S2c William Orville Evans,
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S2c William Orville Evans
William Orville Evans was born Feb. 6, 1914 at Geneva, Idaho, a community of about 230 in the southeast corner of the state. His mother, Eliza Bischoff Evans, was a homemaker, and his father, William R. Evans, a farmer.
The father sheared 80 sheep in June 1917. Exhausted, he stayed home the next day and died in his sleep, leaving his widow with four children under the age of seven.
She remarried and had one more child, but by the time of the 1930 Census she was identified as divorced and the head of the family. William and an older brother worked on the farm. As for most families during the Great Depression, times were hard. In May 1934 the county approved a $7.50 monthly “mother’s pension” for Mrs. Evans. That’s equal to about $145 a month in 2020.
William enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 5, 1940. He was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
A memorial service was held in January 1942 at the Geneva Ward Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Mr. Evans’ name is on a cenotaph at the Geneva Cemetery alongside the names of his parents, who are buried there.
Sources: the News Examiner of Montpelier, Idaho; the Bear Lake County (Idaho) News; military registration record; grave markers; Census; Navy muster roll. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.