A memorial service will be held Monday, July 2, 2012, at 3 p.m., at LaGrone Funeral Chapel for Everett Clayton Lankford, who passed away June 26, 2012. The Rev. Garry Schwalk and the Rev. Richard Grisham will conduct the service. The family will receive friends at LaGrone Funeral Chapel from 4 to 6 p.m., on Sunday, July 1, 2012.
Everett was born Oct. 12, 1915, in Como, Texas, to Elton Lankford and Lena M. Davidson Lankford. Following his mother’s death in 1924, his father and five children moved to Hagerman, where Elton later married Mrs. Eva Owens.
Everett will be remembered by his son, John Royce Lankford and wife Jan, of Roswell, and his daughter, Barbara “Bubbles” Carlson and her husband Stan, of Alto; grandchildren, Sean Lankford, of Roswell, Shannon Lankford and wife Ann, at the Thailand Embassy with the U.S. State Department, Meredith Forsyth and husband Brett, of Dallas, Michael Breeden and wife Nanette, of Rowlett, Texas, Rick Breeden and wife Tami, of Albuquerque, Colette Whitlock and husband Lee, of Houston, and Chris Carlson and wife Amy, of Houston; 15 great-grandchildren, and a host of other dear family members and friends.
Everett was preceded in death by his parents; his step-mother; his wife of 72 years Opal; a daughter, Nancy E. Breeden; brothers, Ray Lankford and Royce Lankford; sisters, Florene Menefee, Delpha Hugie and Theda Lankford.
Everett graduated from Hagerman High School in 1933 and attended New Mexico A&M in Las Cruces. He played basketball for the Aggies until illness forced him to return home. He married Opal Hicks in Roswell on Jan. 30, 1935. Everett was an active member of First Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school and participated in Brotherhood and other church organizations. He and Opal became members of Bethel Baptist Church in 2005. He was active in Boy Scouts, an assistant scout master of Troup 99, attended the Philmont Scout Ranch and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. Everett was a member of the Masonic Lodge and served as master of Lodge No. 18 in 1958. He was high priest of Columbia Chapter No. 7, a Royal Arch Mason, served two years as secretary of the state DeMolay association, and received the DeMolay Cross of Honor and the DeMolay Legion of Honor.
He was the owner and operator of a service station in Hagerman, he worked for Price’s Creamery, Southwestern Public Service, was an insurance agent, and retired from the New Mexico State Employment Security Commission as an insurance representative.
Immediately following his 90th birthday, he and Opal decided to drive to Houston to surprise their grandchildren and welcome a great-grandson into the world. Their unannounced arrival on the birthday of their 14th great-grandchild was truly a shock to the family. Everett loved to travel throughout the United States and visit family and friends. He had several memorable trips to Texas, Tennessee, Canada, Hawaii, Bogota, Colombia, and the Philippine Islands.
Athletics played an important role in his life. He loved to play basketball and tennis as a young man and during his middle and older years he enjoyed golf and bowling. Everett was very proud of his Senior Olympics activities. He was the New Mexico 8 Ball Gold Medalist five times and was the National Shuffle Board Gold Medalist in 2011. Everett and Opal, enjoyed 42 and card games, especially during their later years. They enjoyed entertaining friends and their childrens’ friends in their home.
He lived a very full and active life and was blessed with many friends, loving family, and many opportunities. He will be missed; however, it is a blessing to know he is with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and with family members and friends who have gone before him.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons, Sean Lankford, Shannon Lankford, Brett Forsyth, Michael Breeden, Rick Breeden, Chris Carlson and Lee Whitlock.
Friends may make memorials to the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, P.O. Box 629, Portales, NM 88130, or the Lankford-Breeden Scholarship Fund, ENMU-Roswell Foundation, P.O. Box 3017, Roswell, NM 88202, the J.O.Y. Center of Roswell, 1822 N. Montana, Roswell, NM 88201, or the charity of their choice.
Friends may pay their respects on-line at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of LaGrone Funeral Chapel.