Cover photo for Betty Joanna Evans's Obituary
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1929 Betty 2023

Betty Joanna Evans

February 4, 1929 — July 27, 2023


Betty Joanna Howell Evans, 94, of Abilene, Texas, passed away on July 27, 2023, in Abilene, Texas.

A visitation will be held from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm, Monday, July 31, 2023, in the Elmwood Funeral Home’s Family Center, 5750 Hwy 277 South. A funeral service will be held at 10:00 am, Tuesday, August 1, 2023, in the Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park.

Betty was born in San Carlos, Arizona, to Stacy and Rebecca Howell on February 4, 1929. She was the second of four siblings, and she loved her parents and brothers dearly. Her family later settled in Pawnee, Oklahoma, where Betty made friends and grew up at her parents’ small farmhouse. Betty was a proud member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and attended 75 of the 77 annual Veteran’s Homecoming Powwows throughout her lifetime.

After Betty graduated from high school in 1946, she attended Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma that fall. During her freshman year, she met and fell in love with Gene Evans and was later married on July 17, 1948; they were married for 50 years. They lived in multiple towns in Oklahoma and Texas before settling in Abilene, TX, in 1961, where they raised their four children while Gene taught as a Math Professor at Abilene Christian College. Aspiring to work outside the home, Betty returned to school and graduated from Abilene Christian College in 1968 with a degree in Elementary Education. She became an outstanding fourth-grade teacher at Woodson and Lee Elementary schools and impacted the lives of numerous children.

Betty lived her life taking care of others. After raising her four boys, she spent months in the summer caring for her aging parents. When her husband Gene suffered a stroke and needed care at home, Betty was ever-present, serving in humility and love. Even in her later years, she cared for her brother and sister-in-law – hauling groceries, carrying walkers, and serving as a chauffeur so that they could see each other daily. Of course, one of her greatest joys was being the world’s greatest grandmother and great-grandmother. She made each grandchild feel special, and they all loved her dearly. One of her most-frequent sayings to her grandchildren was that they could “have anything their little hearts desired.”

Betty’s life was filled with love and laughter. She was well known for her sense of humor. She had a smile that could light up a room and a mischievous twinkle in her eye that always kept those close to her on their toes.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Stacy and Rebecca Howell, husband Gene, three brothers - Stacy Howell Jr., Joseph Howell, and Ferrell Howell, and her son, Thomas Evans.

She is survived by three sons, Robert Evans (Linda) of Houston, Stacy Evans (Carol) of Abilene, and Gene Evans (Holly) of Pawnee, Oklahoma, grandchildren Jacqueline Evans (Will) of Pawnee, Oklahoma, Jessica Evans (Shane) of Pawnee, Oklahoma, Kristen Brooks of Houston, Brian Evans (Kayla) of Houston, Bradley Evans (Rachel) of Abilene, Jennifer Seabourn (Jon) of Abilene,

Michael Evans of San Diego, California, Joel Evans of Pawnee, Oklahoma and Hailey Evans of Pawnee, Oklahoma, seven great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of friends who are like family.

Pallbearers will be Brian Evans, Bradley Evans, Joel Evans, Michael Evans, Will Bass, and Jon Seabourn.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to University Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas.

The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the staff at University Place, Hendrick Hospital, Westley Court, and Betty’s sweet guardian angel, Rachael Valfre.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Joanna Evans, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, July 31, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Elmwood Funeral Home Family Center

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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