Obituary : Lois B. Evans
Lois B. "Sally" Evans, age 77, died early on the morning of January 26, She was surrounded by family at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. Born in Kearney, N.J., on March 16, 1932, she was the daughter of Elsie and Charles Beauchamp. At her birth, her grandmother nicknamed her "Sally Blue Eyes." Though her eyes turned brown, the name remained; she was best-known as Sally for her entire life.
Sally spent her childhood years in Kearney, in a duplex her family shared with her grandparents. Later, Sally's family moved to Mountain Lakes, N.J. It was at Mountain Lakes High School that Sally met Ken Evans. Though they dated, they did not predict the union that would follow.
Sally graduated from Mountain Lakes High School and began the study of nursing at Simmons College in Boston. Shortly after her studies began, her father died. Sally returned home to help her mother raise her younger sister. While home, Sally renewed her friendship with Kenneth F. Evans Jr. of Mountain Lakes N.J. The couple married on June 13, 1953; it was a 56-year marriage in which their deep love sustained them.
Over the next five years, Sally gave birth to Deborah Elizabeth and Dawn Elise. Sally was a dedicated wife and mother. It was not until her youngest daughter entered kindergarten that Sally returned to college to complete her BA degree. Thereafter, Sally became certified as a teacher and began a 20-year teaching career. While her husband Kenneth's work in estate planning required frequent relocation, Sally was assured of work wherever the family lived.
Sally liked teaching and enjoyed the fact that her vacations corresponded with her daughters' school vacations. Her primary assignments were at the Brookside Elementary School in Montclair, N.J. Later, she was one of three co-founders of the Saint Dunstan's School in Providence, R.I. She taught students from 6th to 12th grades.
In the summer of 1963, Sally's mother, Elsie, found work as a bookkeeper at Our Market in Oak Bluffs. Sally's younger sister Charyl worked as a secretary at the Old Stone Bank in Vineyard Haven. These ties to the Island assured summer visits by the Evans family. Sally and her family stayed at the home of a friend on the Martha's Vineyard Methodist Campground. Within 10 years, Sally and her husband bought a home on the Campground that they called The Cottage. It was to The Cottage they retired in 1998.
Sally was never one to be idle. She and her husband often began their days at opening time of Linda Jean's Restaurant where they found friendship and camaraderie. Sally worked at Mahoney's Garden Center, bringing with her skills from her most recent job as a "plant lady" for a corporate plant service company. Mahoney's provided Sally with seasonal work for eight years. Eventually, Sally sought a position closer to home: she found a post at the museum house on the Martha's Vineyard Methodist Campgrounds. This was an ideal job for her because she brought to bear her teaching skills while lending a touch of authenticity while she sat, knit, and recounted the Campground history to hundreds of tourists over the years.
Sally was a gifted seamstress, knitter, and craftswoman. However, she will be most remembered for her strength in the face of adversity, her unparalleled dedication to her husband, children, and grandchildren, and her deep loyalty to her friends. Sally's quick humor masked the strength that carried her and lifted others until the day she died.
Sally is survived by her husband, Kenneth F. Evans Jr. of Oak Bluffs; her daughters Deborah Reidy and Dawn Evans, their spouses, Jim Reidy and Dale Frank and her grandchildren, Hannah, Katherine, and Charles Frank. In addition, her sisters Charyl Biggs of Round Rock, Texas and Jean Johnsrud, of Bridgewater, N.J., and their children.
A memorial service was held Saturday, Jan. 30, at Trinity United Methodist Church on the Methodist Campground. Donations may be made to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard.