Obituary: Kenneth Evans
Ken Evans, affectionately known by his family and friends as Senior, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, after a heroic battle with cancer, in the early morning hours of April 9, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Ken was born to Leslie and Elsie Evans, on August 20, 1948 at home in the little family cottage in Bishopstone, Herefordshire, UK, the fourth of five children. Family life was not easy as WWII had concluded only a few years earlier, but he and his siblings were some of the happiest kids on the planet. Because Ken excelled scholastically, he had the opportunity to go to Grammar School, which provided a much higher standard than the State School that he attended;, but he didn’t want to leave his mates and mix with the more posh kids, so it didn’t happen. He was just 14 years old when he rotary hoed every garden in a new housing estate for 5 pounds each and made about 150 pounds profit. It was obvious that he had a good head for business, and hard work seemed to call his name! He and his siblings were introduced to Sunday school when his mum and dad told them that they could either go to church, after midday dinner, or stay and wash the pots and pans. They went to Sunday school. After finishing school, Ken realized there was a big world to see. He packed a small brown suitcase with all of his worldly goods and headed to Australia. After a few short-lived ventures, he purchased a semi-trailer and became an interstate hauler driving from Cairns to Melbourne some 1,900 miles or Perth to Sydney, 2,200 miles with cargo. On one of his trips back home to England, the airplane he was traveling on was hit by lightning causing it to lose all power. In that moment, he prayed, “God if you really are real, we need you right now.” When he looked out of the window, he saw a huge hand come up under the plane that miraculously lowered the plane onto a small Malaysian airport. The airline company told the passengers later that the lightening had destroyed both the main system and the backup system, and there was not any way that the pilot should have been able to land the plane at all, let alone on a runway that was too small. From that time forward, Ken followed the Lord and never looked back. His love for adventure brought him to the U.S. and in 1972, he met the one and only love of his life, Janice Donnafield. After a whirlwind romance, they were married on September 23rd of that same year, and began their life together in Billings, Montana. In 1974, Ken bought his first backhoe and started Evan’s Excavating, a business that would go with him from Montana to North Dakota, Wyoming, and the Colorado Rockies. They eventually settled in Sheridan, WY, Janice’s hometown, so their three children, Kandi, Ken Jr., and Amanda could finish their high school and be with their extended family. Later, they went on to Colorado to work with their son in the summers and spend the winters in Houston with their daughters. Ken was known and loved for his humor and the way he could make anyone laugh. He could hold an easy conversation about any topic and once a person met him, they wanted to meet him again. He could talk to the Mayor of a city as easily as he could talk to his buddies. He was a master at dirt work. There was not a machine that he could not operate. His grandchildren thought he was invincible. His hugs were big and warm. When he was sick, he’d eat an onion, and when he was hungry, a piece of moldy cheese would do the trick. He loved rice puddin’, curry, fish and a good leg of lamb. He was known for always answering his phone, which made him the first choice for the grandkid’s emergency contact. He knew the answers to every important question. He loved each of us somehow making us feel we were the favorite. Every day started with a good cup of coffee or nice cup of tea. Ken is survived by his loving wife, Janice; daughter, Kandi Lawson (Mike); son Ken Jr. (Brittany); daughter, Amanda Whisenhunt (Jantson), granddaughters, Grace, Lauren, Allyson, Elsie, Violet and Alena; grandsons Evan, Mason, Jackson and Sean; brother David (Sandra) of Brisbane, Australia, and many nieces and nephews. We will miss him so much, but he is free from pain and suffering and has started his new eternal beginning in heaven. A private graveside service was held in Sheridan WY.
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