James Edward “Jim” Evans, 82, passed away at his home on Thursday, February 7, 2013. Visitation is Monday, February 11, 2013, from 1:00-2:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Graveside services with Military Honors are Monday, February 11, 2013, at 3:00 PM at Oddfellows Cemetery in Aberdeen, MS. Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Mr. Evans was born to William Augustus and Rebekah Hardy Evans at Sunnyside Plantation, near Muldon in Monroe County, MS on November 9, 1930. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Helen Maute Evans; his children, James E. Evans Jr., Virginia Evans (Bill Branch) and William Bennett(Heather) Evans; grandchildren, Harrison Branch, Sarah Branch and Adaline Evans; and brother-in-law, Dr. Ernest E. Russell. He was predeceased by his sisters, Allison Evans Russell and Rebekah Evans (Pickett Lusk). He attended public schools in Aberdeen, MS and was a 1948 graduate of Aberdeen High School where he participated in sports, mainly football. He attended Mississippi State College where he was very active on campus and was a member of Blue Key Honor Society, the Rifle Team, Scabbard and Blade Society, he was vice-president of the student body and belonged to Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was a member of the R.O.T.C. and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation. He never wavered in his support of Mississippi State University and was a longtime member of the “M” Club. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1952, attended flying school at the Southeastern United States Flying Training Command in Bartow, FL, from which he received his wings. Afterwards, he was assigned to fly F-86 jet fighters in the western U.S. and later was an instructor pilot in Laredo, TX where his highest rank was Captain. After the demise of his father in 1954, he left the USAF and farmed Sunnyside Plantation in Monroe County, MS with his mother. In 1959, he decided to leave farming and entered the insurance business with Hopkins Insurance agency where he became a partner. He was very active in his business and in numerous service organizations. He was a board member and past president of North East Independent Insurance Agents Association, Columbus Board of Realty, Columbus Lowndes United Way, Columbus Kiwanis Club, Executive Commission and Board of Directors for Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi, Board of Directors for First Federal Savings and Loan in Columbus, and member, director and president of Columbus-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce. He belonged to the Magowah Gun and Country Club, Columbus Country Club, was a charter member of Magnolia Tennis, Columbus Pilgrimage Home Owners Association, Sons of the American Revolution, Order of the Daedalans, and the Columbus Bass Club. He was active in his church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden. A consummate sportsman, he was devoted to hunting, specially turkey hunting, but he loved equally hunting duck, quail, dove and deer. He spent every turkey season in the woods and was, arguably, one of the most accomplished turkey hunters in the area. He loved to call up his turkeys for his friends and family. A lion he shot on safari in South Africa is listed in the Roland Ward Record Book of Big Game in South Africa and he shot gold medal Red Stag in Bulgaria. He was happy when he was in the woods. Fishing came next, he was a member of the Lake Norris Fishing Club, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited and Wild Turkey Federation. Pallbearers are Tom Whitaker, Carter Hutchinson, Bill Blair, Bill Threadgill, Caldwell DeBartelaben, John Murfee Jr., and Mickey Brislin. The family requests that memorials be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Columbus, MS.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on February 10, 2013
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