Joseph T. Evans, Ph.D., 91, of Swoyersville, died peacefully at home Monday, October 28, 2013.
Born June 7, 1922, in Larksville and raised in Kingston, he was the son of the late Joseph and Verna Cidilko Evans.
He was a 1940 graduate of Kingston High School and a 1943 graduate of the University of Scranton. He received a Master of Science degree in Microbiology in 1950 and a Ph.D. in Parasitology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1952. He was a veteran of World War II
, where he fought in the Pacific Theatre as a U.S. Marine in the 1st Division, 5th Regiment, participating in the invasion of Pelelieu and Okinawa.
Joseph was employed as a lab assistant at the University of Scranton from 1946 to 1948. He was the chief bacteriologist at the VA Hospital in Wilkes-Barre from 1952 to 1953. From 1953 to 1996, he was employed by the University of Scranton as a professor of Biology. He was also the Premedical Advisor at that time.
He was the loving father to his children, Joe and his wife, Gail; Greg and his wife, Karen; Sharon; Lisa and her husband, Richard; his six grandchildren, Caitlin, Kieran, Skylar, Zachary, Mary Catherine and Christopher; and various nieces and nephews.
Joe is survived by his wife, Irene Ontko Evans, who he was married to for 63 years; and also by his brother, John.
He was a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies for many years, and enjoyed watching or listening to the games with his sons. He enjoyed golfing with his friends, his brother, John and his son-in-law, Richard. He was an avid bowler for many years. In his spare time, he liked to read, in his younger years he would plant and tend to his garden.
He was an active member and president of the Swoyersville Kiwanis Club, a member of the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, Greek Catholic Union and the Holy Name Society.
Dr. Evans was an honorary member of the Lackawanna Medical Society, a member of Alpha Sigma Nu and Alpha Epsilon Delta. He received the Frank O'Hara Award, in recognition of distinguished achievement in medicine.
He had been president and school director in the Wyoming Valley West School District. He was recipient of the Bernard and Kathryn Hyland Award, Chair in Biology and numerous other awards.
He had been a lifelong member of St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church and a trustee.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Dorothy Smith. He is with his oldest son, Joe, now in heaven whom he lost in 2011.
Dr. Evans was always interested in the lives of his former students even outside the classroom. He enjoyed seeing them throughout the years as they would visit him on many occasions. Through his guidance and dedication to his students over the years, many men and women are physicians today.
Over the years, Parkinson's disease robbed him of his intellect and his ability to enjoy his favorite activities. The family would like to thank his many caregivers, especially Jane Ruger who provided excellent care unselfishly, and was a comfort to him in his last few years; and his niece, Marlene Williams, who spent many long hours over the past few months caring and comforting her godfather as his disease progressed.
He was Dr. Evans to many, but to us he was the loving husband, Joe, Daddy, Grandpa, Poppy or simply Uncle Joe. We will miss him so much, but look forward to the day when we can all be together again.
The funeral will be Saturday at 9:30 a.m. from the Kopicki Funeral Home, 263 Zerbey Ave., Kingston, with Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. in St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church. Interment will be in the parish cemetery, Edwardsville.
Friends may call Friday from 4 to 8. Parastas services will be conducted Friday at 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, 321 Chestnut Avenue, Kingston, PA 18704; or to Hospice of the Sacred Heart, 600 Baltimore Drive, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.