The TBCBSP sadly brings you the news of the passing of our beloved members, Ben and June Evans. They will surely be missed. Visit https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/mcall/name/benjamin-evans-obituary?id=31985312
Benjamin D. Evans, 91, and June R. (Maxwell) Evans, 90, of Coopersburg passed away on December 16, 2021 and December 12, 2021 respectively. June was born in Philadelphia a daughter of the late Raymond R. and Wilhelmina (Mellick) Maxwell. She was a graduate of Kensington High School, Philadelphia. She was raised in Philadelphia but was a country girl at heart, as she spent the summers of her youth on her cousin's farm in Bloomsburg.
Ben was born in Slatington a son of the late Gordon B. and Isabel (Thomas) Evans. He was a graduate of Allentown High School Class of 1947 and received his B.S. in Music Education from the West Chester State Teachers College in 1951. Ben received his Master's in Music Supervision from Temple University in 1954.
The couple settled in Coopersburg when Ben began his career as a public teacher by creating a music education program for the then, Coopersburg High School, grades 1 through 12 in 1952. He continued to develop music education with the advent of the Southern Lehigh School District, where he taught until his retirement in 1987. Ben held positions as band, chorus and orchestra teacher/conductor and Music Coordinator for the district. His musical talents, especially his skill at the keyboard, were dedicated to the Glory of God, serving as organist and choir director for St. James Lutheran Church in Coopersburg from 1958 – 1998. Ben also gave private music lessons to countless Southern Lehigh students who visited the family home weekly for instruction.
June was a full-time homemaker and served as the consummate maternal anchor to all of Ben's pursuits, both vocational and avocational. June worked diligently behind the scenes to support all of his musical productions, from altering band uniforms, to sewing Broadway play costumes, to providing insight on student auditions, as well as a key source of review and comment during dress rehearsals leading up to concert time. She was an accomplished seamstress and member of the local Couturier Society. June sang on the church choir at St. James where she and Ben were both members.
Ben was an avid hobbyist applying his innate sense of dedication and intensity to every pursuit; from model railroading, to catching, banding, and releasing birds as a volunteer for the Fish and Wildlife Commission; from oil painting to furniture making in his home shop, from breeding and selling tropical fish to establishing a family side business in scented candle making.
In retirement June wanted to explore her love of country by visiting the covered bridges in the area they were located. Upon discovering there was no single volume available to direct the inquiring mind to the hundreds of covered bridges in Pennsylvania, Ben decided this simply could not stand. The couple proceeded to locate, research the history and engineering details, and photograph every bridge in the state to then co-author and publish Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges, A Complete Guide 1994 & 2001. Recognizing that the history of covered bridges did not end at the Pennsylvania state line, the couple proceeded to the publication, New England's Covered Bridges, A Complete Guide 2004. They were life members of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of PA and co-editors of the Covered Bridge Society Newsletter from 2002-2009.
Throughout their time as a couple, the Evans' family compound stood as a hub of cultural, social and education engagement for family, friends, students, and fellow church members alike, who found themselves drawn into the cyclone of activity created by this couples' passion and enthusiasm for life. Ben provided the discipline, and intensity of passion, while June forever provided the sense of humor, compassion, and grace. They quite literally did everything together. Ben and June would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on December 20th.
Survivors: Sons, David W. Evans and his wife Carolyn R. of Coopersburg, James L. Evans of Hellertown; daughter, Patricia L. Cole and her husband Brett E. of Quakertown; daughter-in-law, Mary Evans of Center Valley; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is survived by his siblings, Wayne G. and his wife Mary Louise Evans, Mertztown and Ruth and her husband Robert Fetterman of Lancaster. June was predeceased by her sisters Elsie M. Schroeck and Phyllis R. Navin.
Services: A memorial service to celebrate Ben and June's lives will be held at a later date due to COVID restrictions. Interment will be in the Woodland Cemetery, Coopersburg. Arrangements by the Stephens Funeral Home, Inc. Allentown. www.stephensfuneral.com.
The couple's request was that contributions be sent in lieu of flowers to: Housing Association and Development Corporation, 513 Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18102.
Published by The Morning Call on Dec. 24, 2021.
Editors note: Our thanks to Jim Smedley and James Crouse for sharing this news.