John Dale Evans
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December 13,1941-December 08, 2013
JOHN DALE EVANS
December 13, 1941 - December 8, 2013
John was born at home in England, Arkansas (near Plum Bayou) to Orval Lee and Vina Clementine Evans. He was the youngest of 5 siblings. When he was six years old the family moved from Arkansas to California. His father had several jobs in the Merced County area so they moved quite a lot. John attended grade schools in Plainsburg, Planada, Le Grand and Weaver (Merced); Hoover Middle School and Merced High School. He joined the Navy in 1958 and was on the USS Piedmont AD17 as a machinist mate and visited several Pacific Seas Islands: Philippines, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Hawaii and Taiwan with his home port at Yokosura, Japan. The Cuban Crisis occurred just before he was honorably discharged on December 12, 1962.
John was home in Merced on Navy leave in 1961 when he met his future wife, Beverly Jane Hester, who was introduced to him by his mother while at church. They had a long distance courtship through letters while he finished his Navy tour, but was able to spend one of his leaves together and attended the World's Fair in Seattle, Wash. They were married on December 15, 1962 in St.Helens, Oregon.
They settled in Merced with John getting a job with Merced County as a maintenance man, then transferred to the duplication department as an apprentice printer. John was a volunteer firefighter with Merced City Fire Department in 1965. He was hired as a full time firefighter August 16, 1966. He loved his work at the fire department and moved up the ranks. At the time of his retirement in March, 1996 he was a division chief. John loved golfing and spent many of his days off improving his golf score mostly with his good buddy, Don Chandler.
John and Beverly raised their two sons, Bryan and Shawn, to appreciate the great outdoors. He taught his boys how to deer hunt and fish and the family enjoyed many camping trips. They also made many fun memories in Disneyland. When the boys married, family time with the whole family was a favorite time for John.
At retirement, John and Beverly bought a motorhome and began their traveling adventures. For about 10 years they covered 28 states with some of the highlights of visiting the Smithsonian, Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg and many other battlefields and museums on the East Coast. Other favorite spots includedthe hummingbird capital of the world at Sierra Vista, AZ, OK Corral at Tombstone, AZ, Custer's Last Stand, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. They also managed an rv park on the Columbia River at Woodland, WA for 18 months before coming back to Merced. Unfortunately, John became ill in 2009 and they were unable to do anymore long distance traveling.
The two family dachshunds, Charlie and SandiLu were very special to John. The sadness in their beautiful brown eyes is heartbreaking. And, they hardly will leave Beverly's side.
John was a member of the Church of Christ. His devotion to God's word was an inspiration and he loved to read and discuss the Bible. At his passing his hands were clasped in prayer.
John also had a passion for Fox News much to Beverly's consternation and he would have loved to have been able to solve all the world's problems. He was an avid 49ers fan and would wear his 49rs shirt for good luck on game days…..(didn't always work though).
John was preceded in death by his parents, Orval and Vina Evans and his brothers, C.F. and Jay Evans.
John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Beverly; son Bryan (Kelley) Evans; son Shawn (Donna) Evans, all of Merced; sister Fran (Roy) Sanders; sister Floy (Chuck) Balch, both of Atwater; granddaughter Shannon McCord, Readfield, Maine; granddaughter Ashley Love, Mansfield, Arkansas ; grandson Heath Evans, Merced; granddaughter Samantha Souza and grandson Manual Souza, both of Mariposa. Also, there are numerous beloved nieces and nephews. He is missed so much by each and every one.
John enjoyed his life very much and at his request there will be a memorial service to celebrate the wonderful life he lived on Saturday, January 4, 2013, 2:00P.M. at Merced Fire Station, 99 East 16th Street, Merced. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project or one of your choice.
Published in Merced Sun Star on Dec. 17, 2013