Charis­matic ge­ol­o­gist laid ground­work for UT col­lec­tions

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO &STATE - By Ralph K.M. Hau­r­witz AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN STAFF states­man.com

Sign a guest book for Evans with this story on­line. 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Ed The­riot, di­rec­tor of UT’s Texas Nat­u­ral Sci­ence Cen­ter, which in­cludes the Me­mo­rial Mu­seum, re­called a time that Evans, long af­ter leav­ing UT’s em­ploy, vis­ited his of­fice. He was wear­ing an as­cot and a con­fi­dent air.

“Even in his 80s and 90s, he was an in­cred­i­bly charis­matic man. He just filled up a room with his per­son­al­ity. He had movie star pres­ence,” The­riot said. “In terms of his con­tri­bu­tions to the mu­seum, he was cer­tainly sem­i­nal. His re­search and the items he cat­a­loged span an in­cred­i­ble range, from pa­le­on­tol­ogy to ar­chae­ol­ogy to ge­ol­ogy, and this formed the core of a

Glen Evans col­lected all man­ner of fos­sils, ar­row­heads, crys­tals and me­te­orites for the Texas Me­mo­rial Mu­seum at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas in the 1940s and ’50s. He was also part of a cir­cle of in­tel­lec­tu­als — in­clud­ing J. Frank Do­bie, Roy Bedichek and Wal­ter Prescott Webb — who liked to spin yarns while con­sum­ing bev­er­ages stronger than wa­ter.

Evans died July 14 at Buck­ner Vil­las in Austin af­ter a hip in­jury. He was 99.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Lady Bird John­son Wild­flower Cen­ter, num­ber of col­lec­tions in those ar­eas.”

Born near Hen­ri­etta, about 100 miles north­west of Fort Worth, Evans spent his boy­hood on the fam­ily farm, work­ing live­stock and fish­ing in the Lit­tle Wi­chita River. He be­gan study­ing ge­ol­ogy at UT in 1934, and al­though he never earned a de­gree, his quick mind and thirst for knowl­edge served him well when he took a job as a field ge­ol­o­gist with UT’s Bureau of Eco­nomic Ge­ol­ogy.

He spent weeks at a time ex­plor­ing Texas, of­ten camp­ing be­neath the stars. He also served as as­sis­tant di­rec­tor and later as as­so­ci­ate di­rec­tor of the Me­mo­rial Mu­seum. His work for UT in­cluded the ex­ca­va­tion of fos­sils of saber­toothed tigers at Friesen­hahn Cave near San

Con­tin­ued from B4 An­to­nio and the study of a me­teor crater near Odessa.

He left UT in 1953 for a po­si­tion in Mid­land with Louisiana Land and Ex­plo­ration. He rose to di­rec­tor of the com­pany’s min­er­als di­vi­sion.

Do­bie, the renowned folk­lorist and UT English pro­fes­sor, wrote in a 1956 col­umn for the Fort Worth Star-Tele­gram that Evans left UT’s em­ploy be­cause the uni­ver­sity didn’t pay him enough to sup­port a fam­ily of four.

“Con­sid­er­ing the stores and pow­ers of his mind, the way the el­e­ments are mixed in him, and his en­ergy, I would re­gard him as be­ing worth more to a uni­ver­sity than any mil­lion-dol­lar build­ing the uni­ver­sity that let him go has acquired since he left,” Do­bie wrote.

Dorothy New­comb, Evans’ daugh­ter, said her fa­ther of­ten gath­ered in the evenings with Do­bie, Bedichek and Webb at Do­bie’s ranches, in­clud­ing Paisano, west of Austin, which now serves as a UT re­treat for writ­ers.

Evans is also sur­vived by an­other daugh­ter, Carolyn Boyd; his wife, Darla; a sis­ter, Mary Royer of Hen­ri­etta; and four grand­chil­dren.

Do­na­tions may be made to the wild­flower cen­ter, the Hospice at Buck­ner Vil­las, the Na­ture Con­ser­vancy, the Save Our Springs Al­liance or a fa­vorite char­ity.

Glen Evans

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