William J. "Bill" Evans

February 26, 1945 ~ June 15, 2018 (age 73)

William J. “Bill” Evans went to be with his Lord on Friday, June 15, 2018.  He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at home in Blue Grass, Iowa. He was born on February 26, 1945 in Davenport, Iowa, the son of William “Bill” & Doris (Hart) Evans.

Bill graduated from Davenport High School in 1963 and from St. Ambrose University in 1967. He married Sherry Blair on November 26, 1965.

Bill started his career with International Harvester and then worked for 29 years at John Deere plants including The Foundry, Harvester (East Moline) Works, and lastly at John Deere Davenport Works.

Through the years Bill enjoyed many trips to the Boundary Waters.  He enjoyed the time with friends and took 26 trips to the Boundary Waters in total. He also enjoyed running 5Ks, a marathon, and a half triathlon.  Biking was also a passion of Bill’s for many years including his three-wheeled bike most recently.

Following his retirement from John Deere in 1996 he founded New Horizons Consulting.  Bill and Sherry moved to Minnesota in 1999 and became co-owners in Blair’s Point in Ely, Minnesota.  In 2005 Bill became a commissioned lay pastor with the Presbyterian Church.

For seven years Bill was the full time pastor at St. James Presbyterian Church in Tower, Minnesota. He later served for five years as the Chaplain at The Fountains Senior Living Facility in Bettendorf, Iowa. Within his pastoral duties, Bill was honored to officiate many weddings, baptisms and funerals.

By founding the non-profit 2nd Chance Crosses, Bill was able to share the love of Christ around the world through the 170,000 small wooden crosses that were the foundation of the ministry. He lived his love of the Lord!

Bill enjoyed serving others and especially enjoyed community leadership opportunities.  He served on the board for Skip Along Day Care Center, The International Bear Center, Ely Bloomenson Nursing Home and Clear Water Forest Camp. He was president of the Rotary Club in Ely, Minnesota and served as Vice Moderator of the Presbytery of Northern Waters. Camp Abe Lincoln named Bill the volunteer of the year.

Those left to honor his memory include his wife of fifty-two years, Sherry; his children, Jenny (Anthony) Stohl of Blue Grass, Sarah (Jeff) Lewis of Olathe, Kansas, Ann (Mike) McCotter of Green Bay, Wisconsin and Blair (Courtney) Evans of Blue Grass; his grandchildren (those who called him “Papa”): Gage McCotter, Erin McCotter, Hannah Lewis, Will Evans and Ben Evans; his siblings: Donna (Eugene) Rome of Bettendorf, Iowa, Jack (Sandy) Evans of Donahue, Iowa, Linda (Ed) Held of Waterloo, Iowa, Sara Isaccson of Rogue River, Oregon and Joe Evans of Davenport; his brothers-in-law, David Smith of Overland Park, Kansas and Chuck (Naomi Behne) Blair of West Des Moines, Iowa; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews and many special friends!

He was preceded in death by his parents; his uncle, John Evans; and his sister-in-law, Kathy Blair Smith.

Visitation will be at McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home in Bettendorf on Friday, July 6, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Blue Grass Presbyterian Church with visitation at 10:00 a.m. prior to the service.

Bill especially enjoyed holding church services in natural settings on the beautiful Minnesota Iron Range.  In lieu of flowers, the family is honoring his memory with memorial donations to the Blue Grass Presbyterian Church for the Memorial Outdoor Pavilion.  Memorials may be sent to Blue Grass Presbyterian Church 337 W. Lotte St, Blue Grass, IA 52726.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Bill’s obituary at

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