Robert H. Evans


Robert Howard Evans died March 19, 2023.

Bob was born May 1, 1938, in Pittsburgh, PA to Howard John and Eugenia Wilson Evans. Bob grew up in Pittsburgh and DuBois, PA, graduating from Plum HS in Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Mary, graduated from the College of Wooster where he received honors and the John F. Miller prize in philosophy, while serving as a member of the Marine Corps Reserves. He attended the University of Indiana, and then received a Mellon Fellowship, and his PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh. He arrived in Duluth in 1964 to replace Henry Ehlers for a quarter at UMD, but Bob proved he was a natural teacher and together they developed a philosophy major where he taught across the curriculum throughout his 40 years on the faculty. Bob taught in the Rusty Ladies program and the Experimental Freshman Studies Program, served on the Athletic Committee, the Award and Honors Committee, and on the All-University Committee on Active Learning. He was Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts under Rip Rapp. Bob became the first Assistant Dean for Student Affairs for the College of Letters and Science, and Head of the Philosophy Department numerous times. He was president of the Duluth Chapter of the AAUP and served as the UEA legislative liaison. Bob served widely including being on the American Indian Advisory Board, the Medical School Admissions Committee, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, as the Director of the Center for Public Policy and on the St. Louis County Historical Society Board. Three different years he was Director of the Study in England Program and taught two other years in England for a program he loved. Bob had a wide variety of skills, from being the interim Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to earning a varsity athletic letter in college for wrestling, the latter being a story that he regaled to his children. He received the Jean Blehart Distinguished Teacher Award, and the Advisement Award for CLA. Even in retirement he continued to share his knowledge through courses he taught for the University for Seniors.

Bob loved his wife of over 65 years and his four sons, sailing, tennis, bridge, traveling with Mary to six continents, and being his sons’ Little League coach.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived and loved by his wife Mary, sons John H. of Duluth, James R. of Woodbury, Alan F. (Renee Jacobson) of Corning, NY, and Matthew M. (Shelly Pierson) Evans of Eau Claire and Duluth; grandchildren Katie (Chris Walker) and daughters Juniper & Lily, Barbara (Rose) and Makey & Alexandra. Joe and their mother Sarah; Lucy & daughters Gabriella & Louella Langeven, and Samuel (MacKenzie) Evans; Silka (Michael) Houghton and son Albert, Kyra, & Torrey Jacobson-Evans; and his sister Relia E. Spencer of Naperville, IL. The family thanks the fire department, paramedics, and St. Luke’s ICU and Hospice Care for their outstanding care for Bob and family during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers please send memorials to the Bob & Mary Evans Study in England Scholarship at A ceremony will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Duluth, MN on Saturday March 25th at 2pm, with fellowship to follow. Details of the zoom meeting can be found at

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