Lewis Evans, 71, created hand-crafted woodworks

November 25, 1997|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

On most nights, after his children or grandchildren were asleep, Lewis Evans quietly retired to his basement workshop. He would settle there -- often well into the night -- chiseling, whittling and carving the makings of woodworks.

Mr. Evans, 71, who died Fridayof leukemia at North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie, sold many of the clocks, dollhouses and jewelry boxes he crafted, but he also gave much of his work to friends and relatives.

"That was always his first love," said his wife, the former Lucille Peace, whom he married in 1955. "The things that he made, there will never be anything like them."

For his granddaughter, he made an amazingly realistic 2-foot-tall, two-story dollhouse -- complete with scale-sized shrubbery. He made a detailed clock encasement with suspensions to hold jewelry for his wife, and countless lamps and coatracks for friends.

In recent years, Mr. Evans lived with relatives in Glen Burnie. But he lived for more than 30 years in his Northeast Baltimore home, where his workshop was in the basement -- mostly.

"It started in the basement and eventually moved into the living room," said his daughter, Charlene Evans of Columbia. "Soon it was over the whole house. He was working all over the house and outside, too."

A native of Henderson, N.C., Mr. Evans moved to Baltimore in the mid-1950s and worked as a brick maker and construction laborer until he retired in 1989.

His woodworking was self-taught. It was one of his main activities during retirement, along with fishing and a daily four-mile walk.

"He was always making something for someone," said his daughter-in-law, Valerie Evans of Glen Burnie.

Always proud of his work, Mr. Evans usually carved his initials "L.E.E." on the front of his finished products. He later agreed with his son's suggestion and placed his initials on the side of his product.

He was also known to carve his last name into some of his woodwork.

"One time he carved the 'N' in his name backward," his daughter said. "It was on a shoe brush and he just made a mistake and carved it backward. It's still like that now. He just laughed about it."

Services are scheduled for 11: 30 a.m. Friday at March Funeral Home, 1101 E. North Ave.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by five sons, Arthur Peace, William Peace, Calvin Peace, Lewis Evans Jr. and Larry Evans, all of Baltimore; two brothers, Charlie Evans of Chevy Chase and Herman Evans of New York City; three sisters, Lizzie Evans, Lucy Evans and Ellen Evans, all of Henderson, N.C.; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 11/25/97

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