12/18/12 — A gentleman: Former commissioner really did put people of Wayne County first

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A gentleman: Former commissioner really did put people of Wayne County first

There are some people who can be described as "all heart."

Their greetings are warm and effusive -- and real. They do not know a stranger and someone who disagrees with them remains a friend.

They care about others and put their priorities in the things that matter -- faith, hope, family. They serve, but quietly, not seeking the fame or attention of others with less lofty motives.

They leave the world a better place.

And that is exactly what Wayne County Commissioner J.D. Evans did -- and how he lived -- for all of his life.

If you met him once, he was your friend forever. He would greet you warmly with a hug and the kind of smile you knew wasn't forced or political.

He was just glad to see you.

J.D. Evans was passionate about a lot of things, but his heart was in education and children. A teacher and principal by trade, he never forgot about those he taught and those for whom he was entrusted to make a future.

Even in retirement, he took time to go to classes at local schools to let the students there know not only that county officials were paying attention, but to motivate the young people he met to plan for a great future.

He did not coddle those students, either, challenging them to dream big. He let them know they could be anything they wanted to be -- if they believed in themselves and were willing to put in the hard work necessary to achieve their goals.

And he inspired many to do just that.

He was the county's conscience when it came to making plans for the future and a kind man who understood that there was more to his county than budgets and bricks.

J.D. Evans loved Wayne County because of the people he met along the way, and he dedicated his life to serving them.

He left a legacy of kindness, compassion, dedication and heart.

And his influence will be missed not only in county government and education, but in the thousands of lives he touched.

He leaves very large shoes to fill.

Published in Editorials on December 18, 2012 11:13 AM