A man who devoted his life to education in Hamilton County has died.  Everett Fairchild was 89.  Family members say he had been in failing health in recent years, following his resignation from the Hamilton County School Board in 2012.

Mr. Fairchild graduated from Hixson High School in 1948.  He earned his Bachelor's degree in Education, and later completed his Master's degree at the University of Chattanooga.

He taught and coached at Dickinson Jr. High School in downtown Chattanooga for eight years.  Later he taught at Red Bank Jr. High, and was soon promoted to the assistant principal position.  In 1967, he was named principal at Hixson Jr. High, where he remained until his retirement in 1992.

As a principal, he frequently worked with parents on school repairs, and was present at all school activities.  He was deeply involved in the Hixson community.  Longtime friend Marty Haynes, now Hamilton County's Assessor of Property called Mr. Fairchild "the patriarch of the Hixson community." He was active for more than fifty years in the Hixson Kiwanis Club, helping prepare food for countless fundraisers.  He was also a member of the Hixson Chamber of Commerce, and served on the North River YMCA board.  He received numerous local and statewide awards, and was honored to be among the first inductees into the Hixson High School Hall of Fame.

After retiring from his principal duties, Mr. Fairchild couldn't stay away from education for very long.  In 1993, he was elected to Chattanooga School Board.  When that school system merged with Hamilton County in 1997, he was appointed to fill the term of a board member who had moved out of the district.  Mr. Fairchild won his first full term in 1998, winning re-election in 2002, 2006, and 2010.

He began experiencing some health problems shortly after beginning his fourth term in office, and announced he would be stepping down as chairman, but would remain a board member.  In early 2012, he decided to resign from the board, and Greg Martin was chosen by the Hamilton County Commission to succeed him. Upon learning of his predecessor's death, Mr. Martin said, "He was my junior high principal. He was a civic minded leader who was respected by all. His life was about fairness and service to others. Hixson was fortunate to have an educational leader who was engaged in so many ways in our community."

In 2015, the media center at the new Hixson Middle School was named in his honor, during a ceremony attended by several county officials, and many of Mr. Fairchild's former students.  Several of them had become educators and principals themselves.

When asked about his greatest accomplishment, he said, "I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve our community.  I hope I have helped make it a better place to live."

To read more of David Carroll's personal remembrances of Everett Fairchild, visit this site: http://chattanoogaradiotv.com/general/remembering-everett-fairchild/

Funeral services will be held on Friday December 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Hixson First Baptist Church on Grubb Road.