Thomas F. Evans, age 69, succumbed to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on July 14, 2014. Thom was born on April 22, 1945, in Kansas City, MO. Thom was the son of the late Alice and Albert Evans of Shawnee Mission, KS. He is survived by his wife, Helen, his stepmother Ethel Evans, his daughter Heather Evans, stepsons Kenneth Cummings and his wife Luanne, Keith Cummings and his wife Andrea, Kevin Cummings and his wife Tanya, and grandchildren Kimberly, Christopher, Brittany, Ashley, Hyatt, Hayden, Hunter, Courtney, and Connor. He is also survived by his sister Jean Davis and stepsister Jeanne Hoisington and her husband, Van. His older brother, Nick, preceded him in death.|
Thom was raised in Shawnee Mission, KS, and graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in 1963. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1967 and received a M.S. from Troy State University in 1985.
Thom finished pilot training in 1968 and spent the next 20 years flying for the Air Force. He flew the T-38, RF-4, and U-2. Thom flew 254 combat missions in the RF-4 during the Vietnam War. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1988, Thom was the high time U-2 pilot. The next 17 years were spent flying 727s and MD-80s for American Airlines. After retiring again in 2005, Thom spent the next year successfully battling lymphoma.
Beginning in 2008, Thom and Helen spent summers in Estes Park, CO, doing volunteer work in Rocky Mountain National Park. Thom will be remembered for his smile, wit, and intellect as well as his bravery, determination, and strength. He was a loving husband and the best father around, because he lived by example, and never missed an opportunity to convey his love for and pride in his children. Quite simply, he was one of those rare men who touched the lives of everyone he met, in a positive way.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, in memory of Thom, a contribution can be made to The ALS Association, MD Anderson Cancer Center, or the Paralyzed Veterans of American.
Thom will be interred at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Arrangements being handled by Cook-Walden Chapel of the Hills Funeral Home, 9700 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, Texas 78750. (512)335-1155
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on July 18, 2014