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Served with Honor - United States Military Veteran
Dr. Jesse Gillette Evans, Jr.
Dr. Jesse Gillette Evans, Jr.
October 28, 1924 - November 18, 2013
Davenport, Iowa

Memorial Service: Thursday at 11:00 AM December 05, 2013 at Edwards UCC Congregational Church, 3420 Jersey Ridge Rd., Davenport, IA
Interment: Private , at Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island

Dr. Jesse Gillette Evans, Jr.,Davenport, IA died on November 18 at his home. He was Professor Emeritus of Music at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He was born October 28, 1924, to Elizabeth Dusenbury Evans and Jesse G. Evans, Sr. in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. He married Leola Brooks in May of 1945 and she died in September of 2008 after 63 years of marriage. In February of 2011 he married Caroline Andrews Porter of Galesburg, IL. She survives.

Also surviving are his sister, Jo Paxton of Somerville, Ohio, and three children: Sandra Evans McKirahan and John, Kearney, Nebraska; Barbara Jo Evans Hansen and Robert, Sleepy Hollow, IL and Charles and Melanie Evans, Woodward, Iowa, seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

His grandchildren are Kelley McKirahan Jordan of St Paul, Nebraska, Jason and Niki McKirahan, Oklahoma City, OK; Kristina Hansen Boardman and Adam, Sun Prairie, WI; Mark and Tina Hansen, Oak Park, IL; Todd and Lindsay Hansen, Richmond, VA., Rosemary Evans Pedersen and Chris, DesMoines; and Charles and Jamie Evans, DesMoines

Also surviving are Caroline’s three children, Jean Goltermann, Eva Goltermann Basinger and Bruce, and Neil Goltermann and Ruth Dove, three grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

He was an officer in the United States Navy during WWII. Dr Evans earned a BA degree in Economics from Monmouth College, IL, a Masters degree in Music Theory and Music Education at Ohio State University and Doctorate of Philosophy in Music Education at Indiana University. He taught in public schools for ten years and began teaching as a college professor, first at Taylor University in Indiana, then for 18 years at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. He came to Augustana College in Rock Island in 1983.

In the 1960s he received grants to study non-Western music, in California, Hawaii, and Japan. He played the Japanese koto, and founded the Cornell College (Iowa) Koto ensemble in 1970 and the Augustana College (Illinois) Koto Ensemble in 1983. The Augustana Ensemble performed at the Kyoto (Japan) International Music Festival in 1984. Dr. Evans performed at the Sawai Koto School in Tokyo and with the Kazue Sawai Koto Ensemble from Japan at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He founded the Chusei Koto Society which performed for 25 years. He was named Iowa Music Educator of the Year in 1983.

He directed the bell choir at South Park Presbyterian Church in Moline for ten years. He was a member of Edwards United Church of Christ Congregational Church in Davenport.

A memorial service will be held at on Thursday, December 5 at 11:00 at Edwards UCC Congregational Church in Davenport. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Edwards UCC Congregational Church or Quad Citians for the Prevention of Gun Violence. Arrangements are being made by Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home of Rock Island.

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Jason and Niki, our deepest sympathy to you and your family. Although I only got to meet this great man for a short lunch, I realized what a special person he was. I am so grateful for that opportunity. Please accept our most sincere condolences.
-- The Gutierrez Family


We are so very sorry for your loss. If there is anything you need , please just let us know. We can be reached at 309-343-7709 or 309-345-3832. Our hearts and prayers are with you Carolyn at this time of your greatest need. Lean on him and he will easy your burden.
-- Bonnie and Jim Harris

I served on the Session at South Park Church with Jesse, probably in the early '90's. I remember that, very gently, he was the conscience of our board. As we dealt with budget issues, including salaries and buildings, he always would remind us to spend as much money on others as we were spending on ourselves.

John also served on the faculty at Augustana with Jesse, and had much evidence that Jesse lived his faith out in all areas of his life.

We both remember Jesse as a truly Good man, caps intentional. We admired him and Lee as a good and gracious couple, and we are so glad he continued his happiness in his later life, also. The world will be diminished without Jesse in it! Carmen and John Farwell
-- Carmen and John Farwell

BJ - we are sorry for your loss. We are listening to some koto music right now in honor of your father, an accomplished man.
-- Peggy Hanson and Frank Wright

We have fond memories of Jesse from the time when we were colleagues at Cornell College, and particularly of his work with the Koto at a time when there was not much interest in things non-Western there. We extend our condolences and best wishes to all of his family and friends.
-- William and Elza Shepard

Caroline - I am so sorry to read of your loss. I know how happy you both were to have found each other. Prayers for you and the entire family.
-- Peg Nelson

The community lost a unique man with Jesse's passing. Jesse was thoughtful, loving, open, caring, inquisitive, creative, easy going and just a wonderful person. A talented musician, a dedicated family man, and an amazing teacher, he was an awesome human being. His death leaves an empty spot in the world.
-- Rowen Schussheim-Anderson

A man of great depth. We are shocked by his passing and deeply saddened. To his family, please accept our sympathy as you know Jesse meant very much to us and we have lost another great friend.
-- Bud and Pat Hearn

Caroline and family, we are so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. May happy memories carry you through this sorrowful time.
-- Tod Meyer and Family

Jesse was an extraordinary and an exemplary human being - a quiet,immensely talented man who held great faith and deep ethical commitments and lived them out every moment of his life. We were privileged to know Jesse as a colleague at Augustana College and as a congregant at South Park Presbyterian Church. Jesse's presence was never flamboyant but his heart and his commitments were felt everywhere he taught . . . and he always taught.

Jesse introduced our children to Japan at a very young age, and that experience rubbed off on both of them. Our daughter returned to Japan as a JET teacher after college. Our son has made his professional career around Japan, and he and his family now serve at the U.S> Embassy in Tokyo. Jesse's heart and his teaching is never far from us, and for that we will ever be grateful.
-- Jim and Joan Winship

The sad thing about knowing great people is the great void they leave when they pass on. The joy of the memories are the medicine during the pain of the loss.
-- Matt & Sally Evans

Carolyn and family, I am so sorry that I won't be able to attend the service due to out of town engagement. It was such an honor to know Jesses for the past twenty plus years! He was a talented, kind and extraordinary good looking ( and I know he would've agree with that with a big smile). I will miss him greatly! Angel Hong
-- Angel Hong

Dr. Evans will always be associated in my mind with musical excellence and with musical democracy. It was a pleasure to be associated with him as a student at Cornell! He truly left the world a better place for his being there.
-- Spike Maiden Mueller