CAMERON, Mo. — Paul Emery Evans, age 99 + 9 months, died Tuesday, April 16, 2019, after six months in the Missouri Veterans Home in Cameron,
Born in rural Gentry County, near Stanberry, Missouri, on July 4, 1919, he grew up throughout rural Northwest Missouri. In the Great Depression, he left home at the age of 12 and found odd jobs with farmers, hitch-hiked with truckers as he followed the harvests on the Great Plains.
Returning to Missouri, he worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps building the first Electric Power lines in the Missouri Ozarks. Winding his way back to Savanah where he worked and lived in a café; he learned to cook and fried steak for Harry S. Truman once a week. He earned a diploma from the Savannah High School, where he also played football which lead to an athletic scholarship at Northwest Missouri State College. He stayed two years and majored in agricultural engineering. He left to marry Alberta Elizabeth Maggard in 1941, who preceded him in death in 1996.
An Army veteran of WWII, he served from Dec. 2, 1941 through Oct. 1945. He marched across Central Europe as part of the Seventh Armored Division fighting in every major battle from Normandy to the Baltic Sea. As a Staff Sergeant assigned to a medical battalion, he fed and comforted countless fellow soldiers as a cook/medic
After the war, Paul and Alberta owned/operated the Hotel Mt. Ayr [Iowa]. During this time, he spent over a year cooking for personnel building the first NORAD station in Tule, Greenland. Upon moving to St. Joseph, Paul worked for the rest of his career as a supervising cook at the St. Joseph State Hospital. He retired after almost 30 years of service. He farmed an acreage near Agency, Missouri and continued to work a quarter-acre garden at his home in town until he was 95.
In his retirement, he became known in his extended community as: a wonderful cook, who shared food and recipes, a great gardener [especially his experimental tomato plots]; a planter of trees; his dedication to the Wyatt Park Baptist Church and its Sunday school classes for the elderly and the developmentally disabled; his generosity to all but especially to the homeless and to children in need; and, his voracious study of history, theology, biblical studies, biographies, and plant life.
Preceded in death by: brothers, infant Nathan, George, and Chris; sisters, infant Louise, Betty (Westbrook), and Irene (Ellis).
Survived by: brothers, Emery and Larry; by sisters, Maudine Wilson, Jane Treffer, Marie Burr, Ruth De Wendt, Elizabeth Stephens, and Mary Pulley; over 100 nieces and nephews who enjoyed his chicken and noodles while he enjoyed them.
Paul leaves behind three daughters, Paula Evans Vehlow (Charles) Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Pamela Jane Evans of the home, Priscilla Jackson-Evans (Arthur) Kansas City; his beloved granddaughters Gretchen and Heidi Vehlow; as well as his great-grandson Charlie Vehlow.
The family wishes to thank his Wyatt Park Baptist Sunday School class, especially Dr. Bob Scott and his wife Carol for their kindness and support of Paul and Pam; also to his neighbors, friends, and family who were infinitely kind and helpful to him.
A celebration of life memorial will be held at 11 am Saturday, May 18, 2019, at the Evolution Church, a United Methodist Church at 202 W. Hyde Park Ave., St. Joseph, MO.
The family suggests donations in lieu of flowers to The Pamela Jane Evans Irrevocable Trust – c/o Priscilla Jackson-Evans, 6106 Charlotte St., Kansas City, MO 64110 or to Comfort Care Hospice, 1005 W. Third Street, Suite 4, Cameron, MO 64429.
Online guestbook and obituary at www.meierhoffer.com.