Elizabeth Beard Evans, 96, passed away March 27, 2021, at River Bend Assisted Living in Great Bend. She was born in Casper, Wyoming, on September 27, 1924, to Robert Edmund and Mildred Florence (Rugen) Beard.
In 1938, she moved from Casper to what was then the intercity between Kansas City and Independence, Missouri (now part of Independence), and in 1942, graduated from Northeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1946, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in chemistry and also did graduate work in bacteriology at KU. After college, she had several jobs in the pharmaceutical and health fields.
On June 3, 1950, Elizabeth married William Raymond Evans in Independence, Missouri. They lived in Kansas City, Kansas, before moving with their first two children, in 1953, to Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, where Bill did his internship at Tripler Army Hospital. In 1954, the family moved to Hoisington and, in 1958, to Bill’s hometown of Great Bend.
Traveling extensively on road trips with her family, Elizabeth visited 49 states (all but Alaska) as well as eight Canadian provinces. During childhood, she went with her parents and sister, Virginia, numerous times by train and car to visit her parents’ families in Massachusetts and Virginia and to various places in the West. When she was 14 years old, Elizabeth climbed Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming at 13,809 feet. As a mom, she planned annual summer vacations for her family to visit relatives, national parks, historical sites, amusement parks, and world’s fairs. One of her favorite vacation spots was the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, which she visited with family more than two dozen times, starting in 1963. She documented vacations, holidays, and extended family gatherings with photos and movies that she faithfully organized and labeled.
Elizabeth was a Girl Scout, a Girl Scout leader, and a Cub Scout den mother; a member of the Barton County Medical Auxiliary/Alliance for which she served many years as International Health Chairman; and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Central Kansas Medical Center Auxiliary, and American Red Cross bloodmobiles. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Great Bend.
Survivors include her children, Patricia Davis, Independence, Missouri; William Evans, Jr. (Amy), Great Bend; Robert Evans (Clara), Newton; and Catherine Evans, Lawrence.
She also is survived by eight grandchildren: Joel Morton (Julie), Virginia Beach, Virginia; Jessie Caliman (Roger), Independence, Missouri; Cody Davis (Cierra Floyd), Houston, Texas; Ryan Evans (Heidi), Chicago, Illinois; Zane Evans (Christin), Manhattan; Tiffany Maelzer (Marc), Holyoke, Colorado; Rebecca Hardtarfer (Scott), Goddard; and Sarah Hensiek (Matthew), Newton; and twenty-two great-grandchildren: Baylee, Brailyn, James, and Wesley Morton, Harvey Simmons, Hadley Caliman, Ariella Floyd, Roman Marshall, Eva Davis, Kaia and Sienna Vazquez, Skylar Evans, Chloe, Cassidy, and Cadence Evans, Kenzie and Emily Maelzer, Tyler and Aubrey Hardtarfer, and Logan, Callie, and Olivia Hensiek.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. William R. Evans, Aug. 5, 1999; sister, Virginia Marro; and son-in-law, Bill Davis.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Bryant Funeral Home, with family to receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Great Bend Cemetery, with Reverend Morita Truman presiding. Memorials are suggested to the First United Methodist Church in Great Bend or the Barton County Historical Society, in care of Bryant Funeral Home.