D. William Evans, Jr.

Birth Date: 
Friday, February 27, 1948
Date of Passing: 
Friday, June 19, 2020

D. William “Bill” Evans, Jr., 72, of Wooster died on Friday, June 19, 2020 in Medina General Hospital.

He was born February 27, 1948 in Cleveland to D. William and Helen Tobey Evans and grew up in Cleveland Heights. 

Bill obtained a BA from Hillsdale College in 1969, his Juris Doctor degree in 1972 from Ohio State University School of Law and a Master of Laws in 1973 from University of Miami School of Law.  He began his law career working for Taggart, Cox and Hays, as Assistant Wooster City Law Director and for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.  In 1982, he was elected as a Wayne County Municipal Judge serving from 1982-2005.  From 2006-2017 he served at a U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Judge.  Following his retirement from Immigration Court, he rejoined O.J.I. (Ohio Jury Instructions)

He was active in the community service on the Board of Directors for Hospice of Wayne County, United Way of Wooster and the Wooster Youth Baseball.  He also served on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army and was a trustee for First Presbyterian Church and the John W. Landis Scholarship Trust.  Bill was a youth baseball coach from 1993-2004 and a Boy Scouts Firearm instructor.  Professionally, Bill was involved in the Ohio Jury Instruction Editorial Board from 1990-2003 and a Judicial College instructor from 1988-2005 among others.

Bill is survived by his wife, Josephine Wilson Evans; son D. William “Will” (Bridget) Evans, III; grandson William D. Evans “Smalls”; sister Diane Evans of Gainesville, FL and beloved family, especially Tobey Morison and many beloved friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Private family services will be held.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., is assisting the family.

Contributions may be directed to Dreams on Horseback, https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/aNjSSfl9PBLguiWVcUDEcw?t=1592825788

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com

“And ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free” John 8:32 (KJV).

Memorial Contributions: 

Contributions may be directed to Dreams on Horseback, https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/aNjSSfl9PBLguiWVcUDEcw?t=1592825788


Private family services will be held.


We wish to convey our sorrow, condolences and support to your family,May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you

Bill was a great colleague. It was a pleasure knowing him. He will be greatly missed.

Bill was a great judge. I practiced before him for many years, first as a legal intern with the prosecutor's office and then as an attorney. When I was an intern, he went out of his way to be helpful as I developed my trial skills. I always enjoyed practicing in front of him over the years that followed. This is a great loss to the legal community.

Bill was a great judge. I practiced before him for many years, first as a legal intern with the prosecutor's office and then as an attorney. When I was an intern, he went out of his way to be helpful as I developed my trial skills. I always enjoyed practicing in front of him over the years that followed. This is a great loss to the legal community.

Bill joined the law firm the year after me.We practiced law together until I was elected Muni judge in 79.He joined me on the court in 82 and I had the opportunity to work with him once again until I went to Common pleas in 83.Bill and I worked on many cases together while at the law firm. We enjoyed a few beers together and many laughs. He is a great credit to our profession and will be dearly missed!

Bill was one of a handful of people that greatly influenced my life and career. I practiced in front of him as an assistant public defender and an assistant prosecutor. His high standards motivated me to be the best trial lawyer I could be. Rest in peace Your Honor.

My sincere condolences go out to Jo and the entire Evans family. Bill and I started out as Muni Court Prosecutors and served side by side for 23 years as Judges of the Wayne County Municipal Court. Our philosophy on the bench was very similar. Good Prosecutors and Good Defense Lawyers make good Judges. There was always a willing ear in the office next door when a difficult legal question came up. Bill was a colleague and a friend. Our Courts in Wayne County are better today as a result of Bill's time on the bench. I'll miss him.

He was a great Judge and a very smart Lawyer

Our condolences to Jo and Will. Your family was so welcoming
to us during our many visits to Wooster
between 2007 and 2013. Our prayers are with you
and your family at this difficult time.

What an incredible loss. So privileged to have been friends with this wonderful man. Jo and Will our deepest sympathy to your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Our lives were better to have had him as such a huge influence in our lives. My God give you strength during this difficult time. Heaven received such a special angel.

When I first became judge I attended various judicial seminars and was frequently reminded by other judges from across the state how much they respected Judge Evans and his passion for the law and his running of his court. Clearly, Judge Evans had a great impact on our judicial system, including areas far from Wayne County. Judge Evans led by example in serving his community, profession, and peers. I am personally grateful to Judge Evans for the legacy he has left at the Wayne County Municipal Court.

Judge Evans was a great man. I loved his sense of humor. As an immigration attorney, I enjoyed practicing in his court. He always appeared formal and professional but beneath his robe he was kind, and generous. I guess heaven needed a judge. Gone much too soon but he certainly made a lasting positive impact with his time!!

Our condolences to the entire Evans family. Bill was a great American, wonder father and tremendous jurist. He taught me more about immigration law and court in two weeks than I could have ever learned in formal training. He was a great mention and wonderful friend. Everyone who appeared before his bench knew they had a fair judge who treated them with dignity and respect. He is missed already. Semper Fi Doc and Lynn Daugherty

Bill was a great asset to the legal community. I always enjoyed trying cases against him and before him as the Judge. We shared many good times and lots of laughs. To you Bill:

"The time has come,' the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have winds"
Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll


To All the EVANS family: My PRAYERS are with you all. I knew Bill for quite some time, back when he Ron (Amstutz) +
Jo & I were in the YOUNG REPUBLICANS & had our great meetings, and picnics. I had kept in Touch with Bill for years when I would see him at Wooster Events, for the pleasure of talking with one another. I served on several committees, also, so we had a chance to talk and laugh things over. Which of us talked more + joked more: I do not know. Bill?
He was always impressed by my employment & sincerity with the population I adored teaching at Ida Sue/Nick Amster, also. Since moving to MAINE, we lost track of each other: No Wayne County Fair, and other events to meet.
Read Ecclesiastics 3:1-12++
GOD'S LOVE: Jim Appleman

So sorry to hear of the passing of Judge Bill Evans. I always found him firm but fair in my dealings with him as an Assistant Prosecutor and his tenure as Judge in Muni Court. A great asset to the community, he will be missed.

I would like to relate my deepest sympathies to the family of Judge Evans. My personal experience representing Respondents in his Court was that he was firm, a bit scary at times, yet I found him to be fair.

Please accept my condolences at Bill’s death. He was a great guy and we spent some fun time together at the start of his career in Wooster. I enjoyed his acute sense of humor.

I was so sorry to hear about Bill's passing. He was one of my first bosses along with Mark W. And he was a good friend to my husband, Bill. No you have my sincere condolences.

I am so saddened to see of Bill passing. He was a patient and great guy to work for all those many years ago. Condolences to Jo and the entire family.

Our Dear Friend Jo,
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and Will's family during this time of sorrow. We were blessed beyond all words to have you and Bill as neighbors for 29 years and treasured our everlasting friendship. Bill never hesitated to help. We will never forget the days he and I spent cutting and stacking a load of slab wood dropped in our driveway. He will remain in our hearts forever. May our friendship, sympathy and heartfelt condolences bring you and the family comfort.

Jo, my condolences to you and Will. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Jo and Will, we are so very sorry to hear of Bill's passing. We have such fond memories of our friendship over the years. A wonderful judge and a wonderful man. Our prayers, love and hugs are with you.

Much love,
Jean and Christy Shoup

Jo and Will...so sorry for your loss.. always enjoyed visiting with you all.. prayers and love.

So sorry for your loss. It was an honor to work with Judge Evans a great man!

Dear Jo and Will,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Bill. I have so many great memories from being next door neighbors for many years. From the pink flamingos to the wonderful birthday signs you would hang from your 2nd story so I would see them from my bedroom window when I woke up in the morning! Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

May your memories be your comfort in this time of great loss. I will remember Bill's sense of humor and our constant kidding of each other, starting when he was a prosecutor in the juvenile court and I was a referee until 40+ years later when we were both retired judges. He was truly a good man and will be missed by all of us. Vicki and I are so sorry to hear of his passing.

Sorry for your loss.You were a wonderful man and a great coach.Thanks for all the great memories we shared at Miller's ball park.

I began the practice of Immigration Law in 2004. I practiced before Judge Evans throughout the many years of his tenure on the Cleveland Immigration Court. Practicing before Judge Evans always challenged me to grow as a litigator and I appreciate having had the opportunity. I was saddened to hear of his passing. Godspeed Judge Evans!

Judge Evans was the first judge I met after I opened my practice in Orrville - he was very patient with me as I was a new attorney. He was also the judge on my first jury trial and took the time afterwards to tell me I had done a good job. I appeared in front of him many times as an attorney with the Public Defender Program and I learned much from him. He served Wayne County well on the Municipal bench. My condolences to Mrs. Evans and Will.

Jo, Will and Family-
My sincerest prayers for your family. I was so sad to hear of Bill's passing. Such a great mentor, friend, and public servant! He will surely be missed. RIP Judge Evans.....

I am so sorry to hear of Judge Evans' passing. I practiced in his Court since he became an Immigration Judge. He was a great man. He was hard-working, intelligent, and fair in his decisions. I always enjoyed talking sports with him after Court. I was fortunate to remain in contact with him after his retirement. He will be missed.

Jo, Will and Family

My condolences to all of you. I worked for Judge Evans for nine years and he was a great guy. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

I had the great honor of working with Judge Evans on the Wooster Youth Baseball Board of Directors and to also see him coach for a number of years down at Miller Fields. His influence on untold youth in our community made each of them a better person.

My condolences to his entire family. He will be missed.

I opened the Immigration Court in Cleveland with Judge Evans in 2006. For over a decade we worked together, and he demonstrated every day to be an outstanding Judge, a great mentor, and a wonderful friend. In 2014, he blessed my marriage to Georgiana by presiding over our wedding. It has been my honor and priviledge to have him, and his family a part of ours. I don't know if Judge Evans truly knew how he influenced so many people both professionally,and personally. He was a great man. Our deepest sorrow to Jo, Will, Bridgett, and "little Bill." Judge Evans will forever be remembered and loved in the Roder family.
James Roder,US Coast Guard CWO2 Retired

Will, I was deeply saddened to hear of Bill's passing. Even though my experience with him was brief, I enjoyed his wise counsel on my event. In the big picture, I barely had the chance to know him, yet I feel blessed to have made his acquaintance. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Judge Evans was a tough judge, but I can say he pushed me to be better and do better as an attorney who practiced in his courtroom. I genuinely loved that he did not fit a perfect mold and was able to push and make unpopular decisions. Today I remember words he spoke to me in his courtroom, And I will NEVER forget. Rest In Peace Judge Evans!!!

For years, I had heard the many reminiscent stories of lawyers appearing before Judge Evans while he served at the Wayne County Municipal Court. Every story ends similarly, that Judge Evans required preparation and excellence from the advocates before him. Every story also ends with the fact that those lawyers were ultimately grateful for that expectation that helped them later on in their careers.

I had the privilege of meeting Judge Evans and Josephine in 2017 when I stopped by their residence while campaigning for Wayne County Municipal Court Judge myself.

I appreciate Judge Evans many years of faithful service to our community - keeping it safe and upholding our Constitution.

Josephine, may God grant you peace and comfort in the difficult days ahead.

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