Richard Louis Evans, Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, passed away peacefully at home on June 12, 2020 after enduring the effects of liver cancer for the past four months. He was surrounded by most of his posterity including his nine children, and his eternal companion and best friend, Tamara Ashby Evans, as he passed from this life. He remained a powerful example of faith, courage and kindness to the very end.
Rick was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on January 26, 1935, the oldest of the four sons of Richard L. Evans and Alice Thornley Evans. He attended East High School where he was a student body officer and played football on the team that won the state championship in 1952. He was then recruited by the University of Utah to play quarterback for their football team, which he did for the next two years. Following his sophomore year, he left to serve a two year mission in England and Wales for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While on his mission, he was appointed to be the associate editor of the “Millennial Star” magazine, a position his father had held 25 years earlier. This was published monthly in London and was the official voice for the Church throughout Great Britain. Upon his return to Salt Lake City, he resumed his studies and received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Utah in 1959. He served as a student body officer, was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and was selected his senior year as a member of the Beehive and Owl and Key Honor Societies. He then attended the University of Utah Law School where he became an editor of the Law Review and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1962.
Rick and his wife Tamara were married in the Salt Lake Temple on December 14, 1961. They have been blessed with nine children, 38 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. His greatest and most cherished legacy is his family. It has been said that the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. We, his children, knew of that love.
Upon his graduation from law school in 1962, he and Tamara moved to southern California where he taught at the UCLA Law School in Los Angeles, and served as a Deputy District Attorney in Ventura County prosecuting criminal cases. The first two of their nine children were born in California, and they have treasured over the years the memories of so many wonderful experiences and associations they had there--key events and people that would forever shape his career and the rest of his life. After three years, they moved back to Salt Lake City where he continued to practice law for the next 38 years. Of this period of his life, Rick once wrote, “Time passed, seven more children came, life was busy, and I wrestled continuously with the challenge to find the proper balance in the use of my time between my work, my family, and service in the Church.”
Rick was a true disciple of Jesus Christ, and his great faith and testimony will be forever remembered by his children and grandchildren. He served as a Bishop for many years, and is most remembered for being an outstanding gospel doctrine teacher, a calling he held numerous times throughout his life. He and Tamara served two 18-month missions for the Church; first a leadership and proselyting mission in Newfoundland, Canada, and then a mission to the Nauvoo Illinois Temple. They were serving as Guest Service Missionaries at the time of his death. They were also ordinance workers in the Salt Lake Temple for 14 years.
Like his father before him--even as a youth, and throughout the rest of his life, Rick excelled and rose to the top of everything he did; in academics, athletics, socially, spiritually, and in his career. Yet he was truly one of the few people in life who actually did achieve this “proper balance” in the use of his time that he so earnestly sought for.
His brother John once wrote of him, “Everything Rick did was performed at such a high level because he was one of those rare individuals who possessed all the qualities required for success. He was intelligent, talented, spiritual, athletically gifted, fearless, and a hard worker with a strong sense of duty to God and to his family that enabled him to be successful in all that he did. Yet Rick was entirely selfless. I am aware of no hobbies that Rick had nor of any time that Rick ever splurged for himself. He did not want new cars or new clothes nor to enjoy listening to favorite music or to be entertained. He seemed focused on sacrificing for the Church and his family rather than on himself. His hobby was his family, and his life was spent sacrificing his time and resources to make sure they all kept close.”
He is survived by his three brothers John, Steve and Bill; his wife Tamara; and his nine children: Richard Evans (Donna), Daniel Evans (Clare), Angela Alvey (David), Michelle Tingey (David), Christina Barlow (Steven), Bradley Evans, Mark Evans (Wendy), Brian Evans (Sarah), and Emily Bake (Kevin).
A viewing will be held on Monday, July 6th from 6:00 until 8:00 PM at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT. A private graveside service will be held at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.