Obituary of Richard D. Evans
Richard D. Evans, 87, from the Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre, PA peacefully flew home on August 29, 2021, after a brief visit to the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. Richard, more commonly known as Dick, Pop, or Poppy, was born on February 1, 1934, in the coal mining town of Scranton Patch, Wilkes-Barre to Sarah (Smith) and Thomas Evans. Dick was the last surviving member of his family, predeceased by brothers Thomas, James, John (Jack), William, Ralph and sisters, Margaret Filipkowski and infant Mary. Dick also lost his best friend, his little beagle, Sadie Mae earlier this year. Dick leaves behind his loving wife of over 62 years, Dorothy (Celmer) in the care of his four daughters; Sandra (the late Joe) Mackey of Estill Springs, TN; Bonnie Hough & Dirk of Chambersburg, PA; Lorrie Mull & Jeff of Mountaintop, PA and Kellie Reinert & David of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Dick treasured his family more than anything and wants his seven grandchildren, or “Rippers”, as they were affectionately called by him, to carry on his great work ethic, sense of pride, patriotism and easy-going spirit: Joseph Mackey, Breckenridge, CO; Captain Dustin Hough & wife Lauren, Rapid City SD; Sarah Kinney & husband Austin, Phoenix, AZ; Shawn Maiers & fiancée Julianna Mondulick, W-B; Riley Mull of Northumberland and Ruby and Scarlet Reinert, WB. Dick also has several nieces and nephews. Pop will miss giving dog treats to all his great fur babies. Dick fell in love with Dot at an early age and was her protector, caring life-long partner and handsome, smiling Silver Fox. She was the love of his life and vice versa. They shared a wonderful, long and healthy life together raising their children and grandchildren, instilling their faith, practical values and unconditional love toward family and friends. The Evans’ house knew how to host a good party too; Dick would play the accordion and the organ would come out to the patio for the neighbors to play guitars and sing along. There were so many good times to remember. He had a great outlook on life, was seldom angry, often responded to things with a “Whatever!” He hated if you fussed over him. He had mechanical abilities beyond his schooling and an amazing knack to fix and rebuild just about anything. His tools of choice were often a screwdriver, duct tape, super glue and always a bunch of good old-fashioned common sense, a true MacGyver. His grandkids have inherited all his great traits. He was the kind of Dad every kid wanted to have, but the Evans’ girls knew they had the prize. He used to do cartwheels down the backyard and run and jump into the pool with his jeans on after a long hot day at work. He always had time for them. There was never any shortage of praise, adoration and affection from this sweet, kind & loving man. He was the sole authority on Sunday morning pancakes before church and was known for the best pancakes in town, which would be served to friends and family anytime they were visiting. Only a few of us know his pancake- making secrets. He was a great short order cook too. He enjoyed a good juicy cheeseburger, NEPA pizza and was quite the hot dog connoisseur, (Abe’s on S. Main was the favorite). He enjoyed a smoke and to have a ‘highball’ to wash it all down. He liked the simple things in life and had his priorities in all the right places. He would give you the shirt off his back or the last dollar in his wallet if you needed it. He was loved by all those that knew him. He was often seen driving his mower up and down the neighborhood street with his faithful companion Sadie trotting along his side. He took great pride in manicuring half the lawns on Gravel Hill, even up until his last week. He loved to help a neighbor, never expecting anything in return, even though he was often rewarded with some home-made pierogies, a cake or cocktail. He loved to cut the grass and made sure all the grandkids knew how to run the mower at an early age too. Dick also enjoyed talking with his grandkids, reading and watching Nascar, war movies, westerns, history, crime solving and “Gold Rush” TV shows. “Digging” Dick worked for the Kaminski Brothers Construction Company for the last 25 years before retirement. Just about all the highways and perfectly banked ramps throughout PA were constructed and carved out by Dick. His precision and finesse working that enormous bucket arm of the Gradall excavating machine was a talent to behold. It was just like an appendage of his own body. He often would ask onlookers if they wanted him to write their name in the hillside, he was THAT GOOD. He was a member of the United Steelworkers Union and enjoyed being in the dart league and having a cold beer at the original Vitale’s Anthracite on Scott Street, where he was a well-known patron and friend. He was drafted in 1956 to the U.S. Army, trained in Fort Hood, and Fort Dix as an auto mechanic. He was then assigned to the 6th Ordnance Company and sent overseas to Germany where he worked on various vehicles and tanks. He had never left Scranton Patch before this. His fellow soldiers liked to take him along to the beer gardens there because of his strong coal miner physique. They felt safe with him, a demeanor he continued to convey the rest of his life. He was a member of Messiah Primitive Methodist Church and later, Parsons Primitive Methodist Church where he attended regularly, enjoyed the fellowship and served regularly as an usher. In the last few years, Dick was frustrated that he just didn’t have the strength or energy to do his normal routine. But he remained busy, active and useful, even though it took great effort. Dick has been an outstanding role model and has taught his family all that he could (and that’s a lot) and now his days of hard work are behind him, and he can rest in peace. The family held a private prayer service on The Front Porch which was his command post to watch over HIS neighborhood. His chair is empty, like the huge hole that he left in the hearts of so many. The family is requesting no visitation. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude’s Hospital would be appreciated. Pop, you are MY SUNSHINE! We will love you and miss you and that sweet smile and twinkle in your eyes forever.
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