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Mary Jane (Molly) Evans


Molly, loving wife, mother, friend and confidant passed away October 31, 2021 after living a rich and varied life.  She was remarkably loving, accepting and forgiving of all people.

Born in 1932 to Jerome and Luella Machamer, she grew up in Chisholm and Virginia moving to Duluth, MN in her teens.  The family spent free time picnicking, fishing, hunting, paddling and enjoying the o utdoors.  She graduated from the Villa Scholastica Stanbrook Hall in Duluth, attended Carleton, Grinnell and Smith Colleges and earned degrees in History and English from the University of Minnesota Duluth.  Molly married John Richard (Dick) Kohlbry in 1954 in England after sailing the Atlantic to join Dick who was serving in the military at the time.  Molly and Dick raised three children, David, Sarah and Leslie.

Molly married David Evans in 1981.  Together they worked to restore Bald Eagle populations through banding efforts in Wisconsin.  Molly and Dave were integral to the establishment of Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve.  She served as Chair of the Hawk Ridge Committee for many years and also as Naturalist, Counter, Lobbyist, Mapmaker and Advocate for decades.

Molly loved history, current events, reading, gardening, knitting, birding, painting, sewing, cooking and poking around in the woods.  She loved spending time at the log cabins built by her Dad on the Baptism River north of Finland (“Camp”), at a cabin she designed near Larsmont on Lake Superior and especially at a family cottage on the Kalamazoo River near Saugatuck, MI.  She loved eagle banding in the spring, gardening in the summer, counting raptors in the fall and Snowy Owling in the winter.  Molly never stopped listening and learning and was extraordinarily creative and resourceful.  Molly’s curiosity lead to extensive knowledge of the natural world; geology, native plants and raptors were amongst her particular interests.

Molly was preceded in death by her parents and former husband John Richard Kohlbry.

She is survived by her husband David L. Evans of Duluth, brother Jeff (Sue) Machamer of Holley, NY, children David (Susan) Kohlbry and Sarah (David) Grosshuesch of Duluth and Leslie (William) Smith of LaConner, WA, grandchildren Kelly (Sean) Dalton, Samuel and Jacob Kohlbry, dear cousins and many lifelong friends.

Molly will be greatly missed.

Celebration of life will be held in the spring of 2022.

Memorials may be made to a charity of your choice.