James Hays Evans, 77, Carrollton, passed away Thursday, May 29, 2014, at his home.|
Jim, son of the late James Earl Evans and wife Selma Ethel, nee Hays, was born April 12,1937, in Carrollton. He spent his formative years in the Carrollton public schools, where he most definitely was not into sports, but started a love of photography that would follow him through life. He headed west to study geology at Colorado School of Mines, where he played in the band, and may or may not have been involved in some shady activities pertaining to explosives and a football field. He came back to Missouri to finish his degree at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
His educational choices led him to teach. His first teaching job took him to Huntsville, and the Westran School District. It was here that he met his future wife, more on that later. Jim continued to educate the young minds of the times in St. Clair, and at Villa Duchesne, St. Louis. He secured a position as the head of the science department at Maryknoll Jr. Seminary, where his eldest daughter could have all the ice cream she wanted. A stint at the Academy of the Visitation rounded out his teaching career. During this time, Jim went back to school to further his education and secure an MA from Northeast Missouri State College.
Remember Huntsville and his future wife? Jim met Anna Gale Block while keeping stats and running the game clock at a Westran basketball game. Gale took a chance on the guy, and after a whirlwind courtship, married him on an icy day in December of 1960. Jim and Gale lived together in St. Clair and Carrollton, and spent 53-plus years bickering and complaining, generally making life hell, and loving each other in their special way every day. When Jim decided that it was time, Gale was by his side.
In 1962, Jim and Gale welcomed Amy Denise to their family, and six years later, in 1968, welcomed Alecia Lou. Amy, the afore mentioned ice cream girl, followed in Jim's footsteps and became a teacher. She teaches in St. Clair, where she lives with her husband, Russ Jackson. Amy gave Jim his first grandchildren, Emily Renee and David Evan. Emily graced Jim's world with great-grandchildren, Chase Evan and Andi Jaymes. Alecia did not grow up to be a teacher. She did, however, grow up to share her dad's love of science fiction, horror and scotch. Married to Richard Stultz, she added to the family with sons, Xander Evan and Kade Patrick.
Jim was active in many civic organizations and dabbled in the world of politics. He served as an alderman and then as mayor in St. Clair. He was active in the Kiwanis, Rotary, Professional Photographers of America, and any other organization where someone told him he could be of service. He requested in the official Declaration of the Final Arrangements document, dated 1997, that just a listing of all I've done and been involved in be included. However, Jim was seemingly involved in everything in some manner so a synopsis is given.
With a keen eye for a shot and a little bit of patience, Jim was able to segue his love of photography for a hobby to a profession. He spent many weekends working for Tom Allen Photography as a wedding and portrait photographer. He then created Evans Photography, and turned the basement, spare room and every tree and shrub in the backyard into a studio. Generations of weddings, graduations, and family pictures were seen through his lens, and millions of memories were made with his camera.
Jim was heavily active in Boy Scouts. As a young Scout, he traveled overseas to the International Jamboree in Europe. He was initiated into Tribe Mic-O-Say as a warrior. He earned the rank of Eagle in 1951, and went on to earn nine palms.
Jim is survived by his wife, Gale; their daughters, Amy Jackson and Alecia Stultz; and their families; a vast extended family; and probably thousands of friends and peers.
In his declaration, he added, "If anything other than factual data is offered, I'd like it to simply be that I tried to treat people honestly and openly and wanted to be treated that way in return. I did, however, have a temper and a real nasty vindictive streak when I'd really had been worked over and preferred not to get mad but get even. No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen."
A memorial service was held at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 1, at Foster Funeral Chapel, Carrollton, with the Rev. Kenneth Criqui officiating.
Memorials may be given to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, The Paul Harris Foundation of Rotary International, The Native American Heritage Association, Rapid City, S.D., or The Masonic Home Boy Scouts of America, Kansas City Area Council Mic-O-Say.
The Evans family was served by Foster Funeral Chapel, Carrollton.
Published in The Missourian on June 4, 2014