1944 - 2013|
Robert Neldon Evans was born on May 12, 1944 to Neldon, "Dick" and Dorothy Evans. He died on June 14, 2013 at home surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. Bob was first and foremost a father and friend, an entrepreneur, community builder and athlete.
Bob grew up in Lehi, Utah and graduated from Lehi High School in 1962 where he was student body president, member of the football, tennis, and basketball teams, debater and star student. "Bobby Evans" was widely loved by his large circle of family and friends. "Evie" graduated from the University of Utah in 1966 where he played on the tennis team and was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Bob made friends everywhere he went, treating servers in restaurants, customers or tennis or golf friends with the same kindness, enthusiasm and interest. He made all of us feel valued and heard.
In 1966, Bob moved to San Francisco to work at U.S. Steel and have an adventure with his college and lifetime friend, Phil Clinger. In 1967, he married Kathy Eastmond. Together they had four children: Sean, Scott, Jake and Aly and were a family that loved the outdoors, sports, and their wide circle of friends in the Bay Area. They divorced in 1990. Bob built a beautiful farmhouse in the Napa valley with his sons and loved nothing more than telling the story about that process and looking out on the view from that lovely place. He loved his children. He started two businesses in California: Jabberwocky and The Mind's Eye with his partner Bob Lewis. Tennis was one of Bob's best tools for making friends, pushing himself, and engaging in social networks. He loved human beings. Always the entrepreneur, always the believer in the next opportunity, always the hardest worker in the room, Bob believed in the future and embraced every day with the same enthusiasm, optimism, energy and verve.
In 1999, Bob came to Utah to be with his sweetheart, Martha Sonntag Bradley. He married her in 2002 and easily loved her six children as their "other" dad. Jason, Elizabeth, Rachael, Emily, Katelyn, and Patrick were blessed by his love, generosity and affection. Together they have eight grandchildren: Aspen and Dylan Bradley-Wilson, Krissie Beckham, Stella and Ruby Bradley, Jaxon and Aliya Potts, and Akolea Evans.
When he moved to Salt Lake City, he bought Rimini Coffee and a few years later started Sugarhouse Coffee and eventually Café Marmalade. Bob's background and training was in business, but it was in community building that he excelled. Sugarhouse Coffee became the vehicle for Bob to help build a strong sense of community among the Sugar House merchants. He was always on the front line of political issues impacting the city-the streetcar, the farmers market, the Fourth of July street party, and the hundreds of minor issues small businesses face. The Sugarhouse Merchants Association designated Bob Evans, the "unofficial mayor of Sugarhouse" in 2012.
Bob Evans was the best man we knew. He was a tender hearted and strong man who loved using his body to work, to play sports, to embrace those he loved (he gave great hugs). We were so honored to be his family.
Bob leaves a giant hole in our hearts. His father, Neldon Sylvester Evans, and Dorothy Smith Evans preceded him in death. He leaves behind a fantastic family of sisters and one brother, Donna and Grant Gordon, Sandra and Richard Worthen, Joann Evans, and Jay Evans, and, a tremendous family of children who have supported him through this very difficult year: Sean Robert Evans, Scott Ryan Evans, Jacob Richard and Naiomi Evans, Alyson Evans, Jason Michael and Sharley Bradley, Elizabeth Martha Bradley-Wilson and Mark Wilson, Rachael Betsy Bradley, Emily Jane and Jorel Potts, Katelyn May Bradley, and Patrick Nicholas and Alisa Bradley. His wife, Martha Bradley Evans, loved him and stood with him through his struggle with cancer.
Funeral services will be Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:00 at the Granite Stake Center, 2005 South and 9th East. Guests can visit with the family between 10:00 and 10:45 at the church. There will be an open house where friends can visit with the family Thursday night from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Memorial House at 485 N. Canyon Road in Salt Lake City.
Flowers may be sent to Larkin Mortuary or donations to the Robert N. Evans scholarship fund may be sent to Wells Fargo Bank.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from June 16 to June 18, 2013