacco and cotton seasons were particularly difficult, often leaving home at 6-7 am and not returning until 8-10 at night. He retired as a salesman and beloved friend of his customers, many of them grandchildren of his original customers. Joe was a passionate woodworker, filling his home with beautiful furniture and cabinets and clocks, and continuing to fill his children and grandchildren’s homes. In his later years when the wood grew heavy and hard to handle, he took off a year to teach himself how to make guitars, finally reaching a total of 30. His passion and sense of community led him to trim out numerous Habitat for Humanity houses. As the WRAL TV Tarheel Traveler once stated, “Joe Built That”, beginning with an outhouse. He was a jack-of-all trades, a mechanic, a welder, a mason, an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber, etc. Starting in high school, he was a beekeeper, one year having 800 pounds of honey produced in his hives. Joe was a gardener, each summer striving to get his first tomato before July 4th. Canning and freezing the fruits of his labor would feed the family through the winter. Joe was a lifelong student, always learning, always studying a newspaper, a National Geographic, or a “how-to-do-it” magazine. He even learned to fly and owned his own airplane. Above all, Joe was a teacher of life skills; he led by doing and teaching others how to do. His sons, specifically, now enjoy doing for fun those things that were once a chore. Joe was a faithful member, strong supporter, and quiet leader at Lillington United Methodist Church. He regularly took his family to worship, attended Sunday school, participated in the Men’s group, and served on the Administrative Council. He was always on call when things needed to be fixed; his handprints range from the basement to the steeple and all rooms in between; tables and other artifacts made in his shop are widely scattered around the church, including the Sanctuary. Joe is survived by sons Joel L. Everhart and wife Kathy of Lake Gaston, Rex M. Everhart and wife Carol of Clayton, Anthony (Tony) W. Everhart and wife Sandra of Joelton, TN, and daughter Angela Everhart Andrews and husband Lynn of Harrisburg. He has 8 grandchildren: Jessica Everhart Denny (Brian), Brooke Everhart Chehoski (Jason), Miranda Everhart Evenson, Moriah Everhart Blount (Chris), Kasey Everhart Kitchen (Austin), Blaine Andrews (Sydni), Aubrey Andrews Troutman (David), and Ashton Andrews (Christopher), and 15 great-grandchildren. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, and one sister. He has three surviving siblings: Phillip and Blake Everhart, and Rachel Cooper of Lexington, and a sister-in-love Beckie Jolly Moore (née Nance) of Lillington. Giving of himself to the end, Joe has donated his body to science. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, July 9 at the Lillington United Methodist Church beginning at 3:00 pm. Visitation with the family will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made in his memory to Lillington United Methodist Church, 1201 S. Main St., P.O. Box 506, Lillington, NC 27546.