Joy Janice McKnight Evans, 80, passed away on December 1, 2014. Stillwater, Oklahoma was home to Joy for over 40 years of her life. Funeral Services for Mrs. Evans will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm at the First Christian Church, 411 W. Matthews Avenue, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Joy was born on July 24, 1934 in Prescott, Arkansas. Her parents were school teachers and her father was a Christian Minister. The ministry kept their family moving to several towns throughout Arkansas and Kansas. The family finally settled in Enid, Oklahoma where Joy attended high school and college at Phillips University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Art and acquired her teaching certificate. In the 1980’s, Joy, completed a Master’s Degree in Industrial Art Education at Oklahoma State University.
Joy’s parents conducted church services 3 times a day, in the chapel of the Union Equity Grain Elevators in Enid, while they were being built. Many workers came from small towns in the countryside to build the, then, largest grain elevators in the world. Joy sang in the choir while her father gave spiritual guidance to the young men. Joy met the love of her life at the Union Equity grain elevators, Conrad Evans. They were wed in 1955 for 56 years at the time of Conrad’s passing in 2011.
Newly wed and only 22 years old, Joy moved with Conrad to Ethiopia, Africa as employees of Oklahoma A&M University (OSU). Joy and Conrad lived in Ethiopia for 12 years from 1956 – 1968, assisting in the establishment and development of Alemaya University and Jimma Agricultural Technical School for high school students. Joy worked for the university library, instructed students in etiquette, and raised four sons, all born in Ethiopia.
Upon returning to the United States, Joy earned science teaching certificates. She taught art in the Morrison, Oklahoma school system for many years while also having instructed in Denison, Texas, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Perkins, Oklahoma. At the time of her retirement Joy worked for Architectural Services at OSU.
Joy’s passions in life included growing ornamental flowers, singing in church choirs where she was a soloist, and cooking incredible meals and delights. While in Ethiopia she mastered the ethnic cuisine and is even credited in an Ethiopian Cooking book for her expertise at the craft. Joy mastered drawing, etching, pottery, sewing, knitting, and paper crafts. Joy’s artistic abilities were frequently on display in the decorations that adorned rooms and tables used for ceremonies and celebrations at First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.
The 3M Sunday School Class at First Christian Church held a special place in her heart for the warm fellowship, support, and friendship she and her husband experienced there.
Joy was preceded in death by her parents, William and Dorothy McKnight, husband, Conrad Evans, and two sons, Brian Neal and Craig Collin Evans.
She is survived by two sons, Conrad Kent Evans of Moscow, Idaho, and Kevin Shaun Evans of Stillwater, Oklahoma. Joy is further survived by four grandchildren, Angus Lee and Case Cullen Evans of Denison, Texas, Sarah Elizabeth Evans of Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Hannah Ruby Jenkins-Evans, of Moscow, ID, and two great-grandchildren, Noah Maddox and Avonlea Cree Evans of Denison, Texas.
Memorial Contributions can be made to the Fistula Foundation, https://www.fistulafoundation.org/donate/
The Fistula Foundation is dedicated to ending the suffering caused by the childbirth injury of obstetric fistula. They believe that no woman should have to suffer a life of shame and isolation for trying to bring a child into the world. - See more at: https://www.fistulafoundation.org/about-us/
Condolences may be e-mailed to the family and the online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com