Mr. Emil J. Evans, 88, died Saturday, February 13, 2021 in his home, surrounded by his loving and devoted family.
Visitation will take place in the Kowalski Funeral Home, 515 Roselle St., Linden, on Wednesday, February 24th. from 4:00 – 8:00PM. On Thursday, February 25th. at 9:45AM, family and friends are asked to gather directly at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, Linden, where a funeral mass will be offered at 10:00AM. The prayers of committal will precede his burial in the family plot in St. Gertrude Cemetery in Colonia.
Mr. Evans was born in Carteret, New Jersey and has resided in Linden, New Jersey since 1955.
He was self-employed as the owner and partner of E & F Construction Company in Linden for thirty years before retiring in 1990.
As his children so poignantly express: “One in a million”, “they broke the mold when they made him”, and “happy go lucky” is how we describe Dad.
Dad had a love of Polish culture, music, and Polka dancing. He spoke fluent Polish. His future father–in-law wanted him to learn the language before he married. Dad mastered this with no problem. We joke that Mom caught a good one when she had her father walk across the street to hand deliver her homemade chocolate cake to Dad. That's it. Dad was caught, hook, line, and sinker! She caught a keeper and kept him for 65 years! Their love epitomizes the true meaning of being soulmates. Each is tied to the other at the heartstrings, together as one, always and forever!
Dad enjoyed yearly outings with his wife to dances both locally and in upstate New York. Mom and Dad danced the polka, oberek, waltz, and foxtrot to the live bands that played at these venues. Dad dressed up in his elegant attire for the occasion. His impeccable choice of cologne always made him smell good, a characteristic that many people remember about him. He was an accomplished accordion and piano player and loved music (He was not formally trained on these instruments and he did not read music. Instead, he was self-taught and could play a song he heard by ear on either instrument). Additionally, he also played the harmonica. Music was in his blood. He listened to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Englelbert Humperdinck to name a few and he had so many lyrics committed to memory.
Dad had a passion for being outdoors, whether it was cutting and maintaining the lawns, cleaning up the fall leaves, clearing the winter snow, washing the vehicles, or helping to care for the many gardens and fruit trees. Picking sour cherries from the tree was his job! He was ALWAYS outside. I am sure growing up in Emmaeus, PA on a farm had much to do with Dad's love of nature, animals, and farm equipment.
Dad had great interest in classic automobiles and he still owned the first car that he and Mom bought when they were newly married, a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. His son Joseph shares this interest in classic automobiles and they both enjoyed working together on Joseph's projects or attending car shows in Carlisle Pa., and Somerville, NJ. Classic aircraft and aviation were also interests he partook in, possibly because his brothers were in the service. Dad liked the single engine WWII fighter planes.
Dad helped Mom with the cooking and baking and was often found in the kitchen assisting with the preparation of holiday specialties, such as being chief pierogi boiler, walnut cracker, and cherry pitter for baked goods. Dad thoroughly delighted in all of Mom's homemade desserts and cakes, with a cup of coffee, of course. He helped all his children with projects around their homes and was always very proud to say “another job well done” or “that's all she wrote” when the task was completed. Spending time with his three grandchildren and one great grandchild gave him great happiness and pleasure. Dad was a wonderful grandfather.
He remained a devoted husband and father and would go above and beyond to help in any way he could whenever possible. Our childhood was filled with Sunday drives and picnics by the lake in Blairstown, NJ with a periodic stop at Hotdog Johnny's in Butzville, NJ. We went on yearly vacations to different states, visits to the seashore, Keansburg, Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Point Pleasant, Cape May, and Virginia Beach. We have fond memories of togetherness, and yes, with three children in a car, craziness at times! It was all worth it, though.
Dad loved nature and porch sitting. His daughter, Barbara would often join him for coffee and fun on the porch. They were best buddies in everything. Dad would hand feed his squirrels peanuts and he even had one that he taught to come on his lap for the treat. Dad took care of the birds, too, and there was always an ample supply of seed for them. His indoor dogs and cats brought him immense joy and daily adventures. Dad loved to laugh and make jokes and his daughter Annette was often a part of this experience with him. He was a people person. So smart, always coming up with better ways of doing things. We told him he should patent that idea!! He always carried with him his pocketknife, pack of gum, comb, and little notepad. He would pull out what he needed when he needed it. Always prepared...
Dad frequently window shopped in the malls and in town. Mom knew he was gallivanting here and there, getting caught up in his excursions, and losing track of time. Dad made others happy with his gentle, warm, and caring ways. He had a calm presence about him, and his voice was soothing. He was a true “gentleman”. Dad loved holidays and birthdays and would decorate the house with posters and pictures to celebrate. That was Dad, fun. He made sure that Mom knew how much she meant to him by writing love letters to her in the Polish paper, many times a year, expressing his deep devotion to her. He called Mom his “rare jewel” and whenever she washed the dishes, he was right there, arms wrapped around her, always letting her know she was loved.
Dad was an expert with surprising his family with gifts, especially handmade ones like a toy box, a picnic table, a garden shed, a garden bridge, and a bookcase just to name a few of his masterpieces. His woodworking skills were his specialty, as he was a carpenter/contractor by trade. Dad built the raised ranch house that the children grew up in and Mom still lives in, a 13-room house~ easy to get lost in! He built his wife a house! Now, that's love! Dad often worked with a hand saw or table saw, fixing or building one thing or another. To this day, the smell of lumber and wood evoke happiness to those who helped him build or watched him work his magic with wood. He could create something wonderful and beautiful from what would appear to be nothing.
When not engaged in any of these activities, Dad would delight in a good show, like Matlock, Columbo, Down Periscope, Harry and the Henderson's, How It's Made show, Classic Tractor or complete his word search books. He was also a scale model train enthusiast. He thoroughly enjoyed constantly improving and expanding his 30-foot layout (eight feet wide) with new items that he would find at the scale model train shows that he and his son, Joseph, enjoyed attending. He was the conductor of his own model railroad system. Running the trains was a thrill! ….Life was a thrill!
Dad always affirmed, if it was easy, anyone could do it, just take things one day at a time, this too shall pass, better days are coming, I’m going to look like coffee (when he overindulged for the day), and you're doing a great job, but you're doing it all wrong (the plaque that hung on the back of his E&F construction truck) and many other words of wisdom. Laughter was his specialty. He saw the world sunny side up. Mom said of him, “your father is the risk-taker, the adventurer, the dreamer...”. He was all these things and so much more. He lives on in our hearts forever. Unforgettable ~that's what you are...
Our Dad is survived by his wife of sixty-five years, Felixca A. Waselewicz Evans; his three children, Annette E. Petris and her husband, Philip Petris, Joseph M. Evans, Barbara J. Golabek and her husband, Eugene Golabek; his three grandchildren, Anthony Golabek, Julian Petris and his wife, Melisa Petris with great granddaughter, Penelope Petris, and Sophia Petris and his many neighbors and friends.
As per the regulations imposed through the State of New Jersey, there will now be a maximum of one hundred and fifty people allowed in the funeral home and the church and face protection will be required. We thank you for your understanding during this time of transition.
To send flowers to Emil's family, please visit our floral store.