Caryl McQuown Evans died peacefully on, Sunday, Aug. 23, at 98 years of age.
She was born on April 19, 1922, in Post Falls, Idaho, to James Richard McQuown, a railroad engineer, and Lida Lucrecia Reich McQuown, a homemaker. She grew up in northern Idaho and in Spokane, Wash., graduating from Eastern Washington College of Education with a degree in music when she was only 20 years old.
Like her three older sisters, Caryl was a very talented musician, playing piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet and organ. She performed a classical piece for her first piano recital at four years of age. In her teens she was a competitive snow skier and proud holder of a pilot’s license.
After graduation, Caryl became the executive secretary for the chief of staff of Deaconess Hospital, a position she held for 13 years. During this time, she met the love of her life, Homer Denis Evans, an Air Force officer, and married him on Nov. 29, 1952. She resigned from her position when they started a family with the birth of a daughter, Linda Jean, in 1954.
Homer was transferred to Luke Air Force Base, west of Phoenix, in 1957, and there they welcomed three more children: Barbara Joanne, 1957; James Richard, 1963; and Cheri Lynne, 1968.
During these years, Caryl was a devoted wife and mother, active in leadership in Camp Fire Girls, church women’s groups and PTA. She was sweet, shy and ladylike, but she also had an impressive intellect, a dry wit, and the protective tendencies of a mama grizzly who never hesitated to speak truth to power. She kept family life flowing smoothly when Homer was serving in Korea, stationed in France or working multiple jobs.
She could whip up a Halloween costume, bridesmaid dress or piano accompaniment tape almost as quickly as she made four-course family dinners. She could mend anything from broken China to broken hearts. She was known for welcoming extra children to stay for dinner and always was willing to sit down and listen to a child’s (or teen’s) problems with a plate of cookies, whether that child happened to be one of her own or one of their friends.
The family was separated geographically when Homer was transferred to San Bernardino in the late 1970s, because the two oldest children had established lives in Phoenix, but they always remained close, with many trips across the desert through the years. Shortly before their 60th anniversary, Homer died suddenly, leaving Caryl a widow for her final eight years.
Her family celebrates her long, loving life and that she is now able to spend eternity with her soulmate as cherished guardian angels.
She is survived by her children Linda (Scott), Barbara (Steve), Jim (Jamie), and Cheri (Steve); eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren; as well as a younger sister, Jacqueline Martinez, and many nieces and nephews.
Caryl’s gentle mothering, deep faith, loving devotion and loyal friendship are shining examples to guide all who knew her, and we take comfort in the many wonderful memories of a life well-lived.
No funeral service arrangements have been made at this time.