Services held for woman who was a child plaintiff in 1954 Brown v. Board case
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Ruth “Tootie” Everett, daughter of one of the 13 plaintiffs in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Case, died after an extended illness earlier this month at the age of 80.
A service for Everett, who died on July 3, took place this past Thursday at Mount Hope Cemetery, 4700 S.W. 17th.
Everett, of Topeka, was one of the original children in the Brown v. Board case.
Her son, Darl Everett Jr., said his mother was denied enrollment in fourth grade at Parkdale Elementary School, formerly located near S.E. 10th and Chandler, which was only two blocks from her childhood home.
Her request to enroll in Parkdale Elementary School was denied based on her race and school segregation laws in place prior to 1954, her son said.
Instead of being allowed to attend her neighborhood school, she was forced to attend two segregated elementary schools that were farther from her home. Those schools were Washington Elementary School and Monroe Elementary School.
Her son said both of the segregated schools “were located far from her home and created a burden” on her parents to get her safely to school.
In 1954, her mother, Vivian Scales, became one of the original 13 plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Case, which ruled that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional.
In May 2004, Everett participated in the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court case at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site, located in the former Monroe Elementary School building at 1515 S.E. Monroe in Topeka.
Everett worked at the Topeka State Hospital for 27 years before retiring and becoming active in various social organizations, including the Topeka Links Chapter, bridge cubs, and the Topeka chapter of Jack and Jill of America.
She was the daughter of Vivian and George Scales, both officers of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Topeka.
Like her parents, Everett was a lifelong member of the Antioch church.
“I have nothing but fond memories of her,” said the Rev. T.D. Hicks, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, 1100 S.E. Washington. “She was a strong asset for our ministry.”
Everett is survived by her husband Darl Everett, of the home; a son, Darl Everett Jr., of Virginia; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Terilyn.
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