“The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” Albert Schweitzer. On August 11, 2021, Clyde M. Evans’ life of service to his community ended with his passing at his residence in Rio Grande, Ohio. Clyde, 83, was born June 26, 1938, in Gallipolis, Ohio, son of the late Owen Wade and Reva Belle (Hutchinson) Evans.
Clyde was an All-Ohio high school basketball player for Rio Grande High School, graduating in 1956. Clyde attended Union College on a basketball scholarship and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1960. He returned to Gallia County and served as teacher and coach at Gallia Academy High School from 1960-1961. Clyde returned to school and received his Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Kentucky University in 1962. Upon returning to Gallia County, he served as Director of Guidance for the Gallipolis City Schools from 1962-1964. Clyde again furthered his education from 1964-1965, at the University of Texas obtaining a certificate in Educational Psychology. From 1965-1966, Clyde served as Director of Guidance and head basketball coach at North Gallia High School. Clyde began a career at the University of Rio Grande in 1966, as Director of Admissions and Records and became an Assistant Professor of Psychology in 1969. In 1970, Clyde moved his young family to Hattiesburg, Mississippi and obtained his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1972. He returned to the University of Rio Grande in 1972, and served as Vice President for Student Development until 1977. From 1977-1983, he served as Provost and Dean of the Colleges.
In 1983, Clyde’s career took a different path as he served as Project Director for Sports Management for the United States Sports Academy, assigned to assist the Royal Saudi Air Force in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Clyde obtained an Educational Administration certification from Ohio University and served as a counselor and principal in the Vinton County Local School District from 1986-1989. From 1989-2002, he again served in various administrative positions at the University of Rio Grande.
In 2002, Clyde was elected to serve the 87th District in the Ohio House of Representatives. He worked tirelessly for his district from 2003 to 2010. He served on the following committees while in the House: Finance and Appropriations; Financial Institutions (Vice Chair); Higher Education Sub Committee (Vice Chair); Education; Agriculture; Public Safety and Homeland Security (Ranking Minority Member); JCARR; Council on Unclaimed Strip Mines (Chair) and the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Clyde was instrumental in hastening opportunities for school facility funding to his district.
Clyde enjoyed making things happen. Perhaps the most surprising event was in 1992, when he convinced General William Westmoreland (Commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam from 1964-1968) to come to Gallia County to honor our Vietnam Veterans for the Fourth of July. Clyde organized a collaboration of resources from key local leaders and the General delivered a keynote address in the city park.
One of his most fulfilling honors included serving as Commencement Speaker and receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from the University of Rio Grande in 2008. Clyde was also awarded the Bud and Donna McGhee Service Award by the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce for 2010.
Clyde was proud and honored to speak at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in 2007, and to receive a Special Recognition Award from the Southeastern Ohio NAACP.
Awards during his tenure as State Representative include: Outstanding Leadership Award for Community Service-Ohio Education Service Center Association; Champion in the Legislature Award-Coalition of Appalachian Development; Watch Dog Award (126th and 128th General Assemblies)-United Conservatives of Ohio; Ohio Distinguished Government Service Award-Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools.
Clyde is in the Union College Educators Hall of Fame and the University of Rio Grande Athletic Hall of Fame (as an Athletic Director). He was honored as “Person of the Year” by the Jackson County Township Trustees Association and was a Member of the Association of Ohio Commodores.
After leaving the legislature, Clyde continued his service to the University of Rio Grande by serving on the Board of Trustees until his death. Throughout his life, Clyde served on many Community and Civic Committees and Boards which include: Gallia County Chamber of Commerce-President-2000; Gallia County Community Improvement Corporation-Executive Board; Rotary International District 6690-Assistant District Governor; Gallipolis Rotary Club-President, 1977; O.O. McIntyre Metropolitan Park Commission-President, 1975; Southeastern Ohio Emergency Medical Service Board of Directors-Treasurer; Rio Grande Village Council-President; Gallia County Historical Society-Board of Directors; Calvary Baptist Church Deacon; Chester Court House Restoration Committee-Board of Directors; Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce-Board of Directors; Sons of the American Revolution; Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Cadot-Blessing #126 Camp; and the Union College Alumni Board-Board of Directors.
Clyde leaves behind his tireless partner and loving supporter in all of his endeavors, his wife of 60 years, Rose Mary Salser Evans. Also, their children and spouses, who will miss his wisdom: Margaret (David Smalley) Evans, Sarah (Joe) Evans-Moore, Nancy (Scott) Evans Seeberg and Dylan (Angela Leister) Evans; as well as grandchildren: Evans Smalley, Owen Evans McCoy Moore, Audrey Ellen Seeberg, Leia Rose McCoy Moore, Natalie Mae Seeberg, Henry Tomas Leister Evans and Naomi Rose Leister Evans. Also surviving is Clyde’s only sister, Mary Elizabeth Evans and her children: George Wade (Maria) Evans and Gwynndolyn Elizabeth (Jonathan) Evans Harrison. Clyde is also survived by sisters-in-law: Manon Thompson, Carmen (Sam) Price; and brothers-in-law: Charles (Betty) Salser, Robert Birch, Ronald (Janice) Salser. Further, he is survived by several dear first cousins from the Evans and Hutchinson family lines as well as numerous members of the extended Salser family. Preceding him: brothers-in-law James Thompson, Grover Salser, Jr., Lowell Salser, and George Evans; and sisters-in-law: Dortha Salser, Delores Salser, and Carol Birch.
Memorial services will be conducted 11:00 AM Saturday, August 21, 2021, in the University of Rio Grande Fine and Performing Arts Center, Rio Grande, Ohio. Prior to the service, the family will meet friends and family at 10:00 AM at the Fine Arts Center. Family and friends may also call Friday 4:00-7:00PM at the McCoy-Moore Funeral Home, Wetherholt Chapel, Gallipolis, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the scholarship endowment at the University of Rio Grande, 218 N College Ave., Rio Grande, OH, 45674
Online condolences may be sent to the family via www.mccoymoore.com
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