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Donald Neils Evans

11/23/1946 - 05/04/2021
Service Date: 05/12/2021
Service Time: 11:00 am
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 1007 S. 72nd St., Mesa, AZ 85208
Interment: National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona

Donald Neils Evans

November 23, 1946 – May 4, 2021

Beloved husband, father, brother, and papa, Donald Neils Evans, 74, of Mesa, passed away on May 4th, 2021, after a lengthy struggle with heart disease, Parkinson’s, and their complications. A friend to everyone, Don spread joy by sharing a silly joke or offering a listening ear. Any ailment could be healed with a root beer float or a giant bowl of popcorn when it was served with love.

Don was born to N. Grant and Adela Evans of Lakeshore, UT. His father’s untimely death and his mother’s illnesses thrust the responsibility for maintaining the family farm on the four Evans youngsters. Alongside his siblings, he learned humility, the value of work, and the strength of community.

As a teenager, Don met his forever love, Kathy Christensen, at church. Their young love bloomed, and Don and Kathy were wed in the Salt Lake Temple on September 5, 1968, soon after Don returned from serving in the Gulf States Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He enrolled at Utah State University in Logan, UT, where he received a BS in Business and Agriculture, then he joined the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant while working in intelligence then as a recruiter.

In the following years, the family welcomed four children, eventually settling in Mesa, Arizona. Don was called as bishop of their ward from 1987 to 1992. Known for his unconditional love, he faithfully served his ward, sometimes sacrificing his own comfort to meet another’s needs. He seemed to walk with angels, speaking with the spirit and innately knowing how best to help his ward members.

At home, Don found joy in gardening, building his model train, and playing with his children and grandchildren. He could often be found flipping pancakes or burgers for family dinners, pushing swings at the park for his grandchildren, or offering advice and a blessing to calm a worried adult child.

Don is survived by his wife of fifty-two years, Kathy; his children, Brant Evans (Nichole) of Gilbert, D’Net Layton (Paul) and Corey Evans (Lori) of Mesa, and Maguen Wilhelm (Todd) of San Tan Valley; his siblings Lee Evans (Linda), Jay Evans (Marla), Audra Thorpe (Charles); and nineteen precious grandchildren. Services, facilitated by Bunker Family Funerals, will be held at 11:00 am on May 12, 2021, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1007 S 72nd St, Mesa, AZ, 85208. Interment will be the following day at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Humanitarian Fund for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, online at give.ChurchofJesusChrist.org/humanitarian-aid , or by mail, Philanthropies, 1450 N. University Ave., Provo, UT 84604.

Condolences

  • Nanette C Justus

    A great man who was a wonderful husband and father and an example of kindness to all who knew him. So grateful to call him a friend and family. Will love you always Don.

  • Linda Beffrey

    Bishop Evans was one of the kindest men I have ever known.. He was a gentle, generous and compassionate blessing to my husband, Bill, and I. I have no doubt that a some point soon, they will sit and have a joyful conversation.

  • As a younger Brother you have grown to be a great man. Your example to us as a Brother, Husband, Farther and Friend is to envied. At a young age you stepped up to help with all the chores.
    You have endured to the end all your health challenges with love kindness and humility.
    You will be missed
    Love Lee

  • Roland Waldeck

    We’re so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was such a dear friend of my mom and step-dad, Patty and Tack Schumacher. I’m sure they are all having a wonderful reunion in heaven.

  • Joshua Layton

    I’m sorry grandpa I didn’t get to see u one last time I’m sorry but I know our family will be back together

  • ANDREW McLAWS

    Forever grateful to have known Don, Kathy and their amazing family since moving into the neighborhood in 1996. Don always had a smile on his face, a new joke to tell, and a way of making everyone feel welcomed and included. We will miss you Don! Until we meet again! Prayers for Kathy and family from the McLaws’!

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