Donald T. Evans, a longtime resident of Salem, New Hampshire, died peacefully on December 13 th, 2019 at the age of 85.
Born on July 6, 1934 to the late Thomas and Elsie (Powell) Evans, Donald grew up in the town of Shirley, Massachusetts alongside his three older brothers, Stanley, Richard and Robert and his sister Jessie. Donald followed in his family's long line of honorable service as a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
This sense of selflessness and support for our armed services developed at a young age when, as a child, Donald would help his father in placing flags at the grave sites of Shirley’s military veterans. Led by his father’s example, his family was dedicated to supporting other servicemen and servicewomen in any capacity that they could, be it through providing housing assistance, warm meals or a simple word of encouragement and gratitude for their sacrifice. As a veteran, Donald spent decades returning to Shirley to take part in the town’s annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony, demonstrating to later generations the importance of the values that he held so dear.
Upon his honorable discharge from the Marines, Donald went on to parlay his culinary talents into a career as a head chef at the Lanam Club in Andover, as well as the famed Wentworth by the Sea in Portsmouth and the Exeter Inn. Later, he would transition to managing the large industrial kitchens at both Avco and Textron.
It was during this time at Avco that Donald would meet the woman who would become the love of his life, Gail, with whom he would enjoy 42 years of marriage. Together, they would raise three children, provide a loving home to countless pets, enjoy getaways to the White Mountains, boating on Lake Winnipesaukee and rooting on the Red Sox and Patriots. Upon moving to Salem, Donald would become an active member of Pleasant Street United Methodist Church, where together he and Gail were a staple at Sunday services for years.
A loving husband and father, Donald is survived by his wife of 42 years, Gail (Whitney) Evans, two daughters: Laurie Burns and husband, Thomas of Salem, NH, and Kristen Evans of Salem, NH, son Thomas Evans and his wife, Ashley of Derry, NH, grandchildren Olivia and James Burns and Adrianna Serino, brother Robert Evans and his wife, Marcia, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas Evans and Elsie (Powell) Evans, brothers Stanley Evans and Richard Evans, sister Jessie Dempsey and daughter Julie Evans.
In remembrance of a life filled with kindness, love, humor and service, a celebration for Donald is scheduled for Saturday, December 21 st at 11 am at Pleasant Street United Methodist Church in Salem, NH, with a reception to follow at the church. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Donald’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Pleasant Street United Methodist Church, or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by the Goundrey & Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main St., Salem, NH. To leave an online condolence, please visit Donald’s tribute page at www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.
To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral section.