John Evans, a Democrat who served in the 1970s and 1980s as Idaho's 27th governor, died in the early morning hours of July 8 at his home in Boise.
A native of Malad, Idaho, Evans was a World War II veteran, a graduate of Stanford University, and an Idaho cattleman and rancher. He was elected in 1952 to the Idaho Senate, where he served three terms, and he was elected as mayor of Malad from 1960-1966. In 1969, Evans returned to the State Senate, where he served until 1974.
Evans was elected lieutenant governor in 1974 and served in that post until 1977. He took over for outgoing Gov. Cecil Andrus, who left office to serve as President Jimmy Carter's secretary of the Interior, and was elected governor in his own right in 1978. Evans ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1986.
"John was a good friend, a loyal and talented lieutenant governor to me, a fine and dedicated public official at both the local and the state level and, above all, a genuinely fine man," said Andrus. "He'll be remembered as a strong and capable governor who fought hard to maintain a strong economy and first-class educational opportunities for Idahoans."
Current Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said Evans was a "sincere professional who understood the cost of success and took seriously his responsibilities as Idaho's chief executive."
And Boise Mayor Dave Bieter remembered Evans as displaying "great wisdom, humility and resourcefulness to help Idahoans lead more fulfilling lives. My heart goes out to Lola and his entire family during this difficult time."
The confirmation of Evans' death and his funeral arrangements are being handled by the Summers Funeral Home in Boise.