Stuart Allen Evans passed away in his Evanston home on Monday, January 13, 2020. He was 97. Born December 21, 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr. Evans lived in San Leandro, California and then Homewood, Illinois until his family moved to Evanston in 1935.
He attended Haven Middle School and Evanston Township High School, where he was a member of the Military Training Corps.
After graduating from ETHS in 1941, he attended Michigan State College for two years before enlisting in the army.
Mr. Evans served the country in Europe during World War II as a Private, First Class in the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. When the war ended, he spent a year in Bamberg, Germany with the American Army of Occupation until his discharge in April 1946. Mr. Evans attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, where he met his future wife, Patricia Anne Reed. They married in 1949 and raised their ten children in Wilmette. Mr. Evans applied his graphic art and technical design skills while working at Mechanical Products, Central Scientific Company, and Stewart-Warner Corporation in Chicago until his retirement.
As a teenager Mr. Evans learned to play jazz guitar and lent his talents to small jazz combos, big band orchestras, and even a field band during his military service. He played around the North Shore with fellow musicians Joe Belka, Bud Regan and Fred Kolflat, a quartet known as The Country-wide Ramblers and The Four Fathers.
Mr. Evans had a weakness for dark chocolate, sidecar cocktails, cats, wolves, tigers, cowboy ballads, old songs, vintage sheet music, mystery novels, and classic movies. He was also a keen calligrapher, contributing stories and other hand-lettered works to ABCD, the magazine of the American Academy of Calligraphy and Lettering Art.
Most of all he loved Evanston and enjoyed reminiscing about his family home on Hartzell Street, singing with the Covenant Methodist Church choir, dance parties in his friends’ homes, movies at the Varsity, Valencia and Coronet theaters, attending Northwestern football games at Dyche Stadium, hiking to Harms Woods with the Boy Scouts, and all his years at Evanston High School.
Mr. Evans was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, and daughter Mary Jane Evans Herrmann, and is survived by nine children — Stephanie, Liz, Ellen Colburn (Chris), Reed, Mark, Joan Marsh (Reed), Amy Pollard (Leslie), John, and Meg Smith (Kenny) — as well as eighteen grandchildren.
The family will hold a private memorial for him on the Evanston lake front some time this spring.