Nancy W Evans

December 02, 1949, June 22, 2018

Nancy Evans

Nancy Evans, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, teacher and friend, passed away on June 22, 2018 in Beaumont, Texas. Nancy was born on December 2, 1949 near San Francisco, California. As an adult she and her husband Ken lived in Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, yet she continued to a hold a special love for California. She had especially fond memories of Sundays at the beach with her parents and sisters Charlene and Jenna as well as summer adventures with the family camper in tow.

Nancy always knew that she wanted to spend her career as an educator. At the University of California at Davis, where she met Ken, she majored in English and obtained her teaching credentials. Later, after her sons, Paul and Brian, were born she earned a master’s in education from Arizona State University. She taught children of all ages, but frequently said that she most enjoyed teaching fourth graders. Nancy also found great pleasure in a teaching position that entailed driving a mobile art classroom to students in schools of all means throughout Mesa, Arizona.    

In the summers, Nancy taught a basket weaving class at a ranch in the northern New Mexico desert. She, Ken and her sons spent at least a week there every year for years. These trips captured Nancy’s love for both the arts and the outdoors. The whole family developed a lifelong connection with the area. Her son Brian chose to live nearby after finishing college and now lives in Albuquerque.

Nancy carried the appreciation her parents taught her for the outdoors forward to her sons. She and Ken planned family trips around long hikes and Paul and Brian spent more time in tents growing up than they did in hotel rooms.

After retiring from teaching, Nancy supported her husband Ken’s career in academic administration, most recently in his role as president of Lamar University. As first lady of Lamar, Nancy transformed buildings and open spaces on campus through her efforts to advance public art. She also fostered constructive dialogue on complex issues in the salon she founded in her campus home. These projects reflect both her creativity and commitment to strengthening community connections.

Nancy devoted much of the rest of her time in retirement to her numerous passions: quilting, water color painting, literature, gardening, and music. Many of Nancy’s closest friends shared one of these passions with her. The quilts and watercolors she created decorate her home and those of her sons. In addition to the backyards of the homes she lived in, the Lamar campus benefited from her skill as a master gardener. On her frequent trips to visit her son Paul and her grandchildren in St. Louis, she loved walking through the Missouri Botanical Garden.

An avid reader, Nancy always had a book close at hand and read every word written by many of her favorite authors. She continually sought out the latest musical acts and the stereo in her home was typically tuned to her most recent find. She continued to attend live music performances up through the final weeks of her life.

Above all else, Nancy loved her family. She is survived by her husband Ken Evans, her sisters Charlene Simmons and Jenna Caplette, her son Paul and her daughter-in-law Ellie Evans, her son Brian Evans and her future daughter-in-law Jess Pehr, and her three grandchildren, Thomas, Marion, and Peter, who were the joy of her life. She is and will be missed.

A gathering of Mrs. Evans’ family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Friday, July 13, 2018, at Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. Her memorial service will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 14, 2018, at First United Methodist Church, 701 Calder Avenue, Beaumont with a reception following on the eighth floor of Lamar University’s Mary and John Gray Library until 2:00 pm.

Memorial contributions can be directed to the Women and Philanthropy program Nancy founded at Lamar via the Lamar University Development Office at P.O. Box 11500, Beaumont, Texas 77710 or online at



Gathering of Family and Friends
Broussard's Mortuary - McFaddin Ave.
2000 Mcfaddin Street Beaumont, TX 77701
Friday, July 13, 2018
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Memorial Service
First United Methodist Church - Beaumont
701 Calder Beaumont, TX 77701
Saturday, July 14, 2018
11:00 a.m.

Comments (17)

  • Toni Mulvaney

    23 July 2018 at 21:15 | #

    Nancy inspired me with her natural warmth and grace. Her smile was genuine and exuded gentleness. Her determination and dedication to her causes was also a great example to me. I admired her for so many of these traits and treasured the friendship we had.
    I love everything that has been said and written in her memory. It is all true. I will miss her.
    So sorry to miss the celebration of her life, but I was out of town.
    Keeping you and the boys in my prayers,


  • The Matt and Marie Hoch Family

    14 July 2018 at 15:03 | #

    Nancy exuded grace and warm kindness to all of us that met or worked with her at LU. It was an honor for Matt to serve on her Cardinal Conversation Committee, and get to learn more of her passion for the outdoors and environmental sustainability. From one Lamar Family to yours, she is dearly missed. - Marie, Matt, Connor and Tara.


  • Rene & Liliana Greenwald

    13 July 2018 at 19:32 | #

    We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Nancy. We always enjoyed her company and wonderful conversation. She was fun to be with and we will miss her.. May God be with and guide the Evans family during this time of grief. God Bless., Rene and Liliana .


  • Bill & Sonya Macatee

    13 July 2018 at 12:08 | #

    There are no words to express our sorrow and our hearts goes out to the family. I first met Nancy at a Lamar University luncheon. She was gracious and welcoming and her smile made me feel like I had known her for years. She is truly a beautiful soul who will be dearly missed. It saddens my heart that we can't be there to honor her life and how she touched ours.


  • Gerry and Jerry Clevenger, Beth Glover & family, Nick Clevenger & family

    12 July 2018 at 01:48 | #

    To Ken, Paul & Brian - Our hearts go out to you in your time of loss. We are flooded with shared family memories of our time in Columbia, MO. Time takes us down different paths but Nancy always kept us up on what you all were doing. She was a dear friend and sister and will be missed by so many.


  • R.H.

    09 July 2018 at 16:02 | #

    Please accept our sympathy. In Paradise, Jesus will fulfill his role as ‘the resurrection and the life.’ John 11:25


  • Charlotte Domingue

    09 July 2018 at 02:40 | #

    I am so sorry for your loss, she was a wonderful, creative sympathies.


  • Georgeanna Bakeler

    07 July 2018 at 03:10 | #

    Nancy was a beautiful person inside and out. She will be missed by many. Saddened to hear of her passing.


  • Lisa Dishman

    05 July 2018 at 22:46 | #

    I will miss Nancy’s smile and being true to herself. I enjoyed our time we had together. Sending love to Ken and her family


  • john bennett

    02 July 2018 at 11:14 | #

    My condolences to the Evans family. I pray that your memories of Nancy will provide you some comfort during your time of grief.


  • Barbara and Mike Burrow

    02 July 2018 at 01:02 | #

    Our thoughts and prayers are with her family .


  • W. J.

    30 June 2018 at 17:22 | #

    To the Family:
    Very sorry for your loss. Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, A help that is readily found in times of distress.” Psalm 46:


  • Bill and Harriet Derrevere

    29 June 2018 at 22:42 | #

    We had such a great reunion last summer in Santa Fe at a wonderful meal ...At the time we did not realize how important this time of breaking bread was...Laughing and sharing and meeting Brian’s lady was so wonderful...To imagine the aroma of coffee brewing at Ghost Ranch could tie us together for many years...Ken you are in our hearts and prayers...ThankYou for such a hard call...Bill and Harriet


  • Angela Downs Chesnutt

    29 June 2018 at 13:44 | #

    My thoughts and prayers will be with the Evans family at this time and as they face the tomorrows that lay before them without their loved one to share them with.


  • Harley Myler

    27 June 2018 at 14:51 | #

    My heart goes out to the Evans family. Nancy was such a friendly, caring person and an asset to LU who will be sorely missed.


  • Susan Chu

    26 June 2018 at 23:03 | #

    Heaven has gained a beautiful new angel ❤️
    We’ll all miss you so much here, Nancy, and your sweet smile, see you there dear friend ❤️


  • Kay Arrington

    25 June 2018 at 12:52 | #

    Sweet PEO sister Nancy we will miss you so much. May your soul rest in eternal peace and may the peace that passes all understanding surround your family and loved ones during this time. Of grief.


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