In Memoriam: William Everdell


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with deep sorrow the death September 3, 2010 of former Life Trustee and Honorary Member William “Bill” Everdell.  Bill became an Associate in 1971, and served as a Member of the Corporation from 1972 to 1985, when he was elected an Honorary Member of the Corporation.  He served as a Trustee from 1978 to 1986, when he was elected an Honorary Trustee (now known as Life Trustee).  Bill served on several Board committees, including Executive (for six years), Development, and the Nominating Committee.  He was a member of the Paul M. Fye Society, and he also participated in the Young Associates Program in the early 1990s. 

William Everdell was born in New York, NY on May 29, 1915.  He was the eldest son of the late William and Rosalind (Romeyn) Everdell.  Bill attended St. Paul’s School, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his law degree from Yale.  Upon graduation, Bill joined the law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton in New York City as lawyer number six in 1940.  He joined the U.S. Naval Reserve soon after Pearl Harbor, earning seven battle stars, largely in the Pacific.  He left the service as a Lieutenant Commander and rejoined Debevoise and Plimpton, from which he retired 1988 after being a partner from 1949 to 1985.  He had been a fellow of the American Bar Foundation,  a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (served on its Executive Committee from 1960 to 1964), and the New York State Bar Association (Chairman of its Committee on Corporate Law from 1971 to 1973).  During his career, he served as a Trustee of St. Paul’s School and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (where he also sat on the Executive Committee), and he was a former Secretary of the Gerry Foundation and the William Waldorf Astor Foundation.  Bill was a member of the Pilgrim Society, the Piping Rock Club, and the Links Club in New York.  He was an avid sailor and longtime member of the Edgartown Yacht Club; he was also a member of the Edgartown Golf Club and the Edgartown Reading Room. 

Bill lived in Glen Head, New York and Edgartown, Massachusetts.  He is survived by three children: William R. of Brooklyn; Preston of Centreville, Maryland; and Coburn D. of San Francisco, California, a WHOI Member of the Corporation; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.  Bill was predeceased by his late wife of 67 years, Eleanore “Ellie” H. (Darling) Everdell, and one grandchild. 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 25th, at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Paul’s School, 325 Pleasant Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. 


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