Charles Ray Evans

Charles Ray Evans

At 90 years old, Charlie Evans lived each day just as he always had - looking forward to his next chance to share time, memories and laughter with his many friends and loved ones. April 27, our dear friend unexpectedly made his transition. Just last week, he was at Steak 'n Shake having coffee with his buddies, as he'd done for 46 years.

Born August 5, 1922, to "Red" and Ruby Evans, Charlie liked to say he grew up on Poplar Bluff's "east side" and was a proud graduate of J. Minnie Smith Elementary School. At age 16, he married Martha Cline, his wife of 67 years.

During World War II, Charlie proudly served his country in the Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet and was decorated with the Purple Heart.

After the war, Charlie got his start as an aspirin salesman, and eventually established a successful fabric business, Missouri Mill, that served Springfield on the Glen Isle for 31 years. He expanded the fabric business into other communities, providing for his entire family with stores in Springfield, Joplin, Salina, Topeka and two in Wichita. As a merchant in each of these communities, Charlie supported many local civic and sports programs.

For 40 years, he and Martha held Bears basketball season passes, seldom missing a game. He also enjoyed cooking and playing golf at Twin Oaks. Even after he retired in 1995, Charlie preferred to stay busy, working with his son or catching up with friends, including several Navy buddies he located online. For the last 12 years, he rarely missed a Sunday at church.

Martha passed away in November 2006. Also preceding him in death were his sister, Joann Bovine; daughter, Rosemary Blue; and son-in-law, Joe Blue. Surviving Charlie is his son David and wife Susan of Cape Cod, Mass., and son Kevin of Springfield, as well as numerous friends and loved ones, including five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and one great, great granddaughter.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 1 in Gorman-Scharpf Brentwood Chapel. Burial will follow in Missouri Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Unity of Springfield, 2214 E. Seminole, Springfield, MO 65804.

Charlie, take it on the slow bell.

Funeral Home

Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home
1947 E. Seminole Springfield, MO 65804

Published in the News-Leader from Apr. 29 to May 1, 2013