Commander, U.S. Navy, Retired Nov 12, 1922 - Feb 14, 2014 HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, AR Burl Edward Evans was born at the farmhouse of his parents, Marion and Ruby Evans (Moore), in Popejoy, Iowa. He met Valerie Delores Whitecavage, of Frackville, Pennsylvania, at a dance in Key West, Florida, where they were both stationed and later married in 1945. Burl's dream to fly started at age eight when a 1924 Beechcraft landed in a field on the family farm in Iowa. And fly he did. He served 20 years in the Navy, including being stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 1952 to 1955, and later serving as the commanding officer of a squadron. Evans also retired from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at Will Rogers World Airport, after serving as a test pilot and instructor. He flew more than 30 different aircraft during his two careers and flew around the world more than once. In 2008, he was filmed and recorded for the Veterans History Project, which is maintained by the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. Evans served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He is survived by his daughter, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, including, Peggy Lee Evans, of Richardson, Texas; granddaughter, Nataly Huddleston, of Prosper, Texas; and her sons, Lowell, Talon, Noah, and Wyatt; granddaughter, Amber Dye, of Richardson, Texas; granddaughter, Valerie Evans, of Chicago, Illinois; grandson, Brian Evans, of Carmel, Indiana, his wife Erin Evans and their children, Emerson, Lauren, London, and Joseph; granddaughter, Tara Pittman, of Seffner, Florida, her husband Brian Pittman and their children, Avery and Cole; two brothers, Glen Evans, of Alden, Iowa; and Myron Evans, of Iowa Falls, Iowa; sister-in-law, Louise Evans, of West Chicago, Illinois; and special friend, Wilma Henricks, of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marion and Ruby Evans; his beloved wife of 56 years, Valerie Whitecavage Evans; his loving son, Keith Brian Evans; two brothers, Merle, in infancy; and Robert Evans; and two sisters, Mabel Gregg and Marjorie Anders Echelberger. He was a member of the Village United Methodist Church and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Hot Springs Village, where he had resided since 1973. A memorial service was held at Village United Methodist Church February 23. Commander Evans' final flight will be to Washington, D.C., where he will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on June 12.

Published in The Oklahoman on Mar. 30, 2014