La Grande, Oregon
John William “Jack” Evans, 78, of La Grande died Aug. 24 at his home. Viewing will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley, 1502 Seventh St. A celebration of life will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Daniels Chapel. Burial will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Wallowa Cemetery.
Mr. Evans was born Oct. 29, 1927, to James Ward and Myrtle Maude West Evans in Wallowa. He graduated from Wallowa High School, and served in the Army Air Forces in 1946 and 1947. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Oregon in 1951 and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Washington.
On June 17, 1951, he married Dorothy Anna Anderson in Burns. They moved to Hermiston where he was the first full-time librarian for the Hermiston School District from 1953 to 1955.
They moved to La Grande in 1956 when he accepted a job at Eastern Oregon College. He was hired as a librarian at Walter M. Pierce Memorial Library, where he served until his retirement in 1987. He was the library director from 1974 until 1987.
He enjoyed woodworking, and he was an expert at furniture refinishing. He was an avid antique collector and was particularly fond of antique furniture, guns and tools. He was an expert on Victorian architecture. He also enjoyed oil painting, genealogy, classical music, bird watching, wildlife, writing, art, travel, auctions, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and family time.
He was a member of MENSA, Phi Delta Kappa, the Elks, the American Legion, Sons of the American Revolution, the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon-California Trails Association, the Oregon Geographical Names Board and the Historic Preservation League of Oregon. He successfully proposed five buildings for the National Register of Historic Places, served on the State Historical Records Advisory Board from 1984 to 1995, helped start the Union County Historical Society and was a self-made expert on local history.
In 1990 he authored “Powerful Rockey”, a book about the Oregon Trail in the Blue Mountains area from 1811 to 1883.
Survivors include his wife; son and daughter-in-law, John Ward and Kathleen “Kit” Evans and two granddaughters all of La Grande.
Memorials may be made to the Blue Mountain Humane Association or the Oregon Heart Association in care of Daniels Chapel of the Valley.
The Observer Online, Obituaries for the week ending Aug. 26, 2006, Published: August 28, 2006