Dryden Township Fire Department announces with great sadness Chief Ray Evans has lost his year long battle with brain cancer. Chief Evans was diagnosed with brain cancer August of 2013 after complaining of headaches for several weeks. After several hospital stays and four major surgeries Ray was able to return home to spend his final months with his wife Kim, sons Justin (Christina) and Jeff (Whitney) Evans, Doug (Tricia) and Dustin Travis, Grandchildren Zachary and Baylee, extended family and friends.
Ray joined Dryden Township Fire department in 1977, became Chief in 1987 and served his community for 37 years. He was also employed by Ford Motor Company and retired in 2007 to free up time to devote to helping his son Jeff take over his excavation business. He was a well loved and respected community leader pioneering significant changes in the fire service within Dryden Township, Lapeer County and the State of Michigan. He was not only devoted to his family but also a friend, mentor and coach to those he served with. He has been recognized by numerous organizations over the years for his many accomplishments.
Anyone that has come in contact with him over the years experienced his passion and drive to overcome personal, political and social agendas to do the right thing. When the community brought a need to his attention he found a way to fulfill it either by himself or by motivating others. He was not one to let things go undone, he was constantly challenging his peers and colleagues to take action.
As with any great leader he held people accountable, with the understanding that mistakes will be made. He had great integrity to own up to what he was accountable for and made sure he consistently strove for the best end results. Taking into account the feelings, emotions and well being of all involved. He has big shoulders and placed the needs of those around him above his own, often quietly assisting and helping others out.
There is a piece of Ray in all of us, his legacy will live in those that he touched for many generations to come. He was truly admired by all and will be missed by all.
Visitation will be held at Muir Bros. funeral home in Imlay City on Thursday, August 14 from 2-8 pm with a firefighter walk through at 7 pm. Funeral services will be at Dryden High School on Friday August 15 at 11 am, with visitation at 10 – 11 am.