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Louie Evans (1912-1999)

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

  • Founding member of Massillon's Urban League in 1936

  • Recognized as one of the "10 Great Leaders of the Massillon area in 1980" by Mayor Frances Cicchinelli

  • Named "Mr. Urban League" May 24, 1978

  • Louie E. Evans Day: May 9, 1990

  • Urban League Board Member Emeritus May 16, 1990

Louie Evans, Mr. Urban League, worked as a television and radio repairman for Sears and the Community Store. Always wanting to help the community, he hosted free repair and electronics classes in his basement for Massillonians.


Louie Evans, "Mr. Urban League," dies The Massillon Independent, January 5, 2000

Louie E. Evans, who was known as "Mr. Urban League" because he founded and was active in the Massillon Urban League for more than 50 years, died Dec 29 at Country Lawn Nursing Home after a lengthy illness. He was 87.

He was recognized as one of the"10 great leaders of the Massillon area in 1980" by Mayor Frances Cicchinelli. The proclamation states that "it is quite evident that his strength, courage and abilityto fight for a fair and just cause has helped make the Massillon Urban League the strong center ofthe communitythat it is today." It also recognized him as "an advocate for fair housing and fair housing conditions for both black and white people of our community; and, no problem was ever too big for him to handle. The proclamation set May 16, 1990, as "Louie E. Evans Day."

An autobiography about Evans was made into a play by the National Urban League in 1987. It was produced on stage in San Francisco at the Urban League National Convention. Evans was born March 25, 1912, in Tallapoosa, Ga., but lived in the Massillon area most of his life. He was an Armyveteran ofWorld War Il and worked at both Sears and the Community Store, retiring after 20 years as a television repairman. He played piano and worked with such entertainers as NancyWilson and bob Hope. He was member of St Barbara Catholic church and Knights of Columbus Council 554. He was the first African-American fourth degree member of the Massillon Bishops Assembly.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Julia (Dunson) Evans, two sisters and a brother.

He is survived by his wife, Willa (Dumas) Evans: three daughters, Mrs. Stephen (Beverly Smith of Atlanta, GA., Joan Evans of Akron and Michele Evans of Los Angeles, Calif: a sister, Marie Sankey of Massillon; and two grandchildren.


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