Inland Koi Society's Founder, Bob Everett

Photo: Bob and his wife, Marguerite

We sadly said good-bye to Inland Koi Society's founder and good friend, Bob Everett, who passed away on October 30, 2010 from cancer. IKS AKCA Represenative Larry Leverett said, "We helped with his pond towards the last as he couldn't stand for very long. We had about 20 club members come to his house to help, not that we needed that much help, they just wanted to be there. He was very touched by our presence, as we were for all that he has meant for our club." He will be missed!

Click here to view Bob Everett's obituary on

Article written by Larry Leverett December 1998

Recently Bob Everett called me about using a Koi show tank to sort out his Koi while cleaning his pond. I mentioned that the Inland Koi Society would be involved in the upcoming AKCA Seminar in Orange County in June 1999 and wondered if he could assist our club in the seminar related activities. He advised me he would be available the first two days and would help if possible. We discussed the AKCA Seminar and how it originally developed. Bob told me about the beginnings of AKCA and the first seminar and I asked him if he would note down how he got started in Koi and his involvement in clubs and AKCA through the years. The following is a summary of this information.

Bob and Julie Everett started in the Koi hobbie in 1975 when Julie saw some Koi on television and asked Bob to get out one of the kid's old aquariums and clean it up. This was done and she bought some baby Koi at the local pet store. The kids bought several more and Julie had 7 baby Koi in a 10 gallon aquarium. As you can imagine they rapidly grew out of this aquarium and Bob bought a 45 gallon one. In 1976 Julie said she needed a pond.

A pond and Japanese style garden was built and the Koi moved into their new home. This pond was about l8x12 feet, 24-30" deep and with an "in pond" filter. Bob became more and more interested in Koi and in late 1977 he and Julie joined the Nishiki Koi Club of Orange County. Shortly after joining the Nishiki Koi Club Bob heard about meetings being held to talk about establishing a national Koi society and decided to attend, representing the Inland area. He became part of this group which, at the time, met monthly in an upstairs meeting room at a Ford dealership in the Westminster area of Orange County.

AKCA was formed and the first general meeting was a potluck held at the home of Phil Ishizu's parents in Pasadena. Bob received a number of local inquiries about Koi and a local Koi club and late in 1978 formed the Inland Koi Society in Riverside. He served as president for over 4 years and during that time monthly educational meetings were held at members homes, in the Moss Motors Dodge meeting room and other locations. Several exhibits were put on at the Riverside Flower Show, a local club educational fish show was put on and some field trips taken.

Bob became too busy with AKCA related matters to continue and the club was disbanded for lack of others willing to take over. In 1995 the club was restarted through the efforts of Bob and Terry Harrison and is doing great, as we all know.

As a member of the Nishiki Koi Club, and later the ZNA-Orange County Club, Bob and Julie began showing fish in 1978. They received many ribbons and trophies and several "Best in Class" awards but never won any "Champion" trophies in open shows. However, they won the "Grand Champion" trophy at the Nishiki Club Show in 1979 and again in 1981. They also won the championship at a small Koi show held in conjunction with the Pomona Pet Show one year. Bob says he will always remember the "Inazuma" Kohaku which won in 1979. Through the years Bob regularly helped the two clubs put on their shows. Besides being one of the early members and founders of AKCA.

Bob participated in many AKCA and Koi USA activities through the years. Bob and Julie were one of the six couples who loaned AKCA the down payment funds to buy Koi USA from Ed Fujimoto in 1980 and were among the couples who later forgave the debt. Bob became "Club News Editor" of Koi USA in 1980 and served in that capacity for 10 years. He solicited nominations from the clubs for "Koi Person of the Year." Awards while News Editor and presented the certificates to those nominated from the lst year, the Annual Meeting and dinner held at the Via Valarta Restaurant in Santa Ana in 1981, through the weekend seminar held in Long Beach in 1993. Bob wrote the original AKCA "Club Starter Kit" in the Spring of 1980 and updated and printed it for a number of years. He also found a economic source for making the AKCA patches and kept AKCA supplied with them.

As an officer of AKCA Bob served as Treasurer in 1980-81 and Julie was Secretary. He became Chairman of AKCA in 1981-82 and served in that capacity again in 1989-90. He served as vice Chairman in 1989-90, Secretary in 1988-89 and was Treasurer again in 1991-92. Bob was particularly active in the seminar concept for a number of years. During the 1980-81 year Chairman Bob Spindola, who was a former football player and coach, talked about coaching clinics and how that concept could help in Koi education. He suggested a educational "National Koi Convention." It was decided AKCA did not have the manpower and time to plan and execute such an event at that time. However, in 1981-92, when Bob Everett was Chairman of AKCA, it was decided to hold an all day seminar and dinner at Disneyland Hotel and Bob served as chairman of this event. He was again chairman for a similar event held the next year at the same hotel. The following year the seminar was moved to the L.A. County Aboretum and the Vice Chairman took charge.

Having the Vice Chairman be in charge of the Seminar continued through the years. In the 1989-90 year, when Bob was vice Chairman of AKCA, he helped plan and was event chairman for the first weekend Seminar which was held at the Hanalei Hotel in San Diego.

In 1986, at one of the AKCA Board Meetings, it was suggested that educational Koi videos would be good, and it was asked "Who has a video camera?" Bob Everett admitted he had one but didn't know much about operating it. However, he was made Video Chairman. The first "production" was "Koi Handling" and starred Bob Finnegan, with Bob Everett running the camera and Bob and Julie asking questions about handling Koi in and out of ponds and bagging them.

This video was duplicated and distributed in considerable numbers. The next production was putting the 80 "Koi Classification" slides, which had been made by Bertrelle Caswell and later Tom Sheppard, on video. With a some professional filming help Bob prepared and narrated this video and during the next few years he had duplicated and distributed over 100 copies of this video. Other videos which followed were "Planning and Presenting a Koi Show" and "So. Calif. Koi Shows and Exhibits." While "amateurish" compared to what is available to-day, these were the only Koi videos available at the time. During the early years of AKCA owning Koi USA Bob covered a number of Koi shows, from Arizona to Hawaii, and wrote a number of articles such as "Duncan Water Gardens", "So you want to show your fish", "Who's Who - Bob & Pam Spindola", 11Koi farm in the desert", "Dancing Raisons and Koi too" and others. He also visited a number of Koi clubs, both as an AKCA officer and as an individual. The original pond of Bob and Julie Everett was about 2,500 gallons, with an "in pond" filter" and surrounded by a Japanese garden and it was about 24-30 inches deep. The pond was designed and built by Riversider Shoji Ohara and his family, long time friends, with considerable help from Bob. Some years later the fish grew and Bob decided he needed a larger pond. Not wanting to disturb the beautiful rock work done by the Ohara family, Bob decided to make it deeper and build a new "out of pond" filter.

The pond was deepened to about 48-54", with large bottom drains going to a 100 gallon sump and on to a 900 gallon "updraft" filter. This increased the gallonaage to about 4,500 gallons. About 3 years ago Bob had some 32 fish, 2 of which were 30" long and most of the rest 25-30". One of his largest fish was a survivor of the original 7 from the pet store. Another was a Platinum Doitsu Ogon purchased from Asahi Fancy Koi in 1977. Bob always wanted to take this fish to the So Cal Show, but never did. He wanted to travel and was concerned about someone watching the fish while he and his wife were gone and about a lack of oxygen should the pump fail or the electricity go off for an extended time while they were gone and so he decided to sell the big fish, rebuild the pond as a combination water garden and fish pond and expand the Japanese garden. After doing this he bought some "pond quality" small fish and a few 11tategoill. He says he has always enjoyed watching the small fish grow and keeping the best.

In 1994 Bob's wife, Julie, who started him in the Koi hobbie and participated in the early days of AKCA and Koi USA passed away after nearly 43 years of marriage. Bob married Marguerite in 1996 and they have enjoyed rebuilding the pond, going on fish purchasing outings and other Koi related activities. They recently were one of the host ponds on the Inland Koi Club pond tour. Marguerite filled in Bob's original "breeding pond" and turned it into a bulb garden but Bob thinks it looks great. They recently finished doing some remodeling of the kitchen and family room in their home and have done a considerable amount of traveling. After some 23 years in the Koi hobby Bob, and also Marguerite, still enjoy the tranquility of the pond and garden and still have the "Koi" hobby in their blood.


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