Everette Carnes was born June 18, 1921 in Marshall, Texas, and grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Named for his father, he soon became “Buddy”, acquiring a nickname that followed him for the rest of his life. After graduation from Hot Springs High School, he attended Henderson State College then volunteered for military service shortly before World War II. He anticipated that he would serve a year and then return to college. Instead, he served over four years, primarily in the Pacific Theater (well documented in the book The Williwaw War). In 1945 he came to North Carolina to resume his education. He briefly worked as a fireman on the old Atlantic Coast Line Railway while waiting to enter Wake Forest College. He received his J.D. in 1948. He graduated, passed the North Carolina Bar Examination, married his fiancée Rachel, and moved to Marion—all within three weeks.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Everette saw the law from every angle. He practiced real-estate law through his career, but also served for a time as prosecuting attorney. He was a criminal defense lawyer, civil trial attorney and District Court judge. He was a member of the American Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar association, serving on the board of governors from 1978 through 1981. He also served on the board of trustees of Legal Services of North Carolina. He was president of the McDowell County Bar Association and the 29th Judicial District Bar Association. In 2000, Everette was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the North Carolina Bar Association.
A busy law career did not interfere with Everette’s community service. He and Rachel were longtime members of the Methodist Church in Marion, as well as the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was chairman of the McDowell County chapter of the American Red Cross, president of the Marion Civitan and Rotary Clubs. His service to the Boy Scouts included time as a scoutmaster as well as the chairmanship of the District Committee of the Piedmont Council. He received the Silver Beaver award as an adult leader. Everette was a trustee of the Children’s Home in Winston Salem and served as Chairmen of its Executive Committee. As a real estate developer, he was involved in the formation of the area’s first nursing home and served as Chairman of its board of directors.
Everette is survived by Rachel (Margaret Rachel Page) his wife of 71 years and two sons: Michael of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and Andrew of Hendersonville, North Carolina. He leaves two grandsons (Jason and Adam Carnes); and a granddaughter (Laurel Franciose), along with three great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Everette’s life will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Marion Pastor Warren N. Owens and Pastor Phillip Tate officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., prior to the service, at the church.
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