The Reverend John Evans
by Joe Howard
My wife, Pat, and I moved to Collington in June 2012. Before I met John, I met his wife Rickie (I believe her name was Mary). Rickie had been playing the piano every other Tuesday for Episcopal services – sharing with Carol Kempske. She wanted to retire and ask if I would replace her. I agreed. She attended all services and never failed to thank and compliment me when I played.
Many priests rotated between Tuesday services. Throughout the years, I often tuned out the sermons as being dull and too long. This was different when, in rotation, John preached, his sermons were short and very interesting. Also, he was a favorite with the assisted living residents in the Creighton Center.
My first Christmas at Collington (2012), I was the new chair of the Hospitality Committee. I thought that there should be a Christmas Eve program in the Chapel for residents who would not be leaving the campus.
The program would be “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, a CD of the reading by Dylan Thomas. Pat and I had prepared a booklet containing the complete text. I asked John if he would give an invocation. He agreed and with the ever-present twinkle in his eyes, he gave the prayer in Welsh! I didn’t know whether I should applaud or let it go unnoticed.
At his 100th birthday party, I was able to recount this story. I finally gave him the applause that he deserved. He was pleased!