Wilma Evans, 92, of Devils Lake, ND, (formerly of Doyon, ND) passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, Sept. 23, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Society of Devils Lake surrounded by generations of her beloved family.
Wilma Evans, 92, of Devils Lake, ND, (formerly of Doyon, ND) passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, Sept. 23, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Society of Devils Lake surrounded by generations of her beloved family. We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from our mother during her 92 years, among them: Never be wasteful; as a child of the depression, she lived as waste-free as possible. When times are tough, she’d remind you to “grin and bear it.” If something frustrated her; never one to utter a harsh word, she’d say, “Wouldn’t that just frost ya?” Be polite. Have good manners. Maintain high morals and values. Do onto others. Never one to ask for anything; she instilled, “It’s better to give than to receive.” And finally, always have faith in God. Wilma Marie was born Oct. 30, 1925, in rural Thorne, ND, to Arthur and Josephine (Bergeron) Fugere. She attended Russel School in her early years, speaking only French prior to starting school. She eventually moved into Dunseith, ND, living with another family in order to complete her high school education. After her high school graduation in 1943, she attended the St. Mary’s Nursing Academy in Devils Lake. Through a blind match-up, she met her future husband, William Evans of Crary, ND. Many stories were told of how Bill and his buddy, Joe Reiter, would sneak their girlfriends out of the dormitory, so they could take them on a date. Bill and Wilma married on Nov. 29, 1945, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Devils Lake. They spoke of the weather that day and how she had slipped and fell down the icy church stairs following the ceremony. Initially, as newlyweds, they resided with Bill’s parents on the Crary farm before establishing a home of their own in Doyon where they lived, farmed, and raised their five children. In Oct. of 2009, Bill and Wilma moved to assisted living in Devils Lake. Bill passed away April 22, 2010, after 64 years of marriage. In Aug. of 2015, Wilma made her home at the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home of Devils Lake, where she was lovingly cared for by their wonderful staff, Dr. Corbett, Dr. Logrono, and lastly Dr. Downs who made certain our mother’s final hours were peaceful. Wilma prepared loving meals for her family at the table, for holidays and out to the field during times of harvest. She was a wonderful cook always treating family and friends with homemade buns, bars, pies, cakes and cookies; for a French woman she also made the best lefsa, a skill she learned from her mother-in-law, Mabel. One recipe from her own mother she never quite mastered, was a meat pie, which was a frequent request from Bill over the years. She spent many an hour tending her garden and flowers, sewing and crocheting. Woodworking was also a passion. She loved making picture frames and matting pictures. She also made shelving, cabinets and some furniture. Playing cards (especially Rummy and Nickels), board games, game shows, soap operas, making teddy bears and fishing were some of her favorite activities to enjoy. With one bike and four brothers, she didn’t learn to ride a bike until her children were grown. She mastered her goal, complete with training wheels, just like everyone else. From then on riding bike around Doyon with the other ladies was often her evening exercise. She also spent years on the Tuesday afternoon Coffee League bowling team and traveling to tournaments. She was also a member of the Catholic Christian Mothers. Years ago, Thursday nights in Doyon were reserved for the women of Doyon to join her in her basement for various arts and crafts such as Plaster of Paris creations and Rosemaling under the tutelage of Jan Meachen. No matter what the endeavor, Wilma provided us with many memories and laughter. With her nursing background, she provided loving care to family and many a neighbor. Her most challenging and rewarding caregiving came after her daughter, JoAnn’s, cancer diagnosis. She cared for JoAnn and her newborn baby, Ashley, tirelessly and without complaint. She cherished her grandchildren and was the quintessential grandma. Although short in stature, she was a woman of great strength and was everyone’s rock in so many, many ways. Her lovingness continued to her final hours where she was still motioning for the hugs and kisses she so willingly gave to all. Wilma is survived by; daughters, Elizabeth Evans of Devils Lake, Connie Evans of Crary, and Carol Kirchen (Mark Gibbons) of West Fargo; son James, and his wife, Lori Evans, of Crary; grandchildren, Nichole Moen (Travis), Michelle Tronerud (Jason), Megan Stewart (Matt), Jill Schlenker (Kyle), Jessica Evans, Amy Knoph (Justin), Scott Eckert, Ashley Aschnewitz (Brad); great-grandchildren, Hailey, Hunter and Peyton Moen, Austin and Dylan Tronerud, Kadee and Jenna Schlenker, Olivia Evans, Lauren and Easton Knoph, Jared Eckert (Ashley), ,JoAnna, Jeffrey, Isabelle, and Isaiah Aschnewitz. She was also a special grandmother to: Drew (Tina), Michael, and Wyatt Miller; sisters-in-law, Donna Jean Fugere, Esther Fugere and Donna Fugere; son-in-law, Roger (Barb) Eckert; brother-in-law, Al Kosir and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by; her husband, William Evans; daughter, JoAnn (Evans) Eckert; grandchild, Christopher Adam Eckert; son-in-law, James Kirchen, Connie’s fiancé, Dale Miller; brothers, Dale, Darrel, Duaine and O’Neil Fugere; nephew, Miles Fugere; great-nephews, Cody Fugere and Chase Fugere; sisters-in-law, Marge Saunders and Bonnie Kosir; brother-in-law, Richard Saunders. Mass of Christian Burial for Wilma will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with burial in the Bethlehem Cemetery, rural Doyon, ND. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Thursday, Oct. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. with a Rosary and Scripture Service at 7 p.m. Visitation on Friday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral Mass. Casket Bearers: David Fugere, Joel Fugere, Jeff Fugere, Donovan Heslip, Jeremy Fugere, Alan Fugere, Terry Fugere, Mark Fugere, Kevin Fugere, Kent Fugere, and Jason Fugere. Reading Scripture; granddaughter, Nichole Moen; and niece, Pamela Schmidt; gift bearers; granddaughters, Jill Schlenker, Jessica Evans, and Amy Knoph. Music will be provided by Lynne Webster, Peter A. Hager and JoDee Lagein.