A tribute to Dr. John Evans

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The new school year has started which also brings the beginning of the high school athletic season. Thinking of student athletes who are competing this season made us reflect back on a Marysville High School alumnus who died earlier this week. Dr. John Evans, known for being quiet and reserved, passed away early Tuesday morning.

He had numerous lifetime achievements that included being inducted into the Marysville High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Evans was a standout athlete, graduating in 1951, playing football, basketball and golf.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University and The Ohio State University School of Medicine, he became a physician. He returned to his hometown and eventually became the head of Memorial Hospital’s medical staff before retiring.

Along with all his accomplishments, Dr. Evans was part of the Reader Advisory Board we host here at the Journal-Tribune. There were many nights he needed a ride home from the meetings and would share how much he was learning about the newspaper business and how important he believed a local newspaper is to keep a small town relevant.

In those meetings, Dr. Evans would only share his opinions when called on, but when he talked, board members listened. We appreciated his input as well as his outlook – to leave Marysville in a better place.

In life, when you pull a fist out of a glass of water, the water will fill in. In Dr. Evans case, it will be hard to fill in his glass of water.

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Speaking about his induction into the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame, retired J-T publisher Dan Behrens had the honor of introducing Dr. Evans at that event. Here are excerpts from his introduction.

“I am (introducing) the distinguished graduate of Marysville High School in the class of 1951 – ‘Jake’ Evans … this was his nickname at MHS.

“For the past several decades we have known him as Dr. John Evans, MD. He is indeed one of the more notable graduates of Marysville.

“He is being honored here tonight for his athletic prowess and accomplishments, and well he should. John excelled in everything he did …but John Evans was much more than an athlete. He was on the Key Yearbook staff … student council … and was in the senior class play. He also played (trumpet) in the band.

“He was a member (and president) of the Hi-Y Club … the top high school activity at that time … a club associated with the YMCA which sponsored religious and other activities throughout the school year.

“On Recognition Day in 1951, John was honored with the Basketball Medal, Chamber of Commerce Essay Award and … the American Legion Award, the most coveted of all honors.

“John was raised on a farm … and in between all his high school activities each day he had to go home and do chores which included milking cows.

“John went on to Ohio Wesleyan University where he played football. He graduated in 1955 and entered medical school at The Ohio State University. After completing internship and residency and two years in the U.S. Air Force, he came back to his hometown of Marysville to practice medicine. The rest is history.

“I can think of few MHS grads who are move deserving of the honor of being inducted into the Marysville High School Athletic Hall of Fame than Dr. John ‘Jake’ Evans.”



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