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Jim Evans

Jan. 1, 1927-Jan. 6, 2012

Services are set for longtime local resident Jim Evans of Detroit Lakes, who died, surrounded by his family, at Oak Crossing on Friday, January 6, 2012.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9 in Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Detroit Lakes, with Monsignor Timothy McGee officiating.

Visitation will be at the church from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 6:30 and a prayer service at 7 p.m.

Stephen James Evans was born to Steve and Cecelia Evans on January 1, 1927 in Little Falls, Minn. The family moved to Detroit Lakes in 1929. Jim attended Holy Rosary School and graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1945.

Jim served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Following his service he attended the University of North Dakota. Upon his return to Detroit Lakes in 1948, he purchased Evans Grocery from his father. He married Mary Ann Colmer (Detroit Lakes) on August 24, 1948. Over the next 30 years, they built the grocery business later known as Evans Super Market, and raised a family of six children.

Jim loved his customers, employees and community. He truly enjoyed working in the store, greeting his customers and thanking them for their business.

Jim was active in the Detroit Lakes community his entire life. He was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Rotary, Elks, Eagles, and Chamber of Commerce. He served on the boards of St. Mary's Regional Health Center, Minnesota Charitable Gaming Commission, Bremer Bank, Minnesota Grocers Association and was chairman of the Detroit Lakes Centennial in 1971.

In 1994 Jim was one of five initial inductee's into the Minnesota Grocers Hall of Fame, an honor of which he was most proud. Jim was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1976 and served four terms as a state legislator. He worked hard for his constituents and their causes.

Jim loved living in Detroit Lakes and spending time on Bad Medicine Lake. He enjoyed tennis, skiing, travel, fishing, hunting, jazz and was an avid and loyal fan of the Lakers, Gophers, Twins and Vikings.

Jim and Mary Ann traveled the country in their motorhome for several years, visiting family and friends. Later they spent their winters in Ft. Myers, Fla., always returning to Detroit Lakes in the spring. In the summer he made many trips to Lake of the Woods with his fishing buddies.

In recent years he could be spotted having coffee in downtown Detroit Lakes, or out to dinner with his Wednesday night crowd. He truly loved people and was a dear friend to many.

In the past few years Jim faced several health challenges. He could never say enough for the care he received from St. Mary's, its medical staff, and in particular the staff at Oak Crossing. Everyone truly made him feel at home.

Jim was a wonderful husband, recently celebrating 63 years of marriage. He was a caring and supportive father, encouraging all of his children throughout their lives.

Surviving Jim are his wife, Mary Ann; his six children, Steve Evans (Annie) of Bozeman, Mont., Joe Evans (Jean) of Detroit Lakes, Nancy Evans Franklin (Gregg), Bozeman, Tom Evans (Andrea) of Jackson, Wyo., Mike Evans (Mary) of Bozeman and Robert Evans of Laguna Beach, Calif.; along with 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Preceding Jim in death were his parents, two brothers and one sister.

Memorials may be given to Oak Crossing, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Becker County Food Pantry and DL Cultural and Community Center.

The David-Donehower Funeral home is serving the family. Online condolances may be left at