Charles O'Donovan Evans, history teacher, dies

He spent 21 years at Mount de Sales and ran for Congress on the Barry Goldwater ticket

  • Charles Evans
Charles Evans
December 03, 2010|By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Charles O' Donovan Evans, a retired history teacher and archivist at Mount de Sales Academy, died of lung cancer Nov. 27 at a friend's home in Sparks. He was 80.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Longwood Road in Roland Park, he was the son of the commander of the 29th Division, Maryland National Guard, Henry Cotheal Evans, who fought in both World Wars I and II, and the former Eleanor O'Donovan.

He was a 1949 Loyola High School graduate and played for the school's football team, a squad invited to play in the New Year's Day contest at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

He earned a degree in history from Mount St. Mary's College and had a master's degree in education from Loyola College. He studied at the Graduate University of Vienna and was later awarded an honorary doctorate from what is now Mount St. Mary's University.

Mr. Evans began teaching world history and problems of democracy at Bel Air High School in 1953. He later left the classroom and sold life insurance at Baltimore Life Underwriters and pursued political aspirations in the Maryland Republican Party. Family members said he was an ardent supporter of the conservative perspective.

He ran for Congress in Maryland's 4th District in 1964 on the Republican Barry Goldwater ticket. He was defeated by the longtime Democratic incumbent Edward Garmatz.

He was campaign manager for Robert Morrow, a 1968 Republican contender for the Senate.

He returned to teaching at St. Francis Preparatory School in Spring Grove, Pa., and spent 21 years at Mount de Sales Academy, a girls' high school in Catonsville. He taught American and world history, government and British literature. He retired from teaching five years ago but remained the school's archivist at the time of his death.

Friends recalled him as a "pillar of the school" who attended sporting events and followed the progress of students.

"He arrived very early every morning," said the school's principal, Sister Anne Catherine Burleigh, a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia. "He was a deeply principled man, with a strong faith and a love of his country. He loved his family first, but Mount de Sales came second."

After attending a daily Mass in the school's chapel, he raised the flag. In the afternoon, he acted as an unofficial traffic attendant and monitored the behavior of any young man who might be spending too much time on the school's grounds.

"He was known to be a demanding teacher," the school's principal said. "He could be a stickler on grading, but he loved the girls and was everybody's grandpa."

Family members said Mr. Evans always loved the country life. In 1969, he moved with his wife and five children to a Carroll County farm they named Golden Meadows. There they rode horses, raised cows, chickens, sheep and pigs for food, and had a large vegetable garden. Mr. Evans enjoyed riding horses late in life. He delighted in working in his vegetable garden as well.

He was vice-chair and a speaker for the Free State Forum from 1957 to 1962. During the mid-'60s, Mr. Evans traveled the country speaking on behalf of the Liberty Lobby. He later served as chairman for the American Research Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Mr. Evans served in the Maryland National Guard at the Pikesville Armory. He retired as a colonel in the mid-1960s.

A Mass was offered Tuesday at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Hunt Valley.

Survivors include three sons, Charles O'Donovan Evans Jr. of Safety Harbor, Fla., David Rittenhouse Evans of Birmingham, Ala., and Thomas Walter Evans of Philadelphia; two daughters, Marguerite Lamblé Evans Chitwood of Nolensville, Tenn., and Anne Worthington Evans Benrubi of Coatesville, Pa; a brother, John Garrettson Evans of Ruxton; 10 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. His marriage to Marguerite Burke Evans ended in divorce.

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