Caring, loving, fun and compassionate—those are the words that Brian Flanagan says best describe his stepdaughter, Lillian Everhart.“She was the most important person in my life,” Mr. Flanagan said.
Ms. Everhart, also a resident of East Quogue, died on Tuesday, November 25, at the age of 27. Family members confirmed that she took her own life.
An avid runner with a passion for travel, Ms. Everhart was known for picking up loved ones when they fell on hard times, and for putting the needs of others ahead of her own.
Mr. Flanagan recalled going to a parent-teacher conference when his stepdaughter was attending the East Quogue Elementary School, and her teacher had but one complaint: Ms. Everhart—or Lili, as most people knew her—was paying more attention to assisting her classmates than to her own work. “That was the closest thing they could find to a problem with her,” he said. “She was more concerned with helping others, sometimes, than helping herself.”
One of her proudest achievements was earning the East Quogue Teachers Association’s Humanitarian Award when she completed elementary school in 1999, her stepfather recalled this week. After graduating from East Quogue Elementary, Ms. Everhart attended Westhampton Beach schools and graduated from the district in 2005.
She lived in South Africa for a month earlier this year and planned to travel back there in three weeks to continue what she’d had done during her first stay—helping children in need. Her travels have also taken her to Indonesia, Puerto Rico and on a bus ride through Central and South America that ended in the ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru.
She loved children and animals, and enjoyed running, having competed in multiple half marathons and even helping her stepfather, who has diabetes, train for and run a half marathon himself.
Ms. Everhart was known locally for the many years she worked as a server at Oakland’s Restaurant in Hampton Bays, forming what Mr. Flanagan called a “second family” there. Recently, she had been working as an optometrist’s assistant and was taking prerequisite courses so she could eventually enroll in nursing school, her stepfather said.
A visitation for Ms. Everhart held on Sunday, November 30, at the Follett and Werner Funeral Home in Westhampton Beach drew more than 1,000 family members and friends, Mr. Flanagan said, many of whom carried signs honoring his daughter.
In addition to her stepfather, Ms. Everhart is survived by her mother, Pat Everhart of East Quogue; her father, Steve Everhart and stepmother, Kerry Everhart, both of Westhampton; two brothers, Austin and Dawson Everhart of Westhampton; and a sister, Ashley Gironda of Center Moriches.