PAUL VERNON EVANS
June 19, 1926 - July 21, 2020
Paul Vernon Evans, BA JD, was born "Baby Taylor" in Bethel Hospital (now Colorado Springs Memorial) on East Boulder Street in Colorado Springs on June 19, 1926, baby son of George Lewis and Ruth M. Coleman Taylor. On July 11, 1926, a doctor delivered him to his adopting parents, Fred Harrison Evans and Fred's wife, Emma Hooper Evans.
Fred was employed, and Paul grew up, on the farm of Scott O. Sharp, about two miles north of then Fountain, Colorado. Two sons were later born to Paul's parents, Edward Robert in August 1932, and John James in March 1934. Mabel Sharp, El Paso County teacher for about fifty years and daughter of Scott O., persuaded Paul at age four, that if he could keep a dime balanced on the back of his wrist until he completed the Palmer Method handwriting exercise, he could keep the dime.
Paul attended Widefield Elementary School to seventh grade, then Fountain through twelfth, graduating in May 1944. Within two days, he was sent to Denver to be enrolled in the United States Naval Reserve. At Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, he met Betty Jeane Wheeler, a red-headed sixteen-year-old from Fleming, Colorado, who would reappear decades later. From Denver he went directly into boot camp in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, then Torpedo training in San Diego, California, then assignment to Admiral Nimitz CINCPAC in Guam. He was honorably discharged in May 1946. He met Miss Wheeler in Denver, took her to meet his folks, met hers, and they became engaged - for four months!! She sent the engagement ring back in September 1946, and went to Colorado State on scholarships. The rings wound up in the Fort Peck, Montana reservoir!!
For one season he drove Cadillac touring cars for the Alamo Hotel (his first trip ever was to the top of Pikes Peak with a load of Chicago secretaries!). In the late summer of 1946, he became associated with Keystone Reader's Service, a Philadelphia-based circulation company connected to Curtis Publishing Company, publishers of the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Holiday, and Country Gentleman magazines. He married Francis Irene Pool in 1947, and daughter, Paula Jean (now Paula Monroe with husband Michael) was born January 1950, and adopted son, Mark Vernon Evans (now, "Hansen") was born January 1960. Evans became a road manager for Keystone, but resigned in the Fall of 1950 to take advantage of the then GI Bill. He enrolled in Colorado College, graduating with honors and a scholarship to Duke Law in the summer of 1953. He began solo law practice in 1956, was in several partnerships, and retired in 2006. He has been listed for years in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
The 1947 marriage terminated in divorce in 1964. He married Patricia Gwyn Shumate, adopted her two sons, Bruce Allen Evans, born June 27, 1957, and Michael Gwyn Evans, born December 20, 1959. Paul Vernon Evans, II was born April 27, 1965. Patricia died in 2001.
A voicemail to his closing law practice by a still unidentified caller in January 2002, asked if Evans knew that Betty Jean Wheeler had become Betty J. Haynes, and was a widow living in Haxtun, Colorado, just east of Sterling. A phone call led to a dinner, which led to a discovery - they had forgotten to fall out of love!!
Evans married Betty J. Haynes in 2002. With Betty's added family, Paul gained a stepson, Dr. Terry Haynes; two stepdaughters, Jeanne Whitney and Jodie Yoxall; two sisters-in-law, Doris Dion (Dean) and Marian Meitz (Frederick Kenneth); one brother-in-law, Roy Wheeler (Toni); and their extended families.
Evans served as Town Attorney for Fountain, Colorado for several years, and then as Town and City Attorney for Woodland Park, Colorado for over fifteen years; he reorganized and then represented Rock Creek Water District for over twenty-five years. His Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Registration Number 959 (current numbers exceed 40,000!) indicate the growth of Colorado since his admission to law practice in 1956. Among those with whom Paul always felt an honor to associate were esteemed attorney C. Lee Goodbar, Ronald A. Peterson, John "Randy" Torbet, and G. Scott Briggs.
Evans claimed his marriage to Betty was a joyous and romantic wonderland. Both were in their seventies when they started again, no minor children, and they actually liked each other as well as loved each other, and held hands as they walked through fourteen wonderful years together. Betty died June 5, 2016 after a short, painful fight with cancer.
Evans died on July 21, 2020. He is survived by his daughter, Paula (Michael) Monroe; three sons, Bruce Evans, Michael Evans, and Mark Hansen; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
He has directed that his and Betty's cremated remains be inurned together at Fairview Cemetery in Fountain, Colorado next to his adoptive parents.