PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: October 07, 1921

Date of Death: January 04, 2020

Ray Evans, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and brother-in-law, uncle and friend, passed away on Saturday, January 4, 2020. He was 98 years old. Ray was a member of the Greatest Generation! Ray was born on October 7, 1921 to James Sterling and Dora Ethyl (Blaylock) Evans in Tacoma, Washington. He had 5 brothers and 5 sisters. Ray graduated in 1939 from Lincoln High School in Tacoma. He joined the Navy in December 1942. His request to be assigned to a destroyer was granted, and he and the crew left from San Diego and headed to New York City where they joined three other ships and became known as Destroyer Division 38. They were involved in the big battles in the Pacific, including in the Coral Sea and then on to New Zealand and Australia chasing the enemy; and then to New Guinea. Ray’s ship’s and crew’s job was to clear paths to put soldiers on the beach, chase subs. destroy mines in the water and protect the big ships. Ray said that his destroyer division was labeled “expendable”. Each member of the crew was assigned to a PT boat and they would put the specialists on the beach. He said that John Kennedy was captain of one of the PT boats that traveled with them. His ship/crew were involved in taking the Philippines back from the Japanese and putting McArthur on the island. They went on to Iwo Jima and to the China Sea. It was after the battle of Iwo Jima that he got a call to return to the U.S. It took 12 days to get back to San Francisco and he was then sent to Ann Arbor, Michigan. When the war ended shortly after that, Ray was sent to Bremerton, WA where he was honorably discharged. Ray had 5 Bronze Stars. Two weeks after his discharge, Ray met Dorothy Eileen Van Wagenen, and one month later, April 20, 1946, they were married. They had three boys. Ray worked for Western Electric and was assigned to work in a lot of different cities. He started out in Seattle and later moved to Fresno where he was an Orbit Supervisor covering from Sacramento to Bakersfield and along the coast. After a couple of years Ray and Dot moved back to Tacoma where Ray retired in 1983. Ray is survived by his 3 boys: Raymond A. Evans and his wife Ruth, granddaughter Amy and husband Rick Rose, great-granddaughter Alexis and great-great-grandson Jaxson; Richard J. Evans and wife Ginette; and Ronald W. Evans and wife Teri, granddaughter Ashley Crutchfield and husband Lucas, and great-grandson Liam; and grandson Aaron Evans. He is also survived by one brother (Tom) and sister-in-law (Florence Evans) and many nieces and nephews. Ray lived at Wooddale Village located in Sun City, AZ where he had many wonderful friends . He enjoyed playing cribbage, Wii bowling, working jigsaw puzzles, the excellent food and the sincere feeling of “family” while there. In 1939 Ray won the Northwest Jitterbug Championship in Seattle. He and Dorothy loved dancing. He was a championship bowler, and an excellent golfer. He will be deeply missed by all of those he touched in his long life.

Service Information

A private family service will be held at a later date.


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