Donald E. Evans (Duck) age 78, passed away Saturday, February 20th due to a journey with cancer that didn't take away his zest for life, but rather his physical being here on earth. He was born July 2, 1942 in Muskegon, MI to Raymond and Dorothy (Cripe) Evans and was a lifelong resident of the area. Don graduated from Muskegon High School, class of 1960. He joined the U. S. Air Force after graduation and was stationed briefly in California and Greenland before returning to his hometown. On August 4, 1962 he married his high school sweetheart, Cheryl Nelson. He began his career with Consumers Energy as a young man fresh out of the service and didn't look back. Don spent 32 years with this company working as a lineman to support his family. In his later years he came down off the lines and took on a management role working in the Grand Rapids and Fremont areas. He loved working closely with his colleagues and was truly valued at his job.
He retired from Consumers Energy in 1998, ready to relax and spend more time hunting and fishing with his sons and many friends. Don spent many hours in the woods or in a fishing boat simply enjoying the outdoors and camaraderie of his loved ones. Don and Cheryl moved to the Whitehall area after his kids had grown and he fully immersed himself in the small town lifestyle. He worked as the Doc Master at the White Lake Municipal Marina and Hunt's Hardware, not because he needed to, but because he loved to be with and serve the people he lived amongst. After selling his beloved house on 10 acres and moving to a smaller abode, he made even more friends in his new condominium neighborhood and started a community garden for all to prosper from. He loved working with his neighbors to bring this garden to life every summer and looked forward to the fruits of their labor, not for himself, but to share with others. He also volunteered his time with Meals on Wheels, spending his weekdays making sure others had a friendly greeting and warm meal to brighten their day. Don had a very special way to interact with others and was a master at giving nicknames to everyone he met. He loved his family immensely and would walk them to the car to wave for 15 minutes before officially saying good-bye and letting them drive away.
Survivors include his loving wife of 59 years, Cheryl Evans, 3 children, Brian (Shelly) Evans, Bradley (Jeneene) Evans and Amy (Jeff) Yarian. 7 adored grandchildren, whom each had a unique handshake with Don upon greeting, and 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Dorothy Evans. A celebration of life will be held in the spring for his family and friends to gather and tell stories of Don's contagious love for life.
Charitable donations can be made to Meals on Wheels, an organization he loved so much.
"Cherie, Brian, Brad, Amy & families,
I am so sorry to hear about this sad news. I am just as sorry to know he had to fight this terrible thing.
I haven't seen Don in awhile but know he has never changed from the friendly, smiling guy he always was when you saw him. I think I saw Don & Cherie in Meijer last when we talked about kids & grandkids and his face just lit right up. And to think it doesn't seem that long ago when they used to literally book me for every weekend in the winter (at the beginning of the season) to babysit 3 little kids named Brian, Brad, & Amy so they could snowmobile. Don loved the snowmobiling. My, how the time does fly by.
My heart goes out to all of you at this time. I know you are hurting and missing this man terribly. I am sending you hugs and prayers.
Love, Cathy Bonter (Underhill)"
"I met Don about 12 years ago, at the gym in Whitehall. As typical of his friendly ways, he came up and introduced himself and the others around him; his social circle at the gym became mine, and we all spent as much time chatting as we did exercising! He loved talking about his grandkids, and always asked about everyone else?s family.He was the brightest beacon at the gym, and it was so much fun to hear him call you by your nickname when you walked in. We all missed him dearly the last few years, and sadly his light is gone forever.... but his fun, friendly, caring demeanor will be his legacy!"
"I have many fond childhood memories of my Uncle, Aunt, and cousins. Praying peace and comfort for the family at this time. "
"This was the Uncle that you always wanted to have as a kid! I have so many sweet memories of his sense of humor, camping, fishing , and I loved him very much! I always felt at hone and my son loved the times he measured him and wrote it on the wall! I?m sad that I did not get to see him in the last few years but will see him again someday! Uncle Don you were the best and I will miss you! "
"What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. I have such fond memories of Don. Heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the family ~ Deanna Kantola"