‘Join in with us to save Southwestern’
After nearly half a century with Jack Evans at the…
Patricia Officer Evans, longtime matriarch of Southwestern Christian College, died Sunday morning. She was 77.
“Sister Evans has been and forever will be an integral part of the Southwestern story, having served as our First Lady and Queen Mother for over 50 years,” said Ervin D. Seamster Jr., president of the Terrell, Texas, College, the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) associated with Churches of Christ.
“She worked alongside her beloved husband, Jack, to make Southwestern a home to every student that entered,” Seamster said.
A native of Nashville, Tenn., she was the wife of Jack Evans Sr., a longtime minister who served as Southwestern’s president from 1967 to 2017. She taught literature and French for the college and helped coordinate “countless solos and musical performances,” Seamster said.
One of Patricia Evans’ former students was Aaron Sayles, a 1970 graduate of Southwestern who continued his studies at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. Sayles retired after a long and distinguished career with RCA and Intel. In 2015 he presented Patricia Evans with a plaque thanking her for her commitment to education.
“Sister Evans, you have touched the hearts and lives of so many students who attended Southwestern Christian College, including mine,” Sayles wrote in a letter to his former teacher. “Sometimes we forget to say thank you to the people who played such an important part in our lives. I want to tell you, thank you for touching my life in such a positive Christian way.”
Patricia Evans and her husband “spent their life helping to build Southwestern Christian College into a college where African-American young people could attend and receive a value Christian education,” Sayles said. “She was such an inspiration to those of us who knew her, especially those of us who knew her as students at Southwestern.”
Visitation is from 1 to 3 p.m. April 12 at Sacred Funeral Home in Cedar Hill, Texas, and 5 to 7 p.m. at Southwestern Christian College. A wake begins at 7 p.m. A celebration of Patricia Evans’ life is scheduled for noon April 13 at Southwestern.
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