Everett Swan Sunderland passed away unexpectedly and gently at noon on Thursday, Feb. 21, almost two months after his 97th birthday Dec. 27. He had been married to Marcia (Galgas) Sunderland for 64 years, living in Washington Park and then Frenchtown Road in East Greenwich, before her death in April 2011.
He was the only child born to Fred and Diana (Gauthier) Sunderland in Providence. When he was three, his mother died during childbirth from the flu epidemic.
He leaves children Dr. Barbara Sunderland Manousso (John) of Houston, Texas; Gary Sunderland and Bruce Sunderland (Mimi Morimura) of East Greenwich; and Diana Sunderland Prise (Michael) of Kirkland, Washington. He was predeceased by his grandson, Roberto Sunderland Coimbra.
Everett will be fondly remembered for his keen humor, twinkle in his blue eyes, ham radio (W1LX), great cooking, and the tomatoes of many varieties he cultivated in his garden.
He is survived by his grandchildren Brian Sunderland, Lyndsay Sunderland, Grant Morimura Sunderland, Ian Prise, Colin Prise, Bradford Morimura Sunderland and many other family members and friends. A special thank you and acknowledgement to his extended family of residents and staff at Greenwich Bay Manor, where he enjoyed assisted living.
In . He had dropped out of school to join the Navy, in which he served for seven years, and rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer with tours in Panama and Morocco.
He then worked for the federal government for over 35 years: His job in the early years, in Scituate, Rhode Island, was the equivalent of our Homeland Security today. He monitored communication from potential threats to our national security. Later, he was the Engineer-in-Chief for New England at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
He excelled in reading and transmitting the Morse code and building ham radios. When about 14 years old, Everett talked on his ham radio to the South Pole with Admiral Richard Byrd who was first to explore the Antarctic.
Everett was a member of the American Legion and Little Rhody Beagle Club.
Funeral service Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St. Burial with military honors will be in the R.I. Veterans Cemetery, Exeter. Visitation will be held prior to the service at Hill from 10 to 11 a.m. Kindly omit flowers.