GOMER EVANS JR. was born September 18, 1927 and went home to be with his family on May 10, 2023. He was born to Gomer Sr. and Alice (Hughes) Evans. He was very proud of his parents who immigrated from Wales but met and married here. He often boasted that he was 100% Welsh and flew that flag at his home. His father was a coal miner- fire boss in Black Diamond and mined the deepest coal veins in the area. Gomer was one of nine children and the only one born in Bellingham when his father was called there for a special project for the mines.
His first job was working at the Pacific Coast Store for Mr. McDowell, He delivered groceries in the 1934 truck. In his youth he was quite athletic, loved baseball and basketball. He was a member of the 1949 Black Diamond Merchants Pacific Coast League Champions.
He served in World War II and received the Merchant Mariners of WWII Congressional Gold Medal.
Gomer married Marie Ann Barnes on June 29, 1949. They had two daughters, Sherrie and Debby. Other than being in Bellingham for birth, he lived his entire live in Black Diamond and is well known there as “Mr. Black Diamond.”
He drove trucks most of his life, all kinds of them. He received a Safe Driver Award from Ryder for 19 years of safe driving.
Gomer was a proud member of the Masonic Diamond Lodge 83, having entered his apprenticeship on May 26, 1962, earned his Fellowcraft on September 15, 1962, and became a Master Mason on October 27, 1962. He served as Master of Diamond Lodge 83. He was also a member of the Shriners and a Scottish Rite mason. He received the Grand Master Achievement Award in 2007. The lodge in Black Diamond was named for him in 2017, now the Gomer Evans Masonic Center.
He was a member of the group that lead the city incorporation in 1959 and was the youngest council member. He served many roles for the city including the Chief of Police from 1969-1972 and he served as Mayor from 1973-1977. He knew where every water pipe in that town was laid! In 2015 the city named the street in front of him home after him, Gomer Evans Jr. Drive. He has also received awards for the 2013 Citizen of the Year and a 2010 Lifetime Commitment for his contributions. He served on the Black Diamond Cemetery Board and the Black Diamond Labor Day Committee. He is well-known for restoring the Green River Queen and driving it in the parades.
He received the Distinguished Citizen Medal from the Daughters’ of the American Revolution.
He was a long-time member of the Green River Black Diamond Eagles #1490. He was also an avid golfer and a regular at the Enumclaw Golf Course. He served as President of the Men's Club. He volunteered with the Washington Golf Association as a course rater and earned the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2007.
For the past twenty years Gomer has served as a volunteer with the Black Diamond Historical Society/Museum. He chaired the projects to build the Coal Miners Honor Garden and to bring the locomotive to the museum. He was in charge of all the maintenance projects and completed too many to list. He was a regular volunteer with the Thursday crew and everyone loved hearing his stories of growing up and living in Black Diamond. He was a living history of this town. A bench with his family name is located near the Honor Garden. He once said “No matter what the future brings, remembering our past will always be very important in decisions that will come before us.”
Gomer was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Marie; and his siblings, Muriel Wing, Jim Evans, Lynne Bonnell, Margaret White, David Evans, Debby Barnes, Barbara Celigoy-Allen, and Tommy Evans; his grandson Ronnie Armstrong; and son-in-law Ken Jensen.
He is survived by his daughters, Sherrie Evans and Debby (husband Mark) Campbell; grandsons, Mike (wife Jen) Armstrong and Jeff (wife Kate) Campbell; granddaughter, Jennifer Jensen; great grandchildren, Kenny Jensen-Ishii, Sydney Campbell, Ashley Armstrong, Dylan Armstrong, Sonya Campbell, Mathew Campbell, and Hunter, Olivia, Will and Jack Kirsch. Many nieces, nephews and grands of those also survive him.
Services with military honors will be held June 2 at 12:30 pm at Tahoma National Cemetery with a Celebration of Life following at the Enumclaw Field House.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Black Diamond Historical Society, PO Box 1, Black Diamond, WA 98010 or to the Gomer Evans Masonic Center/Diamond Lodge 83, PO Box 236, Black Diamond, WA 98010.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gomer Evans, please visit our floral store.