James Leonard Evers

Published 10:41 am Monday, May 7, 2018

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

James Leonard Evers, age 82, of Northport, Ala., passed away peacefully at home in Northport, Alabama on Wednesday May 2, 2018.

Funeral services will be Saturday, May 5, 2018, at 3 p.m. at Memory Chapel Funeral Home with Doug Key officiating. Burial will follow in Memory Hill Gardens with Memory Chapel Funeral Home, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing.

Visitation will be one hour prior to service at the funeral home.

Email newsletter signup

Jim was born in Old Texas, Ala. on March 6, 1936 to Dixie (Griffin) and Burley Evers. After his father’s death, he was blessed with a loving stepfather, Brunson Gibbs.

He graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Engineering and worked for Regal Textile Corporation (three years) before returning to UA to pursue a PhD in Engineering. His studies were interrupted when he received a scholarship to attend Von Karman Institute, Brussels, Belgium to study Aerodynamics.

At the completion of his PhD, he married his bride of 50 years, Jane O’Neal. They moved to Carbondale, Illinois where he accepted a teaching position with Southern Illinois University. During his 30 years at SIU-C, he held the positions of Associate Professor, Acting Chair of Department of Technology, and Associate Dean of College of Engineering and Technology.

Following retirement, they moved to Tuscaloosa, Ala. and enjoyed times with family and friends. Jim’s love of teaching and service to others continued as a devoted Elder at the University Church of Christ. He was a gentle, soft-spoken Christian husband, father, “Papa’’ and brother who was a blessing to his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Jane O’Neal Evers of Northport, Ala.; daughter, Julia Leigh Ritter of Memphis, Tenn.; grandsons, Hudson and Griffin Ritter of Searcy, Ark.; sisters, Betty Jo Denham of Dallas, Texas and Becky Davenport (Eddy) of Northport, Ala.; nephew, Dr. Claude Denham of Dallas, Texas; and niece, Cindy Downey of Sugarland, Texas.

Pallbearers will be Claude Denham, Eddy Davenport, Hudson Ritter, Griffin Ritter, Joe Anders and Danny Anders.

Honorary pallbearers are Carrol Anderson, John Seale, Bill Hertz, Bill Rose, and Edd Knight.

The family would like to thank Drs. John Miller, James Geyer, and George Hemstreet. A special thanks to Jennifer Bonds, Tamara Banks and the staff of Hospice of West Alabama for their loving care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Hospice of West Alabama or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at www.michaeljfox.org.