Dr. Stephen F. Evans

After a brief illness Dr. Stephen F. Evans (Ph.D., Kansas) passed away Monday, February 26th in the loving care of his husband and friends.

Born January 5th, 1949 in Salina, Kansas; Stephen was the firstborn of father Dr. Grant E. Evans, M.D. and mother Montana F. Evans, Ph.D.

He is preceded in death by his father and brother David S. Evans; and leaves behind his husband of over 30 years James R. Ward, mother Montana F. Newkirk, and brothers Grant R. Evans and Samuel S. Evans.

Stephen received his undergraduate (’71) and Masters (’74) from KU, both with Honors in English; and began work on his Ph.D. as the Graduate Research Assistant to renowned Shakespearian scholar Dr. Charlton Hinman. In 1979, as he was preparing to take his Ph.D. exams, his mentor and advisor Dr. Hinton passed away. The only time in his life to leave KU and Lawrence, Steve left to pursue other interests. Returning in 1989, he recompleted the entire Doctoral curriculum with a 4.0 GPA, and in 2000 received his Ph.D.

A passionate, imaginative teacher who loved his students, Stephen began teaching at KU in 1974. Twice honored in his career as the Department’s Outstanding Instructor, his professionalism, intellect, and range were displayed over his career as he taught introductory and upper-level courses, Shakespeare, American Indian, Technical Writing, Advanced Composition and other courses. He was coveted as a capable, reliable substitute teacher across the Department. Always asking the best from them, his students won thirty excellence in Writing Awards, numerous departmental writing honors, and in 2009-10, the prestigious Chancellor’s Writing Prize.

His scholarship was unquestioned, publishing numerous articles and reviews and presenting papers at the University of California, Ohio State, and the Congress of Medieval Studies; to name a few. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Wilbur, Albrecht, and Hopkins awards; as well as the Whitcomb Fellowship.

Stephen’s legacy lies within the thousands of students who were privileged to fall under his tutelage.

Charming and brilliant, he was incredibly proud to be part of the University; and loved Jim, Lawrence, and KU.

Rock Chalk, my brother.

Visitation is Saturday, March 3rd from 11:00-1:00 at the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home; followed by a private inurnment at the KU Pioneer Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to either the K.U. Endowment Association for the Department of English or the Lawrence Humane Society are requested.