Bonnie Parker Evans
03/21/1930 - 03/11/2019
Bonnie Parker Evans, age 88, passed away on March 11, 2019, due to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and complications related to age. She was born March 21, 1930, to Robert Harold and Gladys Andersen Parker in Joseph, Sevier County, Utah, where she learned to work hard and love the people around her as she grew up on a farm with 10 brothers and sisters. She told wonderful stories about milking cows with her sisters while her brothers were away at war and working long hours in the sugar beet fields — then running to the house just in time to get cleaned up for her dates.
She graduated from South Sevier High School, studied at Brigham Young University, then moved to Salt Lake City to work for a law firm and the Union Pacific Railroad. Her life took a historic turn when she was living on B Street in the Avenues in 1952, when she accepted a call from a young man named Gordon R. Evans, who’d been referred to her as a blind date. When she gave him her address, he said, “You walk out your front door, and I’ll walk out mine, and we can wave to each other.” Years later Gordon said: “When I met her it was pretty well over. After that there wasn’t anybody else who really mattered anymore.”
Bonnie and Gordon were married on June 15, 1953, in the Salt Lake Temple, and spent their first 65 years together in a true partnership filled with love, respect, loyalty, and humor. They lived in the Avenues while Gordon finished medical school at the University of Utah, then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he completed a residency at the Cleveland Clinic. They returned to Utah in June 1961, and while Gordon began his medical practice, Bonnie found a home on Nevada Street and established their family there — which by then included three children.
Bonnie flourished in the neighborhood. She was busy every minute — raising a family that grew to six kids, serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helping and socializing with numerous friends, supporting Gordon in his work and other responsibilities, and maintaining homes that eventually included a cabin in Wallsburg and a ranch in the Uinta Mountains. She also was a dear friend and constant support for her mother-in-law, Thelma Robbins Evans, who’d been widowed in 1950. Bonnie’s roles in the church included Primary president, Young Women’s president, Relief Society president of the Monument Park 8th Ward and the Salt Lake Foothill Stake, bishop’s wife, and serving with Gordon as leaders of the VA Rest Home branch. She also served on her children’s school community council and in numerous activities involving her children. The depth of her involvement is reflected by a comment from her youngest son in 1982: “Mom, when I get to Highland, do you think I could just go to school and not have you follow me?”
In her later years, Bonnie’s hobbies were antiques, making and collecting dolls, gardening, and continued service — she managed estate sales, served as captain of a chapter of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and supported her grandchildren in their educational pursuits, in part through a series of generous “Bonnie P. Evans Scholarships.”
Bonnie is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Gordon, who died on January 24, 2018, by her sons Doug and Brett, by her parents, and by her siblings Jackie Wertz, Hal Parker, Colleen Sanders, Peggy Jensen, and Sally Turpin. She is survived by her children Gordon Parker Evans (Cindy), Laurie Evans Nash (Richard), DeAnn Evans Walker (Dean), and David Parker Evans (Gaylynn) — and by 13 grandchildren: Paul, Natalie, Emily, Gordy, Dee, Tom, Melissa, Abby, Allison, Melanie, Amanda, Lydia, and Nic. She’s also survived by 15 great-grandchildren and by her siblings Pete, Juel, Patsy, Sam, and Gordon.
A viewing will be held on Friday, March 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foothill 3rd Ward at 1930 South 2100 East in Salt Lake City, and on Saturday, March 16, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the church. Funeral services will follow at noon.