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Alice Gertrude Burch Evans
Birth: May 30, 1878
Death: Dec. 11, 1973

Alice was the forth daughter of Michael Livingston Burch[1839-1922] and Eliza Augusta Dasher Burch [1849-1931]. All who knew her called her Alice. Her second name, Gertrude, was a cross she chose to bear in private. She always hated the name and in later years her youngest son Alfred would get her goat by calling her “Gertie”. Rest assured her “goat” was all he got too. No request addressed in such a manner was ever heeded.

Alice was by many accounts the most religious of her siblings. She attended Eastman Baptist Church, constituted June 1, 1878, and received a bible at the age of 5 for being the youngest member in Sunday school. She and her sister Annie joined the church together in 1889 when Alice was eleven. Many of the letters she later wrote her children had the ring of sermons. One example of a usual letter is the below written On April 29, 1945 to her soldier son, Walker.

"Walker, my precious – so much is happening and now the report of German’s surrender. God hasten the day when love shall supplant hate, peace, war and right living sinful. Honey, God’s people have a big job but as you said a long time ago ‘In all they ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct they way.” ‘Tis a marvelous thing to be on God’s side and He on yours. I’m thankful for Pres. Truman and his dependence on “Divine Help” and his need for prayer. I feel as if we had a Washington or Lincoln in the White House now. God help each of us to act as Christian people, as the individual is, so is the nation."

She told her Granddaughter Lina that had she been a man she would have been a preacher. Would have made a good one too, I think.

Although Alice was a religious person she also had a sense of humor. On one occasion a young ministerial student who was a family friend came for a visit. Evening at the Evans home always involved kneeling in prayer before going to bed. On this occasion the young guest was invited to give a prayer. As he prayed his prayer became ever more embroidered with adjectives, adverbs and elaborate phrases. So entranced was he by his creative use of language that the prayer was extended and to be frank, over-extended. Alice's oldest daughter took a peek at her kneeling mother to see how she was being effected and found her shaking with silent laughter!

Alice attended Eastman Academy, as had her sisters before her, graduating at the age of sixteen. She then attended a Methodist junior collage in Helena McRae for one year before beginning her teaching career.

At some point during her sixteenth year she won beauty contest, which was held at a church picnic. It was only with great persistence that her children wormed this bit of knowledge out of her when they were adults. She was always extremely reticent about her teen years preferring her children think she had none. When ask once if she was a girl when won the beauty contest, she replied with dignity, “No. I was a young lady.” End of conversation.

Her granddaughter Sue Vrooman remembers being told as a teenager by Alice that one should never kiss a man until one was engaged. On closer questioning Sue found out that Alice had been engaged three times before marriage starting with the widower Mr. Harris. She was about seventeen then. He had two little girls and met Alice while she was teaching in Harding, GA. Fortunately for her descendants that relationship was ended.

The next gentleman in her life was a doctor – her daughter thought his name was Harry Stewart – in Vidalia, GA. His chances for winning Alice’s hand seemed good when a quirk of fate occurred. Ola Evans made a visit to Eastman that coincided with a weekend home for Alice. Ola, the family musician was playing the organ at Alice’s church. Alice appreciated Ola’s playing and met her afterwards. An immediate rapport developed. Both were teachers and that gave them even more common ground.

Later Alice’s mother Augusta with her eldest daughter, Mary Lou, went to Jay Bird Springs, a resort of note between Eastman and McRae. There they met Ola and her sister Eva Evans and became reacquainted. On discovering her friend Alice was teaching grammar school in Vidalia, Ola was struck by a happy thought. Her brother Walker, a recent graduate of The Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, now Emory University, was working for a lumber company in Hickston, GA that was only a short distance from Vidalia. Ola herself liked Alice so much she was sure her brother would as well. So she promptly set about arranging a meeting between the two.

Evidently Alice was pretty taken with young Dr. Evans. In a short while she broke her engagement to the doctor she’d been seeing because, “he spoke ill of Dr. Evans.” Then she began going with Dr. Evans instead.

No one was surprised when he asks for her hand in marriage. But Dr. Evans had a problem. He needed to approach Alice’s parents with his request for her hand. However her mother Augusta wasn’t interested in discussing the marriage of any of her daughters with anybody because she wanted to keep them at home. And she at first refused to talk to Walker because she knew what he had in mind. Walker, not to be deterred, wrote a letter explaining that he wanted to talk to her about his Dasher kin through his grandmother. These Dashers were from Savannah and Augusta’s mother Mary had also married a Dasher from Savannah. It seemed a reasonable request so Augusta agreed to the meeting on those terms.

She was upset and shed some tears when the REAL reason for the meeting was broached. But Mike, Alice’s father, had no objections so the happy pair became engaged. Their engagement lasted about a year and a half. Since they were only 4 or 5 miles apart during this time that didn’t take long by house and buggy, they had opportunity to get to know each other well.

Milo Massey, pastor of the Eastman Baptist Church, married them November 22, 1904 in Alice's Eastman Georgia home. They left immediately for their honeymoon traveling by train. Unfortunately Alice was subject to motion sickness. They went through Macon and stopped briefly to visit friends. The friends served olives among other things and Alice being a nervous new bride ate far more of these than she should have. She felt this was the reason why the motion sickness was so severe. She was completely mortified to be sick in front of her new husband of only a few hours and that he had to treat her for it.

They proceeded by train to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and then to the World’s Fair in St Louis. When ask in later years which she enjoyed most she replied,” The World’s Fair was fun but Mammoth Cave was really impressive.” They spent one whole day in the cave with a touring party. One member of the party was a very fat lady who needed much assistance and it fell to Walker to perform this service while his young and sprightly bride picked her own way. Once they got out of the cave they were so tired they used their last burst of energy to sprint to the car and then collapsed.

After the honeymoon they took up residence in Hickson. Since Hickson was a sawmill town and had its share of rough characters, Walker thought it prudent to give his bride a 22 pistol. One night after being out on call Walker thought he’d scare Alice as a joke. So he scratched on the window. Alice on hearing the sound immediately got her new gun which she had never fired, and went to the window saying, “I’m very sorry but I’m afraid I’ll have to shoot you!” This encouraged Walker to make himself known – at once!

Walker practiced at Hickston for 3 or 4 years, before deciding to open a private practice in Millen GA. So it was in Millen December 29, 1906 that their first child, a daughter, was born. They named her for her two grandmothers – Evelina Augusta but everybody called her Sis, Sister or Gus. A year and a half later their first son arrived and was christened William Walker Evans Jr. who quickly became “Brother” to his family. Both babies were born at home as Millen had no hospital and were delivered by their Dad.

A bit after the children were born Walker Sr. had pneumonia complicated by pleurisy and was ill for two or three months. He took his young family back to Screven Co. to recuperate. Once in Screven he decided it was time to move his practice to Halcyondale and practiced there until 1928.

On April 12, 1910 little Annie Laura arrived. She was a beautiful dark-haired baby but her life with the Evans was painfully short. She developed an acute infection – gastroenteritis – and even her father’s skill couldn’t save her. She died November 29,1910 at six and a half months.

A year later on October 27, 1911, Hezekiah Charles Evans entered the world. Named after his Grandpapa Evans, he was nicknamed Kiah almost at once. And it was by this name he was always known. When Kiah was almost two, Mike Burch Evans put in his appearance. Born August 28, 1913 he brought the number in the Evans household to six.

May 30, 1916 started off much like any other day but with the added glow of Alice’s Birthday. Alice and her sister Gussie were sitting on the porch with Sis and Brother. Walker was in the garage getting ready to leave on a call. Unbeknownst to Walker, little Mike, who was particularly attached to his daddy, had followed him out. After Walker got in the car Mike climbed up on the running board, his curly hair just below Walker’s view. As Walker pulled passed the front of the house Mike started to get off of the still moving car. Losing his footing his feet began sliding under the car. The women screamed for Walker to stop. Alice leapt from the porch running, as the others watched in frozen horror. Mike slipped completely under the car and the car, unable to stop, ran over him. He lived just a few minutes, dying in his father’s arms. He would have been three August 28.

Life has a way of going on even in the face of great sadness. Carey Arnett Evans was welcomed to the world March 26, 1915. John Edwin [Johnnie] followed closely on his heels arriving October 7, 1916. These two were inseparable growing up. A new little sister arrived April 28, 1919, a most welcome addition to the brother heavy family. She was given the name Mary Alice but the spelling was later changed to Marialis. Marialis was followed by Alfred Harris On July 30, 1921. Alfred was the last-born and with his birth the family was complete.

Union Baptist Church was the church home of the Evans clan and central to their lives. In the early days they arrived in a spring wagon – a wagon that because of its springs was more comfortable to ride in than a regular wagon. Horses rather than mules were used to pull it as well as for the buggy or surrey.

In about 1928 the Evans family moved to Chattanooga Tennessee. The public school system there was a large one which was a drawing card for so large a family. Also Alice's youngest sister, Gus and her family lived there. They remained there until the early 1930s when Dr. Evans decided to move his practice to Blakely Georgia, in part for his health. The coal used in Chattanooga seemed to irritate his lungs. It was in Blakely that Dr. Evans died of a 2nd heart attack.

On the day he died his oldest daughter, Augusta, and his wife Alice were in the room. Walker had had a heart attack from which he seemed to be recovering. He kept a stethoscope hanging from his bed post. Augusta remembers him reaching for the stethoscope, listening to his heart, pulling his wife into his arms, kissing her and saying, "I love you Alice." Those were his last words. Moments later his soul had flown.

Alice had planned to move back Screven County and in fact had a house built there for her and the younger children. Unfortunately just as the house neared completion it was completely destroyed by fire. She revised her plans and moved back to Chattanooga where she lived most of the rest of her life.

Her great faith in God carried her through the many trials to come including the deaths of her sons: Carey and Johnnie in World War II, Alfred and Kiah from cancer. It sustained her when Kiah's wife, Ida Clairreece Horton Evans, died from childbirth complications with their first child Lina Lee and enabled her to raise that baby with Kiah's support as one of her own.

On the day of her death her oldest son Walker was with her. And as she passed from this world he read at her request the words of Jesus her savior from John 14, "I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." 
Family links: 
  Michael Livingston Burch (1839 - 1922)
  Eliza Augusta Dasher Burch (1849 - 1931)
  William Walker Evans (1876 - 1935)*
  Evelina Augusta Evans (1906 - 1983)*
  William Walker Evans (1908 - 1981)*
  Annie Laura Evans (1910 - 1910)*
  Hezekiah Charles Evans (1911 - 1962)*
  Mike Burch Evans (1913 - 1916)*
  Carey Arnett Evans (1915 - 1942)*
  John Edwin Evans (1916 - 1945)*
  Marialis Evans Allmon (1919 - 2004)*
  Alfred Harris Evans (1921 - 1953)*
  Mary Tallulah Burch (1872 - 1979)*
  Henrietta Jane Burch Harrell (1874 - 1957)*
  Annie Laurie Burch Edwards (1876 - 1958)*
  Alice Gertrude Burch Evans (1878 - 1973)
  John Alfred Burch (1880 - 1921)*
  Michael Harris Burch (1882 - 1945)*
  Henry Marshall Burch (1886 - 1887)*
  Augusta Dasher Burch Selman (1889 - 1982)*
*Calculated relationship
Union Baptist Church Cemetery
Screven County
Georgia, USA
Maintained by: Sue Vrooman
Originally Created by: jrpv
Record added: Feb 20, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24772170
Alice Gertrude <i>Burch</i> Evans
Added by: Sue Vrooman
Alice Gertrude <i>Burch</i> Evans
Added by: Sue Vrooman
Alice Gertrude <i>Burch</i> Evans
Added by: Sue Vrooman
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What a wonderful photograph of her kids.
- Tony Middleton
 Added: Feb. 12, 2014
You were the best Grannie ever! The Bible was your pole star and kept you steadfast through many trials. But despite everything you never forgot how to laugh. Your coconut cake was to die for. And when we played checkers, which you always played for k...(Read more)
- Sue Vrooman
 Added: Dec. 26, 2010

 Added: Jan. 4, 2009
This page is sponsored by: Sue Vrooman

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