News Flash


Posted on: February 23, 2021

City Council honors the life of Gary Everhardt

Mayor Joe Gibbons, Senator Jim Broyhill, and Gary Everhardt in front of Fr. Crider, Sept. 27, 2014

The City of Lenoir City Council recognized the life and accomplishments Gary E. Everhardt Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, during the City Council meeting.

Mr. Everhardt was a Lenoir native. He served as the Director of the National Park Service and Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and he was a strong advocate of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, which runs through Lenoir and Caldwell County.

Mr. Everhardt died Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Charlotte, just four days after his wife Nancy died. He was 86 years old. Click here to read more on the Citizen Times website.

"We will get this resolution to Mr. Everhardt's family as a way to say thank you for all that he has meant and what he stood for in our community," Mayor Joe Gibbons said.


WHEREAS, Gary Eugene Everhardt was born on July 8, 1934, in Lenoir, North Carolina, and was the only Caldwell County native to ever serve as the Director of the National Parks Service from January 1975 to May 1977; and

WHEREAS, in October 1977, Gary Everhardt started working as the Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway and oversaw the completion of the parkway, which runs through the northern tip of Caldwell County, including completion of the Linn Cove Viaduct around Grandfather Mountain; and

WHEREAS, The Blue Ridge Parkway brings millions of visitors into North Carolina and Virginia every year to travel all or part the 469 miles of parkway and enjoy our beautiful Appalachian Mountains; and

WHEREAS, Gary Everhardt sought to improve interpretative programming, develop trails and attract visitors to the parkway, and also supervised and supported the construction of the Asheville Folk Art Center, the parkway headquarters, and the Blue Ridge Music Center; and

WHEREAS, The Blue Ridge Parkway Headquarters in North Carolina is named after Gary Everhardt; and 

WHEREAS, During his career with the National Parks Service and after, Gary Everhardt was a strong advocate for the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, which runs through Lenoir and Caldwell County, and he was a charter member of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, which seeks to preserve, protect, and interpret the route the Overmountain Men took to the Battle of Kings Mountain; and

WHEREAS, The State of North Carolina recognized Gary Everhardt’s 42-year career and service by awarding him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the State’s highest honor; and 

WHEREAS, For his service as the Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Gary E. Everhardt was awarded the Department of the Interior’s highest honor on April 24, 1985, the Distinguished Service Award, and in 1990, he was awarded the Cornelius Amory Pugsley National Medal Award for his dedication to park conservation. 

WHEREAS, Gary Everhardt passed away at 86 years old Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Charlotte, NC, just days after his beloved wife Nancy died on Dec. 23.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, I, Mayor Joseph L. Gibbons, on behalf of the City of Lenoir City Council, hereby extend sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to Lenoir native Gary Eugene Everhardt, and further recognize and honor his four decades of service and many contributions to our City, our County, our State, and our Nation.

This the 16th day of March 2021.

Joseph L. Gibbons, Mayor
City of Lenoir, North Carolina

Mayor Joe Gibbons, Senator Jim Broyhill, and Gary Everhardt in front of Fr. Crider, Sept. 27, 2014

In 2014, Gary Everhardt attended the designation ceremony naming Ft Crider as a certified site on the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Pictured from left: Mayor Joe Gibbons, Senator Jim Broyhill, and Mr. Everhardt.

The resolution honoring Gary Everhardt framed in a plaque

The resolution honoring Gary Everhardt

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