NORFOLK, Va. — Captain Gilbert Russell Evans, 95, of the 5000 block of Gosnold Avenue, Norfolk, Va., a retired U.S. Coast Guard Officer and aviator, died June 3, in Norfolk, at home.
Captain Evans was a native of Elizabeth City, N.C., and had lived in Norfolk since 1963. He was the son of the late Gilbert and Beulah Sawyer Evans of Elizabeth City.
He studied at North Carolina State College and was a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Naval War College, U.S. Navy Advanced Flight Training Center, Civil Aeronautics Administrative Advanced Instrument Flight Center and the U.S. Navy Jet Transitional Training Center.
He served 30 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, served as executive officer of several Coast Guard cutters and commanded several air stations. He was a veteran of many rescues at sea and, for a time, was aide and pilot to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
Service decorations included two air medal, two commendation medals and campaign medals for the American and European Theaters in World War II.
His service in World War II included Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland and anti-submarine patrols. He was editor of the U.S. National Search and Rescue Manual and developer of search techniques.
He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1965 when he was chief of staff of the Portsmouth, Va., base Fifth Coast Guard District. Then, for several years he was a consultant for Fairchild-Hiller Aircraft Corporation, Hagerstown, M.D., where he helped design a search and rescue aircraft.
During the period 1968-1978, he was an account executive for Central Charge Service, a retail credit card system. Since 1986, he was active as a consultant for the Washington-based National Security Center as chief project officer for the Panama Canal and as editor of the bimonthly newsletter Panama Alert.
For several years, he was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Convention in Washington, D.C. where, in 1999, he was awarded the Defender of Freedom Award.
Since 1968, Captain Evans was an author and researcher into national, religious and historical subjects and their impact on national security-including the Panama Canal, Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Nicaragua, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
He was author of four books, Death Knell of the Panama Canal?, The Panama Canal Treaties Swindle, The Church and the Sword, and Apathy, Apostasy and Apostles.
He was author of numerous published articles on a regular basis and traveled many times to Panama and to Washington to generate support for preserving U.S. rights at the Panama Canal and to warn of Chinese incursions in violations of U.S. treaty rights.
He wrote a column, “From This Corner,” for Farm and Dairy from 1982 until he suffered a stroke in 2002, and then continued to submit occasional columns.
He was a member of Talbot Park Baptist Church and had previously been a United Methodist, serving on administrative boards. He was a member of the American Legion and life member of the Retired Officers Association and the Military Order of the World Wars.
Survivors include his son, Sam Evans of Fort Pierce, Fla.; two grandsons; two granddaughters; one sister, Elizabeth Evans Godfrey, and one brother, Morgan Evans, both of Elizabeth City, N.C.; five great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons.
He was predeceased by his wife, Myrtle Louise Tuttle and his son, Gilbert Russell Evans, Jr.
Calling hours were held at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Tidewater Drive Chapel June 10.
The funeral is scheduled for June 11 at 11:30 a.m. at Talbot Park Baptist Church, 6919 Granby St., Norfolk, Va., with Dr. Harry T. Dixon officiating.
Burial is to be in the family mausoleum in Forest Lawn Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Crippled Children’s Hospital, 950 Faris Road, Greenville, S.C. 29605. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com.
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