Alan “Al” Evans was born on Jan. 2, 1933, in Aberdeen, S.D., to Fred and Gertrude (Gelling) Evans, and lived there until he graduated from high school. He graduated from South Dakota State University in Brookings, where he wrestled and played football, eventually receiving his master’s degree in education. (Go Jacks!)
After college, Al proudly served our country in the U.S. Army as an infantry captain, and loved the time he spent in Germany.
Al was always involved in sports, especially football and wrestling. He participated in and coached both sports. He wrestled his way to the Olympic Final Trials in college and professionally wrestled with tag team friend Vern Gagne out of Minneapolis. Coaching was a great love, and he did it for many years, from junior high school to the professional Canadian League (all the way to the Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders).
Al married his wife, Sherry, in Aberdeen in 1960, and they moved from coast to coast before settling in Billings in the ’70s, where Al started his own oil and gas leasing business. He loved meeting and “visiting” with many mineral owners in North and South Dakota and Montana. (He was a good visitor!)
He had many and varied interests, among which were gardening, watercolor painting, dogs, singing, practical jokes and recalling stories. He cherished his friends, both new and old, and made it a point to keep in touch with many and from far away.
He and Sherry were among charter members of Shiloh United Methodist Church, and Al loved being part of The Walk to Emmaus.
He died on Sept. 30, 2015, in Billings Clinic, of natural causes.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Donna; and brother Bill. He is survived by his wife Sherry (and his dogs Daisy and Sunshine).
A celebration of Al’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, at Shiloh United Methodist Church, 1810 Shiloh Road, followed by a light lunch.
There will be a private service and burial in Albuquerque, N.M., at a later date.
Donations in Al’s name may be made to Shiloh Church or the wrestling program (c/o the athletic dept.) at South Dakota State University, Brookings.
He leaves lots of fun memories and huge holes in many hearts. He led a blessed, fun and spirit-filled life.