Gordon “Bill” Evans ’50
Date posted: October 20, 2012, 11:13 am
Gordon “Bill” Evans ’50 died peacefully on October 17, 2012. Born in Waterbury on April 10, 1929, to Harriet Baldwin Evans and Josiah Evans, he was a resident of Guilford since 1962 and lived in Connecticut nearly his entire life, having spent four years in Newport, Rhode Island, and Arlington, Virginia, while serving in the U.S. Navy. Bill graduated from Mercersberg Academy (cum laude), in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and went on to receive degrees from MIT (1950), Cornell Law School (Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1954). After graduating from Cornell Law School and passing the Connecticut and New York bar examinations, he worked briefly as assistant to the vice president of Norden Laboratories, of White Plains, New York, and Milford, Connecticut. He was part of a specialized engineering team schooled by Norden to work on design and operation of Norden’s ANASB-1 Bomb Director System, to replace the Norden Bomb Sight used by the Allies during World War II. He later applied for and was accepted to a new legal specialist program being developed by the U.S. Navy. He completed officer candidate school in Newport and worked for three years as a commissioned (lieutenant junior grade and lieutenant) legal specialist to the Office of the Navy Judge Advocate General in the Pentagon. While in Washington, he attended Georgetown University School of Law and received a master’s degree in tax law (1957). While serving in the U.S. Navy, Evans worked part time and evenings for Andrew Haley, president of the International Astronautical Federation, general counsel of the American Rocket Society, and a name partner in the firm of Haley, Doty, and Wollenberg. He assisted Haley in writing the first published book on the laws of outer space. Mr. Evans resigned from the U.S. Navy in 1957 and moved with his first wife and their child to the Mount Carmel section of Hamden. There he founded the law firm of Adams, Blanchette, and Evans with Paul Adams (then dean of the Yale Law School) and Robert Blanchette (a recent graduate of Yale Law). In 1962, he founded and was a name partner in the New Haven and Madison law firm of DiSesa and Evans. In 1972, he founded and was principal of the New Haven law firm, Gordon Alan Evans and Associates, P.C.
Evans participated in numerous religious, charitable, and civic activities, serving as deacon of the Spring Glen Congregational Church, lay moderator of the Guilford Congregational Church, board member of the Guilford Community Fund, board member and chairman of the Guilford Board of Education, and member of the Guilford Charter Revision Commission. He also volunteered and served on boards of the ABC program, Guilford Recycling, the Preservation Alliance, the Peabody Museum, and the VNA. For several years, he volunteered as a radio newsreader for CRIS, a statewide charity providing radio broadcasts of news and other information to listeners unable to read because of vision or other impairment. He was a member of the Sachem’s Head Yacht Club for nearly 50 years, and served as commodore, director, secretary, and member of the executive committee. He also served as director, vice president, and secretary of the Sachem’s Head Corporation. He was a former member of the Quinnipiac Club in New Haven and a former member and board member of the New Haven Lawn Club. For most of his adult life, he was an avid skier, sailor, tennis player, and golfer. Bill had an amazing wit, sharp mind, and keen sense of humor. “Papa Bill”—as he was called by his grandchildren—was a gifted storyteller. He certainly passed on his love of the written word and will be missed terribly. Bill is survived by his wife, Peggy Lee Cavalieri Evans; as well as his first wife, Carolie Evans; mother of his three surviving children: Nancy Evans Wolff (and her husband, Bill) of Bridgewater, Vermont; Sarah (Sally) Evans Harold (and her former husband, William) of Fairfield, Connecticut; and Gordon Alan Evans Jr. (and Maria Pinheiro) of North Haven, Connecticut. He is also survived by his step son, Gerald Jay Cavalieri Jr. (and his wife, Colleen) of Coronado, California. In addition, he leaves seven grandchildren—Jessica Keating; Katie Bryant; Peter and Andrew Wolff; Annie, Lucia, and Nina Harold—and a great-grandchild, Alma Keating. He also leaves behind a sister, Natalie Dale;, and two step-grandchildren, Alexa and Troy Cavalieri. He was predeceased by a brother, Roger; and a sister, Dorothy. The extended family includes numerous adoring nieces and nephews.