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Evans, John Roger (1933-2022)


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 8/10/2022 at 20:51:44


John Roger Evans, known as Roger, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2022 at the age of 89. Roger was born to parents Laura Elizabeth (Betty) Evans and Keith Wortham Evans in Champaign, Illinois. The family later moved to Peoria, Illinois followed by West Des Moines, Iowa before settling in Des Moines, Iowa. Roger graduated from North High School in 1951. He was enlisted in the U.S. Army (PFC) during the Korean War (stateside) from 1953-1955 and was a member of the 2nd Division stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington. He fondly recalled his division being filmed in Yakima Valley for the Army scenes of the 1955 movie, “To Hell and Back”.

Roger worked part-time at Banker’s Life Co. prior to and while attending college. It was there that he met his future wife of nearly 65 years, Jean Fletchall Evans. They were married in November of 1957. They had three children, Gregg, Diane, and Stephanie, whom they raised in Altoona, Iowa. They moved to Ankeny, Iowa in 1991 and remained there until moving to their current home in Waukee, Iowa in 2005.

Roger earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Drake University in 1959 and his Master’s in Education from the University of Missouri (on full scholarship) in 1961. He taught High School in Osage, Eddyville, and Indianola High School very early in his career and then served as a Guidance Counselor at Southeast Polk High School (1964-1972), as a Public School Coordinator for the State of Iowa (1972-1974) and as a Guidance Counselor at West Marshall High School (1974-1984). His favorite job was his last, that of a College Professor at Grand View College (1985-2000), where he taught Psychology and Human Services.

Early in retirement, Roger and Jean enjoyed much travel. His favorite place to visit was Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He and Jean hosted family vacations in Glen Haven, Colorado for many years where many wonderful memories were made. As Jean’s Inclusion Body Myositis became more debilitating, limiting travel, Roger and Jean spent more time at home and in their local community. Roger lovingly and devotedly cared for Jean. His love for her was deeply apparent and he continued to call her the most beautiful woman up through his final days.

Roger was a huge sports fan and his favorite college teams included the Iowa State Cyclones, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Drake Bulldogs. He rooted for the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bulls but was known most for being a diehard Chicago Cubs fan and his mancave was decorated accordingly. After the 2016 World Series, Roger was noted to say that he could die happy now that he had seen the Cubs win a World Series. He and Jean also enjoyed many years as Iowa Cubs season ticket holders.

Roger had a keen appreciation for food and found enjoyment from exploring menus and restaurants of all types. He also savored his old standbys such as “gravy bread”, fried chicken, and peanut brittle. Prior to the pandemic, he enjoyed eating out monthly with his close friends in their ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) group.

Roger was an active member of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines and the relationships and fellowship formed there nourished him. He was also a member of the National Education Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Roger had a dry sense of humor, a strong will, an independent spirit, and a generous heart. A friend recently stated that there is more love in the world today because Roger was here. No truer words were ever spoken.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings and their spouses, Jean (Roy) Davis, Doris,“Tootie” (Bill) Wells, and Bill (Ardis) Evans, and three nephews, Steve Davis, Charles Evans, and Stuart Wells. Left to celebrate his life is his wife, Jean Evans; his children Gregg (Wanda Bill) Evans, Diane (Jim Clover) Evans, and Stephanie (Dan Campanella) Evans; his grandchildren, (Gregg’s children) Brian (Sarah Holmes) Evans and Erin (Austin Moeller) Evans and (Dan’s daughter), Elliana Campanella, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

Per his wishes, Roger will be cremated and his ashes interred in the Columbarium Wall at Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery in Adel, Iowa. A celebration of Roger’s life will be held at a date to be announced later. Online condolences may be expressed at www.HamiltonsFuneralHome.com.


Polk Obituaries maintained by Cheryl Siebrass.
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