Everett Page’s Remembrance by Steve Lappen

In memoriam by Steve Lappen, May 17, 2020

It was said of Ted Kennedy that he was “The Lion of the Senate.” Why did that designation fit the man? – because of his years of selfless service, dedication, devotion, and influence he had as a Senator representing the state of Massachusetts.

Everett Page did not serve this august branch of government, so why bring up Ted Kennedy? Simply stated, Everett Page was DBSA-Boston’s lion. He is, in fact, the only member of this esteemed organization to be named President Emeritus. And this moniker will remain, even after the final curtain fell on Everett’s distinguished life.

In many ways, if Everett were a member of the animal kingdom I can’t think of a more apt species than that of the lion. Like a lion, he led his pride and in fact was deservedly prideful of how instrumental he was in establishing the identity and viability of this remarkable organization. And like a lion, he would sometimes roar, and his roar could not only lead us to greener pastures, but could also intimidate when his temper occasionally got the better of him. But that’s the thing about great leaders, they too are human and are susceptible to all the foibles and follies of being human.

But far and away, it was his leadership and his willingness to form lasting liaisons with our host – McLean Hospital – that enabled our organization to flourish as recipients of McLean’s largesse. And Everett was friends to all, whether breakfasting with members of building services or hobnobbing with McLean royalty. He was, indeed, an equal opportunity ambassador for DBSA.

And he was one of the first people I met when I reluctantly crossed the threshold of DeMarneffe way back in 1995. And he remained a mentor to me. Over the last several years we grew very close and it was heartbreaking to see his one-directional decline into infirmity and beyond.

You may have noticed that I searched far and wide to find the loudest tie I owned and I wear it now to commemorate one of Everett’s signature features – his breathtaking display of ties that were both outrageous and brazen, but in the oddest of ways always appropriate to the moment. The flamboyance of his ties served as his alter ego because he was in many ways a restrained and reserved New Englander.

I also want to give a shout out to Dot, Everett’s steadfast and loyal partner for life. Were it not for her ability to manage everything related to the homefront with discipline, diligence, and love Everett would not have had the energy to leave the indelible mark on DBSA-Boston that he did.

I have no doubt that Everett was received with open arms by his Creator (for those who believe) even if the Creator did not approve of his choice of ties.

Rest in peace, my friend.

— Steve Lappen

Let’s talk about Everett’s ties

I remember the UNICEF one with all the happy kids running down the length of it to the happy kids holding balloons on his socks.

I remember his humor the jokes (always had a joke)

His innate likability, conviviality.he made the office a warm, friendly place, that attracted any and everyone who he later coxed into volunteering and made into leaders.

Had a natural light-touch leadership, and seemingly boundless energy.

But, to me, it was the genuine kindness that shined through his smile and revealed his soul. That is what bound me to him for 30 years.

I remember asking him to take over the office for two years while I had my turn at playing president. He stayed for twenty.

So how do we remember Everett … do we erect a statue, plant a tree, or name a building named for him. No…

The monument we build for Everett he built himself.

It is DBSA.

I see him at every meeting; I see him in every person here, in all who will come to McLean thirsting for compassion, love, strength and forgiveness.

Everett put a lot of work into this monument.

You could say a life’s work.

— Dennis Hagler

Former DBSA-Boston President

DBSA-Boston Treasurer Emeritus

See a photo montage of Everett and friends.